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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
NEW VIDEO ADDED:

I just got back from NC after fishing with my buddy, Capt Mike Marro. Mike normally fishes out of my harbor in Clinton, CT. In the winters he runs a boat, a 36' Downeast called the "Nighthawk" down in Beaufort, NC (Morehead City).

I've gone down with my fishing friend, 360Tuna member "FFoley" for the past 3 years, and every year Capt Mike puts us on a Giant Tuna. Obviously the fishing style isn't Jigging or Poppin, but it's totally amazing nonetheless. Just about everyone trolls Ballyhoo (Horse) covered with an Islander or Joe Shute Lure. They cover the water column from top to bottom (with planers)

The bite has been all but dead this year. The fish normally show up in late Nov/early Dec. and is shut down on Jan. 31st.. Some guys go the whole season without a fish, and the best boats can get up to 15 fish. Thus far this year, I think the most fish caught has been 3 or 4. Capt Mike now has 3. With only 2 weeks left in the season, most of the boats are really hurting financially, with some pulling the plug and heading back home to cut their loses.

Frank and I arrived late Sunday night and met Capt Mike at 3:30AM Monday morning. The seas where big and some boats stayed back at the dock. The run from the inlet to the grounds was something like 25 miles. We fished all day and didn't have a knock down. In fact, the entire fleet of boats had nothing to report.

We took Tuesday off but heard of no fish again, nobody even had a knockdown. We went out again Wed. with the same results.

On Thursday we went back at it, troll troll troll, the only report was one pulled hook. Lots of long faces.

At about 9AM all hell broke lose. In about 100' of water the deep planer goes off. At 40lbs of drag the line was coming off the Shimano 130 at a rate I've never seen. 100 yards, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700 yard and running.................. We clear the planers and other rods and Capt Mike realizes he has no choice but to spin the boat and head toward the fish at full throttle.

By the time he gets the boat turned, we had less than 25' of line left on the reel. The gold from the reel arbor was in full view !!

Mike heads toward the fish with a huge bow in the 800+ yards of line, and probably well over 100 lbs of drag on the fish. We take turns on the Shimano 130 pulling the line with our left hand and cranking with the right. Mike's young mate, Blake Conlin did the lions share of the cranking while Frank and I cleared the cockpit and tended the video camera.

After 60 minutes the fish breaches with its head out of the water.........there was a collective.........."oh $HIT.....she's HUGE !!".

She remained just out of harpoon range for another 30 minutes. Finally we had a poon shot, and Capt Mike throws it and then yells out......"I barely stuck her....we're in trouble !". He gingerly pulls her toward the boat and I get a gaff in her head. I don't know how I didn't get pulled over. Gaff #2 by Frank and we then bring her around the boat toward the Tuna door.........

We pull like crazy only to realize the fish is too big to fit thru. We have to turn her on her belly a bit to get her through. We all lay there in awe and in silence for a few minutes all in amazement. She gets bleed, gutted and iced......then on to the fish house.

She get's measured at 109", and weighed gutted, gilled and bleed at 671lbs... Intact that's probably close to 750 lbs !! A few guys said this fish was the biggest ever brought into Morehead City. The NC State recreational record is 744lbs.. (ours wouldn't count since it's commercial fishing)

Anyway, from what I've since learned, those enormous Chatham, MA fish are not the same body of fish that winter over off NC. The NC fish go to breed in the Meditterean, while the Chatham fish go to the Gulf of Mexico.

She's now on her way to Japan to be sold at auction.

Enjoy the pics:



 

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WOW!!! What a monster, I wonder one day someone from 360tuna will catch one like that with jigging setup!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
WOW!!! What a monster, I wonder one day someone from 360tuna will catch one like that with jigging setup!!


After seeing the power of this fish, I would have to say no. When the fish hit it was on 40lbs of drag. As the spool went down and nearly 800 yards later I would think the drag would be more than double that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The video in the first post is edited, less vulgar, and shows more of the whole experience.

Vid #2 above is raw, but exciting nonetheless.


Bret: Make me an OTI Giant Tuna rod and I'll fish it down there next year. : )
 
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