Fish Facts: Everything You Need to Know About Tarpon

Former Orvis Cleveland Fishing Manager Jim Lampros is all smiles, thanks to this Belize tarpon.
Photo by Dan Davala

Like many saltwater sport fish, the Atlantic tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) is not commercially valuable, which means it has not been much studied and little is known about its life. . .

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Fish Facts: Northern Pike (Esox lucius)

Blog reader Todd Van Dyke caught this beauty in Quetico Provencial Park in northwestern Ontario.
Photo by Kyle Riddle

The northern pike (Esox lucius) goes by a variety of names across its range in the U.S. and Canada—from “gator” to “water wolf” to “snot rocket”—reflecting both its popularity as a game fish and the low esteem many. . .

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Fish Facts: Gila Trout (Oncorhynchus gilae gilae)

The Gila trout is one of the toughest “life list” trout species to find.
Photo by Christ Hunt, Trout Unlimited

Although one does not usually associate trout with the Sonoran Desert environment of Arizona and New Mexico, the Gila trout—as well as its close relative, the Apache trout—has survived in. . .

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Fish Facts: Guadalupe Bass (Micropterus treculii)

Dr. Bryan Townshend shows off his 17-inch, 3.71-pound record Guadalupe bass, caught last year.
Photo by Lindsey Bloom, courtesy All Water Guides

Although largemouth and smallmouth bass get all the press, Lone Star State fly fishers have a soft spot for the smaller Guadalupe bass (Micropterus treculii) , sometimes called the “Texas. . .

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Fish Facts: Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)

Illustration by Knepp Timothy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Each year, thousands of anglers travel to Alaska, British Columbia, and the Great Lakes to cast for coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)—also known as silver salmon—because of their. . .

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Fish Facts: Chum Salmon (Oncorhyncus keta)

Chum salmon are hard fighters and readily strike flies.
Photo by Chris Morgan,

The chum salmon (Oncorhyncus keta) is familiar to most anglers only because of the unique “tiger-stripe” patterns of red, purple, and black that spawning fish develop along their. . .

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Fish Facts: Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu)

When trout streams start to get too warm, the fishing for smallies often heats up.
Photo by Drew Price

The smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) goes by many nicknames—smallie, bronzeback, brownie, and brown bass, to name a few—which is a sign of its popularity in different parts of the country. It’s the most trout–like bass, in that it often lives in clean, cold rivers and feeds on insects, baitfish, and. . .

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Fish Facts: Mountain Whitefish, a.k.a. “Mister White”

Don’t let anyone tell you that Mister White is not a great fish to battle on a fly rod.
Photo via Wikipedia

Viewed by many trout anglers as a “trash fish,” the mountain whitefish has been unfairly maligned and is actually an excellent fly-rod quarry. Many a fly fisher has been disappointed to discover that the fish fighting on the end of his line is not a trout, but a native. . .

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Fish Facts: Muskellunge (Esox masquinongy)

Virginia guide Mark McKinney hoists a monster musky, caught on an unnamed Virginia River.
Photo courtesy Mark McKinney

The top freshwater predator of North America, the muskellunge is also perhaps the continent’s most elusive game fish, earning its nickname, “the fish of 10,000 casts.” The name muskellunge comes from a French translation of the Ojibwa word maashkinoozhe, which means “ugly pike,” but it is the species’ ferocity, rather than its. . .

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