MASHPEE, Mass. — A local college student hauled in a massive tarpon during a recent fishing expedition in the water off Cape Cod.
Hans Brings Jr., 20, snagged the “trophy size” tarpon at a beach in Mashpee, his father, Hans Brings, told Boston 25 News.
“I could not believe my eyes when I saw it, it was truly incredible,” Brings Jr. said.
Brings said tarpons are typically about three feet in length but the one his son caught measured around six feet in length.
“My understanding is that not only are tarpons rarely found north of the Carolinas but a tarpon over five feet is considered a trophy fish, even in Florida,” Brings explained.
Brings Jr., a 2021 graduate of Xaverian Brothers High School and a current marine biology major at the University of Rhode Island, shared multiple videos of himself posing next to the extraordinary fish.
“It was the best fishing day of my life and it’ll be hard to top in the future,” Brings Jr. said.
One of the videos showed Brings Jr. in the sand next to the tarpon, which appeared to be similar to the length of his body.
In a statement, the New England Aquarium said its scientists were surprised to learn that this particular fish was caught off the Cape.
“It’s rare to see tarpon this far north though not unheard of, given how many marine species are able to extend their range as the ocean warms,” an Aquarium spokesperson said.
The Aquarium stopped short of calling the tarpon “trophy size,” noting that scientific observations in the Florida Keys have found that a three-foot tarpon is “very small, rather than average.”
Brings Jr. ultimately released the tarpon back into the ocean.
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