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Fishing show host boats giant tarpon, asks not to be judged

A TV fishing show host has asked social-media followers to withhold judgement after sharing an image showing him posing with a massive tarpon that he landed recently off Colombia.

“BEFORE YOU JUDGE – PLEASE READ THE POST,” Paul Worsteling, of the Australia-based iFish TV, implored via Instagram.

Tarpon, known for their power and spectacular acrobatics, are listed globally as vulnerable. Most anglers release the “silver kings” whenever possible.

Worsteling, who was fishing out of Darien Lodge, said he casted a lure to the tarpon and fought the “beast” for two hours before it was alongside the boat.

“Unfortunately she fought to the death and could not be revived on the leader,” Worsteling bemoaned.

Worsteling added that tarpon, which range from Virginia to Brazil in the western Atlantic, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, are considered invasive in the Pacific off Colombia. (Their dispersal into the Pacific was via the Panama Canal.)

“The upside to this is Tarpon are an invasive species in Colombia and very much appreciated by the small local community we are staying with,” Worsteling stated Friday. “It’s been an afternoon of joy bringing the fish back and watching as the locals all come together to harvest and distribute the fish.”

Worsteling did not provide a length or weight of the tarpon.

The world record for tarpon, according to the International Game Fish Assn., stands at 286 pounds, 9 ounces. That gargantuan fish was caught in the Atlantic off Rubane, Guinea-Bissau, in 2003.

Story originally appeared on For The Win