How we caught a 220lb Monster Miami Tarpon while on a Fishing Charter.
The farmers moon had just made it way up the skyline illuminating the condos along the beach and we had found our first pods of finger mullet along the beach making there annual migration. The tide had switched and we marked hand fulls of Tarpon feeding heavily on the helpless mullet. Several Tarpon left the water in an Ariel display.
The rod buckled over in an intense run that didn’t stop dumping 200 yards of line off the reel into the night the fish ran. We had no idea how big this fish was at first. Usually the largest fish don’t jump as much as compared to the smaller juveniles.
The farmers moon had just made it way up the skyline illuminating the condos along miami beach and we had found our first pods of finger mullet along the beach making there annual mullet run along south the south Florida coast an annual migration.
The tide had switched and we marked hand fulls of Miami Tarpon feeding heavily on the helpless mullet. As we finished slipping out the last of the baits we thought it was fitting to play the song by queen “we are the champions” shortly after the silence of the night was interrupted by Several Tarpon leaping out of the water in an ariel display blasting mullet into the night sky.
Not long after One of our rods buckled over in an intense run that didn’t stop dumping 200 or more yards of braided line off the reel into the night the fish ran.
We had no idea how big this fish was at first. “Usually the largest fish don’t jump as much as compared to the smaller Tarpon” I said to my crew.
As we got closer we could see this was no ordinary Tarpon as it came up to the surface for its first gulp of air.
The fight drew on and the young thirteen year old had beads of sweat pouring down his face in agony he submitted to fatigue and passed over the rod to his friend Gavin thus eliminating any potential of an IGFA record.
However as he fight drew on and unfolded everyone submitted to the fish and had to pass the rod off to fresh arms.
Dad mom two kids and even myself all took turns to get the fish boat side.
The fish came along boats side and I put my hand over the lower jaw, it felt more like the size of a sledge hammer.
I tried foolishly to put my lip gripper on the lower jaw it didn’t even pass over the thinnest leading edge of his jaw. Although being really conservative I did want to say I thought it may be over to 200lb
We held it and put the boat in drive to support the weight of the fish and started to take photographs with the family.
We then turned out attention to quickly getting some size measurements.
87 long and 39 girth.
We revived the fish for what felt like 30 mins before the fish started to kick and burp some air out.
We sat around after the release in amazement of how large the fish was but really had no idea And It was not till we got back home and looked into the details of a few different size analysis charts, that we quickly realized that the fish was very close to some remarkable record sized once in a lifetime Tarpon.
we utilized the charts and work from “
A reliable game fish weight estimation model for Atlantic tarpon (Megalops atlanticus)” by
Jerald S. Ault∗, Jiangang Luo
University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science,
No question the photos show this fish size and girth was a monster and regardless of the size and weight the fish is north of 200lb. We will never know the actual weight and at the time everyone knew no question, it was huge but the last thing in our mind was killing the fish to weigh for a potential record. We all wanted to see this magnificent fish swim away healthy and not get eaten by sharks. We took a great deal of time with her. We focused on reviving the fish and getting it on the way.
Taking our time with the boat in idle pulling the fish head in mouth open full of flowing water until she could kick away healthy and strong a large burn of air billowed from the Tarpon the tail kicked hard and off she went.
All of us were in such an adrenaline high especially Reid his first Tarpon and a birthday surprise for sure. In addition a personal best for me as a guide and for the boat. What a night what a fish! Some how I think we are all bound together now as I don’t know when another fish of that size will show up for a birthday