It’s a fish tale that would be too difficult to believe if there weren’t photographic proof.
Nick Halloran, a 20-year-old Florida college student, landed a 6-foot tarpon estimated at 120 to 150 pounds from atop his paddleboard. The tarpon was comparable to Halloran, who is 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds.
The big fish pulled Halloran a mile down Sarasota Bay toward the ocean before tiring. At that point, Halloran reeled the tarpon up to his paddleboard and released it.
Thanks to local amateur photographer Roger Ierardi, Halloran has proof of the one-hour, 20-minute battle.
“It was one thing to just catch a tarpon on my paddleboard — and I’ve got a couple of good pictures from on the board with my GoPro — but to have a couple of third-person shots like that is unreal. It’s something a lot of people don’t have.”
The Sarasota Herald Tribune reported on the big catch and, thankfully, Ierardi is happy to share his photos of the man vs. fish battle he’ll never forget.
Ierardi lives across from the Sarasota Yacht Club and had seen Halloran fishing, so he started taking photos.
“Then I realized he was hooked into a big fish,” Ierardi told GrindTV Outdoor. “As soon as I took another picture, this tarpon came all the way out of the water. So I kept taking pictures. It took him into the yacht club dock area and then pulled him out to the middle of the channel. I can’t believe how he stayed up on that board.”