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Fishermen catch titanic tarpon in South Carolina

Large tarpon caught on Folly (Dustin Mohr)

A trio of local fishermen spent two hours reeling in a fish so big, it drew a massive crowd to the shores of Folly Beach.

Kevin Kaylor says he and his friends make it out to Folly almost every weekend. This past Sunday they were hoping to snag some King Mackerel using live hardtail as bait.

Instead, Kaylor hooked a tarpon, and while it was big enough to draw a huge crowd, he says the fish was actually small for it's kind.

"You never know what you're going to catch out there," Kaylor said. "The slow days are worth it when you have a day like Sunday."

Kaylor was being humble. He estimated their catch as being about 70 inches long, weighing between 80 and 100 pounds.

According to information from the SC Department of Natural Resources, a tarpon's average size is 40-60 inches and 40-60 pounds The South Carolina State Record was set in 1987 with a fish weighing 154 pounds 10 ounces.

He said he and his friends, William and Chad, started the fish fight at the pier but ended up a few blocks down. He said it took about two hours "from strike to release."

Video courtesy of Dustin Mohr:

A large crowd amassed around the men as they brought the fish in, capturing the moment on their phones.

After hauling the tarpon in, the fishermen went right back into the water with it, reviving it and swimming along with it until it was strong enough to swim off on its own.

"I wish there was video of the release," Kaylor commented on his Facebook post. "I got to swim out with it 'til it was strong enough [to] swim alone. [It] was badass [to} feel its power."

Kaylor said a few people got upset that he wanted to release his catch so quickly but the safety of the fish was more important than social media posts.

According to DNR, there are no size limits on tarpon and fishermen can take one a day.

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