Giant Tarpon amongst IGFA hopefuls
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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