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'The Kingfish King,'' Gene Turner
By TERRY TOMALIN, Times Outdoors Writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 5, 2000
West Coast anglers owe this man a debt of gratitude for spending a decade fighting to protect the state's migrating schools of king mackerel from large-scale commercial exploitation.
Turner, a former boat builder for St. Pete Beach, was a conservationist before conservation was cool. The Old Salt, known locally as "Mr. Kingfish," has taught more than one tournament fisherman how to hook the really big kings, or "smokers," on their spring and fall runs up and down the Suncoast.
"The day has passed when you could go out and help yourself," Turner once told the Times. "We've got to realize that we need to leave some for everybody else. These young ones have got to have something to catch."
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