Scientific Name:
Megalops atlanticus
Fight Rating:
Very Hard Pointer

The synonym "silver king" refers to the predominant bright silver color along the sides and belly of the tarpon. Dorsally, tarpon usually appear dark blue to greenish-black. However, the color may appear brownish or brassy for individuals inhabiting inland waters. The dorsal and caudal fins have dusky margins and often appear dark.Externally, the almost vertical, silvery sides made up of large scales are the most distinctive feature of the tarpon. The tarpon has a superior mouth with the lower mandible extending far beyond the gape. The fins contain no spines, but are all composed of softrays. The dorsal fin appears high anteriorly and contains 13-15 softrays with the last ray greatly elongated into a heavy filament. The caudal is deeply forked, and the lobes appear equal in length. The anterior portion of the anal fin is deep and triangular. The fin has 22-25 softrays, with the last ray again elongated as in the dorsal fin, but shorter and only present in adults. The tarpon has large pelvic fins, and long pectoral fins containing 13-14 softrays.

Perhaps the most unique internal feature of the tarpon is the modified swim bladder. This swim bladder contains spongy alveolar tissue and has a duct leading to the esophagus that the tarpon may fill directly with air gulped from the surface. This feature allows the tarpon to take oxygen directly from the atmosphere and increases its tolerance of oxygen-poor waters. In fact, studies have shown that tarpon must have access to atmospheric oxygen in order to survive, and that juvenile tarpon are obligatory air-breathers. Adults living in oxygen-rich waters still roll and gulp air, probably as an imitative pattern based on visual perception of other tarpon.

Fishing Spots


Addison Bay Bay (Saltwater)

Marco Island, FL
United States United States
20 8 4

Alligator Harbor Harbor (Saltwater)

Panacea, FL
United States United States
4 16 3 8

Apalachicola Bay Bay (Saltwater)

Apalachicola, FL
United States United States

Aransas Bay Bay (Saltwater)

Port Aransas, TX
United States United States
18 24 1 24 10

Aripeka Flats Flats

Aripeka, FL
United States United States
2 20 2 6

Atlantic Ocean Ocean

Waretown, NJ
United States United States

Atlantic Ocean Atlantic Ocean

Hatteras, NC
United States United States

Atlantic Ocean Atlantic Ocean

Beach Haven, NJ
United States United States

Atlantic Ocean Ocean

Stuart, FL
United States United States

Atlantic Ocean Atlantic Ocean

Southport, NC
United States United States
8 44 3 10

Atlantic Ocean Atlantic Ocean

Cocoa Beach, FL
United States United States

Atlantic Ocean Atlantic Ocean

Homestead, FL
United States United States
52 42 9 2

Atlantic Ocean Atlantic Ocean

Charleston, SC
United States United States
9 60 7 10

Atlantic Ocean Ocean

Charleston, SC
United States United States
22 80 11 4

Atlantic Ocean (FL) Atlantic Ocean

St. Augustine, FL
United States United States
3 64 11 4 4

Atlantic Ocean (FL) Atlantic Ocean

Fort Pierce, FL
United States United States

Atlantic Ocean (FL) Atlantic Ocean

Key Largo, FL
United States United States
44 18 2 30 2

Atlantic Ocean (FL) Atlantic Ocean

Jacksonville, FL
United States United States
69 70 3 10 28

Atlantic Ocean (FL) Atlantic Ocean

Islamorada, FL
United States United States

Atlantic Ocean (FL) Atlantic Ocean

Miami, FL
United States United States

Aucilla River -- Unknown --

Tallahassee , FL
United States United States
6 2 4

Bacon Channel Channel (Freshwater)

Suwannee, FL
United States United States
20 2

Bahia Honda Channel Channel (Saltwater)

Big Pine Key, FL
United States United States
28 2 4

Banana River Lagoon Lagoon

Cape Canaveral, FL
United States United States

Barfield Bay Bay (Saltwater)

Marco Island, FL
United States United States
4 5 4

Barnes Sound Sound (Saltwater)

Key Largo, FL
United States United States
50 12 4

Bartell Bay Bay (Saltwater)

Naples, FL
United States United States
10 12 4

Beaufort Inlet Inlet (Saltwater)

Beaufort, NC
United States United States
14 30 1 5 4

Biloxi Marsh Basin (Saltwater)

Slidell, LA
United States United States
44 6 6 10

Bimini Bay Bay (Saltwater)

Bradenton, FL
United States United States
41 14 11 8



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There are no tournaments specified for this fish.