Reports are coming in that three anglers out of Rio Indio Lodge in Nicaragua just caught a world record 9ft2in (48in girth) tarpon. Is this just a fishing story or is it real, let’s discuss.
Sportfishing Magazine caught up with one of the anglers after reports started trickling in that a potential world record tarpon had been released.
One of the largest tarpon ever caught on rod-and-reel, and possibly the largest, was released off Nicaragua’s Rio Indio last month.
Sport Fishing has learned that “a party of three old men” — as one of the anglers, Bill Brannan, tells SF — “hooked a very large tarpon.”
How large became evident only after a fight lasting more than two hours when the group (Brannan, Jere Bruning and Fred Roguske, along with Rio Indio Lodge guide Rito Espinosa) was able to maneuver the fish alongside the boat.
“Luckily, Fred had a 10-foot tape,” Brannan says. “The tarpon was 9 feet, 2 inches long, with a girth of 48 inches. I told Fred that nobody’s going to believe this!
“Fred admitted that he’s not a good judge of weight, but as owner of Lake Country Replicas (which makes fish replica mounts), he darn well knows how to measure a fish.”
So how heavy is a 110-inch (total length) tarpon? There is no precise answer but it’s certainly substantially heavier than the all-tackle world record, a massive 286 pounds, 9 ounces caught in 2003 off Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. That fish measured just over 90 inches to the fork. A 110-inch total length probably suggests a 102-inch fork length, Roguske surmises. The current record did have a 50-inch girth, so it was a bit fatter fish. But still, it measured a foot less, and thoughts of a tarpon well over 300 pounds seem possible.
So, a possible 9ft2in 300-pound world record tarpon was released and the current world record remains intact? Is that a shame? Methinks so, but at the same time this fish was as apex of a predator as any other in the ocean and deserved to live out his days swimming around.
The current world record tarpon is less than 11 years old, coming in at 286lb 9oz, caught in March of 2003 in Rubane, Guinea-Bissau. So a tarpon over 300 pounds would have demolished the record (relatively speaking).
Local guides and other fishing lodge owners in Nicaragua are wasting no time giving their two cents on the supposed historic catch:
We can forgive the grammar and rambling because English obviously isn’t the first language spoken in Nicaragua, but it is encouraging to see a competitor swoop in to corroborate the catch.
Because I actually have nothing better to do with my time than follow this developing story closely I’ll be continuing to update with any new news as it comes out.
For more fishing and outdoors related content you can follow me on Twitter HERE, and if you have any tips for me or the site you can tweet them at me there!