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Extremely Rare Golden Tarpon Caught in Florida

All images via Patrick Dineen

Catching a golden tarpon is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. 

16-year-old Will Chapman was fishing with professional fishing guide, Capt. Patrick Dineen of Flyliner Charters when something almost unimaginable happened. While fishing on the bottom for some deep running tarpon, Dineen hooked into a big one. Almost immediately, he handed the rod off to Chapman for the fight. That is when things got interesting.

"The fish were down on the bottom so we were fishing deep. When we hooked it I didn't think much of it and it didn't jump right away," Dineen said in an interview. "The bite was on my rod, so I handed it to Will. We tried for a minute to hook another while the fish ran."


Eventually, the ultra-rare tarpon made a jump and that is when Dineen realized they had something special.

"We did not realize the fish was different until halfway through the 20-minute fight," Mark Chapman said, Will's father in the same interview. "Will said the fish looked like a giant koi. It was absolutely beautiful once he got him near the boat, the tips of his pectoral fins were lit up bright blue similar to a pelagic."


Dineen has caught thousands of tarpon off the coast of Florida but catching a golden tarpon will go down as one he will never forget.

"Wherever the pigmentation was, it was golden," he said. "All the silver parts were almost white. It was a captivating type of fish. My God, was it beautiful."


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Extremely Rare Golden Tarpon Caught in Florida