Big fish mystery yet to be solved

Arnold Dyre

Commentary By Arnold Dyre

   Last week, I wrote about the fine time Beverly and I recently enjoyed on the Mississippi Coast and told about the gigantic fish I observed close-in just behind the Beau Rivage!
   My column netted me an e-mail from Beau Rivage’s public relations director, expressing glee about our enjoying the resort and curiosity about what I had seen in the Mississippi Sound.
   Indeed, my “big fish” sighting has presented something of a mystery. Both Beverly and I have been involved in somewhat intensive computerized search efforts to determine what I was privileged to glimpse.
   Of course, Beverly did not see the big fish but, from what I have told her, she thinks it was a giant tarpon.
    It is true that tarpon can get as big as the fish I saw, and that they come in close to shore. Tarpon can even be found inland, trapped in brackish pools and can adapt to fresh water.
   Large ones are plentiful in the Mississippi Sound. Yet, I have my doubts that my fish was a tarpon. I picture a tarpon as sleeker and more colorful than the fish I witnessed.
   I tend to think that maybe it was a really big grouper.
   Some other possibilities include some sort of shark (although I saw no dorsal fin cutting the water), a huge mackerel, and even a giant salamander.
   I am hoping that readers will contact me and tell me what they think it might have been. Remember, what I saw was more than a yard across the widest portion of its back, and I estimate the length to have been at least 14-feet or more. I had an unobstructed view from directly above the fish in morning sunlight and, no, I had not been drinking!
   In any event, I am, indeed, intrigued by the big fish and hope that I see it or one like it again – or perhaps someone else at Beau Rivage will see it.
   I really would not care to try to catch such a fish. I believe a fish that big would surely be more than a match for me.
   The big fish that Ernest Hemingway wrote about in his novel, The Old Man and the Sea, was a marlin measuring 18 feet from nose to tail. In Hemingway’s story, the old man won the hard-fought battle with the big marlin but could not bring it aboard the boat due to its great size. On the way back to shore, sharks claimed the old man’s prize.
   I hope that my big fish will swim on, and that its great size will protect it from all who would do it harm. I will look for it each time I go to the coast.
   I have told Old Clovis about the big fish, and he has been looking for it in the clouds.

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