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120 Days: Tarpon Season

Few people know anything the way David Mangum knows tarpon fishing. The Florida angler devotes every waking hour of his life to studying the fish, and coming up with new ways to draw them out and catch them.
Fishing
You f#%ing do it. You get up every day in the black. The black windy. You get up driven by anger, angry at your bones that hurt more now, at the remorse of missing out on family, at your client, because he isn't as angry as you.

   You get up in the black and feel the anxiety course through your blood, the pressure of old regrets, of expectations you fear will become regrets. A year's worth of dreams on your shoulders.

    You get up in the fog and the wind and the black, fatigued, 80 days into the season, cold and filthy and shivering with hate for the weather. God's testament.

     There are endless "not enoughs," infinite "toos." Too windy, too rough, too cloudy, too many other boats. Not enough spots, enough fish, enough courtesy. Not enough secrets.

    So come on, try it. Step into the ring. I hope you don't. I hope you fail. I hope you whither and fall to the side, that I never see you out there. I love it too much. I love it more than you. I live for the everyday of it, the need of it. And I want it all for myself.

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