Posts Tagged ‘Bluefin Kill Days’

Last week my wife Lisa & I travelled to Nova Scotia to fish the 2 harvest days of the giant bluefin season. We were fishing with our good friends Jay & Candace Meyer, Keith Lebrun and Clay Hensley. Our guide for the trip was world-renowned captain James Roberts. The main goal was to try to catch Candace the women’s 130# world record (1170#), and with Nova Scotia experiencing their best tuna season in 10 years,  everyone onboard was confident that we had a good chance. To make sure we were on the fishing grounds for the 6am start, we left Ballantynes cove around 4am in very cold conditions but our foul weather gear provided by Pelagic kept us warm. By the time we arrived the majority of the fleet was already there ready to go.


"Got Her On"

"Got him on"


It wasn’t long after the first bait hit the water and we were on. Candace fought the fish to the boat in under 5 mins. It turned out to be a porbeagle shark, not the target species but a good warm-up anyway. By now the radio was abuzz with boats hooking up and fighting fish all around us. The sun was just starting to makes its way over the horizon when we got our second bite for the day. This time it was the right species, the fish pulled us around for ten minutes before we broke the leader. A little disappointed we set up our drift, put the baits out and patiently waited for another bite.

By now the sun was up and we were watching boats fight fish all around us. Because your only fishing in around 100ft of water the fish can’t go deep. Instead they make big long runs across the surface and seem to fight more like a big marlin than a big tuna. Your also sharing the fishing grounds with the herring net boats.O ne of the herring boats pulled up alongside us and started to haul in their net. James told us all to watch the net” Their starting to ring the dinner bell”. We all watched in amazement as 800# – 1000# giants starting busting on the surface, eating the herring that were falling out of the net. My knees were trembling, as this was one of the most incredible sites I have ever seen in all my years on the water.


Towing home the 803#


There was such a good morning bite going on that more than half the boats were already on their way back to port with their fish. Canadian fisheries rules state that once you catch a fish you must cease fishing and return to port. Back on our boat we decided to put the kite up and it wasn’t long before we had a couple of big fish boil on the bait but they wouldn’t eat it. A short while later the deep bait got bit and we were on again. Candace jumped in the chair and this time she brought the fish to the boat in under 10 mins. I only got a quick pull on the leader before the fish bolted and made a short run before pulling the hook. Once again we were a little disappointed but it wasn’t the fish we were looking for.

By now there was only a few of us left on the grounds but we still had plenty of time left to catch one. Luckily it didn’t take long for us to get another bite. This time the fish was well hooked and in a little over an hour Candace had the fish alongside the boat and we started heading back to port to weigh our fish.  We knew it wasn’t big enough for the record but it was a nice one all the same. Back in Ballantyne’s Cove there were some big fish being weighed. The fleet caught over 30 fish for the day with an average weight of 800#. You have to weigh your fish in the order in which you caught it, and seeing we were one of the last boats we had to wait until 1am to weigh our fish. The big tuna pulled the scale down to 803# and we were all very happy with our catch. Big congrats to Candace on her personal best giant bluefin tuna.


803# Giant Bluefin Tuna

803# Giant Bluefin Tuna


After everyone quickly grabbed a few hours sleep we were on our way back to the fishing grounds. Well day 2 started out a little slower but what the fleet lacked in quantity they made up for in quality. We only had one bite for the day but it was the one we wanted. Keith was up in the chair and considering it was his first time he did a great job. By the way the fish was fighting against the heavy drag we knew it was bigger than the previous days fish. With some skillful boat driving from Heyman we had the fish alongside in just over an hour, tied her of and started making our way back to Ballantynes Cove. The fish had more girth than the 803# but it’s still hard to judge the weight when their in the water.


1018# Giant Bluefin Tuna


As we tied up we saw a 1217# Giant being weighed! It was the biggest fish weighed over the 2 days and it looked like a Volkswagen with wings. The next boat in line had another big fish over the 1000# mark. Our fish looked pretty big when we started hoisting her up, the scale eventually settling on 1018#! Everyone was stoked, especially Keith. Not bad for his first time in the chair, well done mate! I found out later there were 15 giants weighed over a 1000# on the second day.

This trip also gave me the chance to try out my new line of Obadu wiring gloves that will be available this winter. They performed better than I expected. I trialed the medium weight’s and they seemed to work well with the 250#-350# leader.

It was an amazing fishing trip and I hope I get the chance to do it again some day. Thanks to James Roberts and Darrell ‘Heyman’ Neary for putting us on the fish.