Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

PERSISTENCE PAYS First Wait Was for Tarpon; Now It's for Record

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

PERSISTENCE PAYS First Wait Was for Tarpon; Now It's for Record

Article excerpt

Twelve-year-old Kyle Johnston learned a few things about

tarpon this summer: 1) they are hard to catch; 2) they will

break your line and your heart; and 3) never trust a camera.

But probably the most lasting lesson absorbed by the Atlanta

seventh-grader is that if you persevere, you'll succeed, and

maybe even catch a pending world record. That's what young

Johnston did July 30, after almost a month of trying, within

sight of the condominium his family had leased on Amelia Island.

Kyle's tarpon, which easily bottomed out a 100-pound scale, has

been submitted as a pending world record in the International

Game Fish Association's new junior division. It would

comfortably surpass the heaviest catch -- a 60-pounder --

submitted to date in the IGFA's category for anglers 16 and

under.

"Kyle was smiling from ear to ear," said Stephen Johnston, the

boy's father. "He caught it on the last day we had to fish

before we had to go home. He's been fishing since he could hold

a rod, but this was his first trip for tarpon."

The record quest began the first week of July for the

Johnstons, who have vacationed at Amelia Island for years.

Stephen chose the IGFA's junior tarpon category, which was

vacant at the time, as a goal for his son. The rules governing

the junior category -- certified weight, measurements,

photographs, etc. -- are the same as those for adults with one

exception: The youngsters may weigh their catch aboard a boat.

Adults are required to weigh a potential record from solid

structure, i.e., not aboard a boat.

On his second day of fishing, at the Fernandina Beach inlet,

Kyle caught a 73-pound tarpon. A friend snapped the required

photographs aboard the boat, or at least thought he did.

Unbeknownst to the anglers, the automatic camera had timed-out,

cut itself off. …

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