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Giant Tarpon amongst IGFA hopefuls

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Guide Al Dopirak (l) and angler Thomas Evans (r) with the huge Tarpon Guide Al Dopirak (l) and angler Thomas Evans (r) with the huge Tarpon

A 194lb 8oz (80.28Kg) Tarpon is pending current ratification as an IGFA world line class record but has drawn some criticism due to the fishes death.

From the IGFA - Thomas M. Evans Jr. of Grafton, Vermont, USA, guided by Al Dopirak, landed a huge tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) on May 10 while fishing a brown toad fly off Pine Island, Florida, USA near Ft. Myers. This potential men’s 6 kg (12 lb) tippet record took two hours and ten minutes to land and weighed in at 88.22 kg (194 lb 8 oz). The current IGFA record is 177 lbs (80.28 kg) recorded off Homosassa, Florida in May, 1994.

While catching and landing any fish of this size, not least a tarpon, is an angling feat to be rightly applauded, questions have to be raised over the death of such a magnificent fish for the sake of the record books. Whilst we are not aware of the circumstances of the death, natural or otherwise, the IGFA's own website states "As it has for over 70 years, IGFA will continue to assist anglers, scientists and managers to help ensure that the game fish we cherish not only survive but proliferate for the enjoyment of future generations." This statement is obviously very hard to reconcile when mature long-lived game fish inparticular continue to be killed and ratified as records by the IGFA, especially when bodies such as the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust are working hard to conserve stocks and educate anglers on safe release methods.


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Comments (2 posted):

Frank Whiton on 26/06/2010 22:02:26
Hi Everyone, Here is a picture of the potentially new 12lb line weight record. I can't even verbalize just how bad this dead fish makes me feel. If any fish ever deserves to survive and live another day, it is our biggest fish. These fish don't come along very often and we can't keep killing them. Homosassa, Florida use to have the biggest Tarpon available in Florida. It was the spot to catch huge Tarpon on the fly. Sadly most of those big fish are gone and the fishery is nothing like it use to be. Frank
Rip Tide on 27/06/2010 16:14:51
Out our way people fish for blue fin tuna with the fly rod While "schoolie" sized fish are normally 20-100 lb. the all tackle record is nearly 1500 lb, or 5 times larger than a record tarpon. Due to their incredible value on the Japanese market, blue fins are rarely released and many "anglers" fish for them just to make their boat payments. It's sick really
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