Now We Got Him
Giant Blue fin Tuna fishing can kick your ass, and drive your sense good judgment into a weakened state. Not so much for the fear of economic loss if the tuna gets away, but because when you fight big tuna.......it becomes personal!....mano y mano....a primitive vein of ancient ancestors comes out. The will to win.
While on a three day tear for giants, we had caught one small 325 LB...returned it to the dock ..were compensated, grabbed some sleep and headed back out to where trolling was the key.
If you ever witness a 500+ LB bluefin crashing a squidder bar, you will be in the same boat as me......blessed! It happens as if things were really smaller than they are. Maybe more like trolling a rapala for trout.....but this is not any trout. I was in the tuna tower when I saw it. I know some appropriate medical tests for heart failure would prove out that mine stopped for a bit, that very moment. Our reactions were quick and purposeful. The fish was locked...rod manned...boat in gear. I fought the fish. I realize as the process continued, just how weak we really are compared to this incredible swimming behemoth. Without the gearing of these fluid reels and powerful rods. Without the big, twin screws 36' vessel. Without the harpoons and gaffs and ropes and on and on. Without all those things, if left to bare fist it with this creature that we DARE to challenge, we would be cast aside like a piece of seaweed and left to swirl in the current of its
The diesel smell brought me back to the reality of all those devices here for our benefit ...and so we used them. I fell into the flow of the
fight as quick as I ever had and I can say that I used that 130 as efficiently as I ever did...rarely did that fish gain an inch on me without
me taking it back on its first pause. Twenty minutes had it boat side. We made it look easy.........until the miss.
As the Capt. maneuvered the boat the mate went back to stick the fish with the harpoon, followed by the traditional gaffs and tailropes. I was completely composed. Unfortunately that came out to mean the same as relaxed! When the fish was in perfect range after doing the "circle of death dance" ..he tossed the harpoon and MISSED. The blade scored the monsters back and the fish rocketed from the side of the boat to an instantaneous 50 mph dash....with me still connected to it, relaxed. The straps held. Because he reared me in the seat like a jockey on a horse. Without the belts I would have easily soared 50 ft out into the sea. The fight was renewed and the additional 30 minutes put a good hurting on me. The final attempt at freedom was a blue fin sounding and the gear whined like a violin at the back of the boat ......straight down. I had the drag up as high as I felt comfortable but raising the fish seemed impossible. Little by little. Half Cranks. Finally... Color. At this point the assignments changed. The still furious Capt. told the mate to take the helm and he manned the harpoon. At this junction we enter that phase of giant fishing that I had spoke about... Mano Y Mano....The will to win. My quad muscles showed the power I put behind raising this fish into harpoon range. But the fish knew what would happen if it got closer. Its determination to stay down was mind boggling and back breaking.
The Capt. was becoming anxious but he knew how sincere my effort was and was willing to let me make the moves. Suddenly........it just
overwhelmed him. The fish was approximately 5 feet under the water. The Capt. leaped off the back of the boat, with the harpoon in both hands over his head and as I saw him begin to enter the water, he thrust the harpoon downward with all his might and from my view in the fighting chair...he was gone! The harpoon line whistled off the deck and amidst all this incredible fury, I heard a line I will never forget.........Head above water, the Capt. said...Now We Got Him....and we did....560lb. Believe it.....or not!
This photo was a 728 lber!