The name Hart Stilwell might not ring as many bells for long-time F&S readers as A.J. McClane and Ed Zern, but the South Texas native penned many articles for us and Outdoor Life from the 1930s through 1950s. Many of Stilwell’s epic tales revolved around the good ole’ days of hooking monster tarpon on the Texas and Mexico coasts back when silver kings were not as drooled over as they are now by every fishing magazine. Nor were there any carbon-fiber drags, chemically sharpened hooks, or fluorocarbon leaders when Stilwell was scouting the beach at South Padre Island for rolling ‘poons.
“Glory Of The Silver King” is a collection of Stilwell stories that were not previously published. My good friend and fellow writer Brandon Shuler, another South Texas native and incredible fishing guide, graciously volunteered to edit Stilwell’s lost manuscript, and the result is a book that I promise will captivate any angler regardless of where you fish, and anyone that longs for crafted tales of adventure that have sadly found their way out of many magazines these days.
Perhaps there is no one better than Stilwell himself to describe his passion for tarpon. In Chapter 2 he writes: “The tarpon is the greatest of all gamefish that can be caught by casting a lure. Yes, I’ve spent time, plenty of it, struggling with other great gamefish, some far larger than tarpon. Hemingway wasn’t telling me anything new in The Old Man and the Sea_, and if the Nobel Prize judges had gone to the trouble of catching a marlin, then catching a tarpon by casting, they would have awarded Hemingway his prize for some other book, not for the overblown chunk of rather mushy melodrama about that old man and his marlin.”_
If you need reading material for the beach or porch at the lake house, I highly recommend “Glory Of The Silver King.” You can purchase a copy from Amazon or directly from the Texas A&M University Press.