On this page, you’ll find the current world, state, and country records for biggest tarpon caught with line and hook.
[Page updated: 25 September 2019]
World Tarpon Record – Biggest Ever Registered
About 90-inches-long (7.5 ft.) from the nose to the fork in the tail, and 50-inches in girth, the biggest tarpon ever caught and registered as a world record was caught off the coast of West Africa just offshore in Guinea – Bissau on the Atlantic coast. The gigantic world record tarpon weighed 286-lbs 9-ounces and was caught on March 20, 2003, by lucky angler Max Domecq. Max is a citizen of France. The fishing guide that brilliant day was Captain Patrick Sebile. Max used a live mullet on a 50-lb test line. His first tarpon bite ever was this massive world-record fish! Max fought the fish for just over an hour (64 minutes)
Since then there have been at least two other fish which might have far exceeded that length and weight.
Potential World Record in Nicaragua
One was caught in Nicaragua at Rio Indio and was 9′ 2″ long and 48″ around in girth. That’s 110 inches long vs 90 of the current world record! Unfortunately, the anglers had no way to officially weigh the fish, but they did take good measurements. So, there are 9 foot-long tarpon out there, at least in South America!
Potential World Record in Florida
On June 24, 2013 angler Jan Tombl was on a boat off the Anna Maria Island Beaches with a full boat of paying clients and guides. He got a bite as they were ready to head home after catching many big 150 lb. range tarpon. Four anglers took turns over 90 minutes to catch this massive fish, hooked in the top jaw. When they brought it to the boat, they took a video of holding up a 9-foot fishing rod next to the huge tarpon. It was about 8 feet in length. Then they measured the girth at 53 inches around.
Tombl’s massive tarpon was pulled in on 65-lb. Power Pro braided line.
Alabama Tarpon Record
Tarpon Same Billy Wildberger Mobile, AL 8/15/92 203lbs 0oz
Florida Tarpon Record
The Florida state record for tarpon caught with conventional tackle is 243 pounds, caught by Gus Bell in Key West in 1975 on just 20-pound test line. The guide was Captain Bob West who also guided two other anglers to Florida records that have since been broken.
Georgia Tarpon Record
Georgia lists both male and female tarpon records, so we include them both here. Mr. C. Edwards caught the Georgia record tarpon in 1995 and it was 161 lbs. Ms. Wendy Mead landed the women’s record tarpon for Georgia and it was 139 lb.
Louisiana Tarpon Record
On October 15, 2015, a very lucky angler, David Prevost, broke the 22-year-old Louisiana Tarpon Record with his catch of 246.1 lbs. David and another angler were fishing together off Grand Isle, Louisiana when the fish was landed.
Previously the record was held for over two decades by Thomas Gibson who pulled a 230 lb. tarpon out of the ocean in August of 1993.
North Carolina Tarpon Record
On September 17, 2008, Malcolm Condie, a resident of Borad Creek was fishing the Sea View Pier down at North Topsail and had a fantastic day, landing the biggest tarpon fish ever for the state of North Carolina. Like some other record holders from around the world, Malcolm wasn’t fishing for tarpon, he was aiming for King Mackeral. He set up his fishing rig on the end of the pier and sat and waited. Just after noon, he got a big bite and it took off about 300 yards of line.
Four guys helped him drag the fish into the bed of his truck, and he went to the official scale to have it weighed. Turns out, the big tarpon was 193 lbs. 5-oz., beating the previous North Carolina state tarpon record by 18 lbs. The length was 89 inches and the girth 42 inches.
South Carolina Tarpon Record
The South Carolina record for biggest tarpon was set by someone with the initials SB Kiser. That, is, unfortunately, all the info I could find about the record holder. If anyone has more info – or if YOU are SB Kiser, let me know! The tarpon was caught in Hilton Head, S.C. in 1987. Which month and day? No idea. The big tarpon weighed 154 lbs. 10-oz.
Texas Tarpon Record
Jeremy Ebert, 25, wasn’t even fishing for tarpon, he was targeting redfish when he hooked and eventually landed after 45-minutes, a large 210 lb. 11-oz. tarpon just off the Galveston Fishing Pier. The big tarpon stripped about 300 yards of line off his reel and it took him a while to get the fish back in range. When he did, about six other anglers helped him net the beast.
Virginia Tarpon Record
In 1975, fisherman Barry Truitt was fishing Off Oyster and caught a large 130 lb. tarpon in Virginia for the state tarpon record.
NOTE – Delaware, New York, New Jersey didn’t have records… which is a bit odd since tarpon are known to be found as high as Nova Scotia in Canada.