On Wednesday morning, a seemingly innocent object popped to the surface of the Bay of Campeche. The item was an electronic tracking device, described as about the size of a fat cigar with a golf ball stuck on its end. It started sending signals to a connected satellite and immediately began relaying information it had collected over the past two months.
It was originally attached to a 200 tarpon caught off Pass Cavallo on the middle Texas coast.
The device, a PAT tag, a pop-off archival transmitting tag, is part of the arsenal of tools being employed in a cooperative effort between scientists and avid tarpon anglers to fill the gaps in knowledge of the life history, movements, population dynamics and other important information of tarpon.
Tarpon 166 – the 200 pounder wearing the tag that popped off in the Bay of Campeche- was the heaviest tarpon on which researchers/anglers have placed a tag. The tarpon traveled farther south than any texas-tagged tarpon.
John Hark photo