150lb+ Yellowfin Tuna I shot 19.10.14

  • Yeah Dan it already was clear, some more experienced guys are saying 180-200lb I still say 150, but if it were a 200lb'er without a second set of floats hooked up I don't think I would have seen my gear again anyway. Watching it in high quality slomo I can with 99% certainty say the shooting line sawed through the fish when it sounded.
    @Treebilly the story is written out on the video intro

    A bad day at sea is better than a good day in the boatyard
    George Steele

  • I could post the full video here but it has a LOT of swearing and shouting maybe even some crying [emoji22]

    A bad day at sea is better than a good day in the boatyard
    George Steele

  • Dude - I followed this story on fb but still think the full story would help in putting this incredible opportunity in better light. I saw you and at least one other spearo in the very clear water while you were chumming while cutting up a small fish but it would be great if you could tell us where you were, why you anticipated a Tuna (obviously you were), had you seen a bait ball with Tuna jumping, birds working, Dolphin on a bait ball? Had to be a reason for you to anticipate a YFT would come to your chum. Whole story please. :confused1:

  • Hey Oscar, we have lots of FADS in Antigua... sadly nearly all are illegally set by french fishermen from the neighboring island of Guadeloupe. They have fished out their waters, and due to our ineffectual almost none existent coast guard, they feel they can illegally fish freely in our waters.
    Truth is FADS change pelagic fish migratory patterns and behavior and not in a good way. We used to be able to fish our ledges and drop offs in Antigua and catch monster fish, now we have to travel many miles to the FADS to find where the fish are. This has severely affected our local fishermen and put more pressure on our near shore species as the Fisher folk can't find the pelagics as easily as before.
    Lots of FADS offshore but which one to find the tuna at? That's where luck, sharing information and some intuitive guessing plays a part. Had a friend who was visiting his dad in Antigua and had acess to a small 21ft pirogue boat with a single 40hp on the back [emoji1]! and wanted to try Bluewater for the first time, we had glass calm water after being hit by a hurricane the week before and decided to make the run. We averaged 20K running out, lots of big flying fish but no bird action and no bait balls, wasn't looking good...I had chosen one of the far FADS located 40 miles from where we started out.
    This was my first time going into the blue on a purely spearfishing mission, I have always had to tag along with the H&L boys and get into the water at their schedule and pace, grateful for any opportunity at pelagics mind you, I am not complaining...lol.
    Anyway got to the FAD and no action whatsoever! My buddy and his brother who was driving said let's move on, I said no, I have a feeling about here. Now from here on in I am vague, blood sweet and tears figuring out fishing techniques to be effective [emoji6] but I will say where you start is important.
    This was the christening of a gun I had purposely built for this exact moment, my Koah 70 inch rear handle, 11/32 custom mori shaft, 5 band tuna slayer(irony will pop its head up). So with two bands loaded I fired the gun for the first time on a small rainbow runner and it was dead accurate, sadly I was less so, that much gun just can't track on small moving fish very well nor is it meant to I suppose...lol. I put the rainbow in my dive belt and tried to coach my buddy on shooting a few 10lb mahi that had shown up on cue, my cue. He made a mess of it and provided me with much laughter [emoji1] ,I stopped laughing when he couldn't load my four band gyn, even after much coaching on the technique, so every time he fired I had to load for him [emoji20] . Tiny 12-14 lb wahoo came nosing in and I gave him a pass to let my buddy get his grove on but he was struggling with the gun, so I tried out the range on my new monster, it had insane range but was difficult to track so I missed big time, but I was having a ball in the 100ft visibility and the beauty of the moment.
    By then we were where I wanted to try to get a shot at tuna if they were to be seen. I started scaling the rainbow with the serrated side of my knife which also gets flesh into the mix, this gets a visual and sent trail going, also it congregates the small fish that would tear apart any real chum chunks long before they got into the current and feeding line of big fish. Soon as I had them confused I started cutting big chunks and throwing them out away from the small piranhas! The chunks I watch like a hawk [emoji6] my buddy was again trying to load his gun after missing a rainbow runner.
    From about 100 ft down I noticed a big shadow and immediately started pumping down as fast as I could, I knew that profile and I knew its destination! He was coming up at about 40 mph and I was almost on top of him by the time I got to 35-40, I have lost big fish before because I didn't get close enough with my four band gun, and the shaft did not have enough momentum to penetrate the fish. I was determined to not have that happen on a fish I could clearly see was over a 100lbs. My mind has this trick it plays on me, where giant fish like 400lb marlin just don't look so big to me in the water, buddies always laughing at me when I say I just shot a small wahoo and I plop on the deck a 50lb fish...lol. but seriously I suck at seeing big fish as big! But tuna are awesome because the size of their Sickles tell you fairly accurately how big they are, and this fellow had some proper Sickles on him! So I waited till we were very very close and while still kicking and trying to track his head swaying from side to side, with 5bands loaded, I went for kill shot to the head. The ironic part is now, experienced guys are saying 180 - 200lb I still say 150, but anyway the blasted shaft went through the head a bit to the left side of the tuna as it started to roll away from me, and blasted out the other side well over ten feet! Gun was 2 powerful at such close range and strung the bloody fish! It sounded hard and the friction of the shooting line sawed through the fish allowing it to get off [emoji22] . Pity I had to learn about my gun on the fish of a lifetime and not some other stupid fish I will never remember, woke up sweating last night dreaming about that fish, it will affect me for a long time... but that is all part of gaining experience and improving.
    Edit: No part of my gear failed, everything worked as expected, all my running gear i build myself from scratch... trust me it wont fail!
    We ended up with several small dolphin fish, a few rainbows and a nice cero.

    A bad day at sea is better than a good day in the boatyard
    George Steele

    Edited 2 times, last by Dude george ().

  • Dan, you notice the condition of the floats after being taken down hard? A little compression but in plenty good shape with lots of buoyancy!
    Dan I build my gear, nothing will ever fail ;) I even redo my slip tips and splice them myself.

    hank :laughing: it is a lot of swearing :@:D
    @Monster thrilling to the bone but the heartbreak my friend, the heartbreak! :(

    A bad day at sea is better than a good day in the boatyard
    George Steele

  • @ Marco, thanks for the kind words bro.
    I think I had the right gun for this fish [emoji6]
    Most times in Antigua the yellowfin won't let you close so a gun that can shoot at range and still penetrate is what I needed, this time it was the wrong situation for this tool.

  • I know that epic video very well teaspoon, sadly the big ones will be gone very soon and the weather has changed... but next year I will be at them hard! Wahoo season is about to start and it's time to chase the 100lb'ers [emoji4]

    A bad day at sea is better than a good day in the boatyard
    George Steele

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