A 20-year-old reportedly caught and released a tarpon this weekend off Cape Cod.
Hans Brings Jr., who studies marine biology at the University of Rhode Island, said Boston 25 News that he was fishing for sharks off a beach in Mashpee around 3am on Sunday when he caught something on his line.
“It took me about 20 to 30 minutes to reel in the catch and when I was in the water I saw some silver scales,” Brings Jr. told the news channel, noting the moment he realized it was at his catch was not a shark.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it, it was really amazing,” he told Boston 25.
The New England Aquarium confirmed to Boston.com that the fish is a tarpon in photos and video shared by Boston 25 News and on social media.
The nonprofit’s scientists “were surprised to see that this fish was caught off Cape Cod,” a spokesman wrote in an email. “It’s rare to see tarpon this far north, but not uncommon, as many marine species can expand their ranges as the ocean warms.”
Brings Jr. had told Boston 25 that the fish was about six feet long and called it “trophy size.”
The aquarium’s scientists couldn’t say for sure without seeing the fish, but said it was likely closer to 5 feet tall and not necessarily what they would describe as “trophy size.”
“One of our scientists, Dr. Nick Whitney, during his research on nurse sharks in the Florida Keys, saw many tarpons and said he would consider 4 to 5 feet to be the average size,” the spokesman noted.
Below are some of the photos and videos shared on social media:
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