SILVER KING: THE BIRTH OF BIG GAME FISHING offers a compelling look at the fish that fascinated and frustrated anglers for more than century — the massive, yet elusive, silver-scaled tarpon. On April 18, 1885, fisherman William H. Wood reeled in a 93-pound tarpon off Florida’s Sanibel Island with only a bamboo rod and mullet for bait. That single, sensational catch made international news, revolutionized sport fishing and transformed Southwest Florida forever. As word spread of Wood’s feat, the promise of catching this trophy fish lured anglers from around the world, including Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover, writers Ernest Hemingway and Zane Grey, inventor Thomas Edison and celebrities such as Mae West. Rare, archival film clips of early tarpon anglers, vintage film from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s and dramatic modern footage combine to highlight the story behind the birth of big-game fishing and the conservation efforts in place now to protect this ancient species. Peter Thomas (NOVA, Changing Seas) narrates.
- TV: Thursday, 6/20 at 7:00pm