World Record Tarpon (Oxeye, Megalops Cyprinoides)

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Dated: 1st April 2007
Location: Australia/Western Australia /Pilbara Region/Karratha-Dampier
From our Karratha-Dampier Fishing Correspondent Barra_On_Fly
World Record Tarpon (Oxeye, Megalops Cyprinoides)World Record Tarpon (Oxeye, Megalops Cyprinoides)
The day was supposed to be a Nickol Bay Sportfishing Club bream comp with a social presentation barbecue afterwards. It was confined to the Hampton Harbour and was lure only, with the usual sport/game fishing rules to be adhered to.

I was fishing with Anthony La Tosa out of my relatively new 5 metre Xtreme side console. The plan of attack was to fish the falling tide on the western side of the harbour along the rocks of East Intercourse Island using small hard body and soft plastics, fairly basic and common amongst the other boats from the club. The fishing was quite slow with Tony landing our only bream. We therefore decided to head towards Parker Point on the eastern side near the power station outlet for fun rather than target one species specifically. I was very happy that we did!

As we approached the area we could see fish chopping up regularly in about a two hundred metre radius, initially thinking they were only small Queenfish, we noticed bigger fish tailing and porpoising. Identifying them as Tarpon (Oxeye, Megalops Cyprinoides) we knew that the one to four kilo line class world records were open.

It was decided that one would fish and the other drive the boat to give maximum chance to land the potential world record, with the driver then netting the fish and keeping the boat off the rocks.

Tony was up first, using one kilo line and a Halco Scorpion 35 that we had been using for bream. After hooking up and losing several of these incredibly aerial acrobats, he was solid with a fish and within twenty minutes we landed a 1.82 kilo model.

By this time however the fish were getting a little “spooked”, as quiet as my four stroke is, in around a metre of water, with a strengthening wind resulting in repeated incursions to get close enough to cast, it was becoming apparent that I had to take a different approach. It was time to change to soft plastic with a small lead head to give me some casting range.

I tied on a Tropic Angler 6.5 cm SWIK with my favourite bream/ jacks “gold glitter pearl” colour and cast well into the surfacing school. These soft plastics have a couple of cut outs on the tail which make it respond remarkably on the drop and within seconds was hooked up, only to see the barbless hook get thrown after a series of wild cart wheeling jumps! These fish are nothing if not spectacular!

Within a couple of casts I had hooked up again with a Tarpon as there had been a race between them and the Queenies as to who could nail it first. With a very light drag and a softly, softly approach to try and stop it from jumping it took another 20 odd minutes of letting the fish do what it wanted to, Tony slipped the net under it and brought it into the boat.

At 1.7 kilos it was no metre barra or a grander marlin, but I can tell you we were both very happy indeed. Incredibly these two records were caught within site of the public ramp in Dampier and a NBSFC Weighmaster watching us out of his office window!

Post script. Tony’s one kilo line (borrowed) broke over putting him into the two kilo line class; however we both received certificates with mine now being the retired world record and his is the current line class world record.