What is The World Record Tarpon?

world record tarpon

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The world record Tarpon stands at an astonishing 286 lb 9 oz. This mega catch was achieved by Max Domecq, who hooked this behemoth using a live mullet on an 80 lb line. The venue? None other than Rubane, Guinea-Bissau, a prime spot known for its giant tarpon.

What’s The Story Behind This World Record Tarpon?

Max Domecq inked his name in the history books on March 20, 2003. Assisted by Captain Patrick Sebile, Domecq reeled in this monstrous fish after it bit a live mullet off the coast of Rubane. The fight was epic, lasting a little over an hour—64 minutes to be precise.

Story Behind This Record Tarpon
Image Source: SportFishingMag.com

The record-breaking tarpon measured an incredible 90 inches in length and had a girth of 50 inches. When you see the image of the world record tarpon being officially weighed, you can’t help but marvel at the sheer size of this catch.

About Tarpon

Known as the silver king of the sea, Tarpons inhabit the warm subtropical and tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Most commonly found around the Caribbean and the West Coast of Africa, these fish have an impressive ability to gulp air, enabling them to thrive in brackish water and low-oxygen environments.

Tarpons mature slowly, reaching sexual maturity around six or seven years of age, typically measuring around 4 feet. With their age in mind, remember to handle these magnificent creatures with care when releasing them back into the water.

Interestingly, despite being predominantly Atlantic species, Tarpons are now making appearances in the Pacific, particularly around Colombia and Panama. The Panama Canal seems to be their preferred route from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Where Else Have Record Tarpon Been Caught?

florida USA

From Bahia Solano in Colombia to the state of Florida in the USA, and Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela, record-breaking Tarpons have been hooked in several locations worldwide. Even in places like Nicaragua, where no record has been set yet, potential record-breaking Tarpons have been caught and released.

See the IGFA Record here.


Catching a world-record Tarpon is a feat that requires skill, patience, and a bit of luck. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner, the thrill of hooking a Tarpon is unparalleled. So, get your gear ready, cast your line, and you might just reel in the catch of a lifetime!

If you’re looking to learn more about fly fishing and how to improve your skills, don’t forget to download our series of fly fishing books below. Happy fishing!

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