Wholehearted agreement here, Juro. For me, the fun is in the presentation of the fly, the hookup, and the wild leaps and runs of the fish. The tug-of-war that can occur, even with the 50 pounders, can get old. I've hooked into tarpon of 75 lbs or so, and although all were lost, the fight had gotten old once the fish started to sulk in deeper water. Plus, there were all of those other tarpon rolling and splashing through the bait right next to me!
I've spoken with a number of long-time tarpon anglers who love casting to and hooking giant tarpon, but then intentionally break off the fish after 5-10 minutes, after all the acrobatics are over and the deep water tug-of-war begins.
As the rain falls through the almost-freezing air, backed by a slate gray sky, and the long cloak of winter settles over New England, I can almost hear the tarpon expelling air from their bladders as they roll through the clear lagoon waters. I can feel my arm swing into motion as I cast a deceiver into the midst of schooling baitfish, each one trying to best the others for a spot atop the school and farthest from the gape of the feeding tarpon. I can see the fly land softly among the baitfish, and see it batted about in the chaos, then drift slowly below the school... a twitch, and then tension; a hookset, and then pure energy as the tarpon feels the bite of the hook point and vaults skyward, again and again. Line peels off the screaming reel...
Damn, winter blues.