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Holding onto the rod for life

This is a story of the One that did not get away

BY Julian White – JUNE 2011

I recently had the opportunity to go out tuna fishing with a couple of clients and it was surely a memorable day out. The day started early with a fresh 5.15 am launch from Harbour Island. We had a few first timers on the boat with us and we wanted to get some decent fish so off we went in search for a few yellow fin tuna. We had heard some good reports of fish landed in the west so that was our destination for the day.

As we arrived at our spot we noticed a few pole boats working the area so we knew the long fin would be around. We put our back lines in and it wasn't long before for the first reel screamed. With that little scream I wish I had the camera ready to show you the expressions on some of the boy's faces. After a short fight the first long fin was landed. We carried on with the same tactic and we landed another long fin. We then decided that we wanted to find the yellow fin rather so off we went more to west in search of them. A little over the straights I saw some nice marks on the echo and we decided to stop and bait and it wasn't long before the first yellow fin took. Maurice Habets was the lucky angler and you can imagine his excitement when he felt the weight on the rod and then the fish started peeling line off the reel, which added to his experience. After a couple of coaching tips and a 1 hour 15 minute fight Maurice had landed his first yellow fin tuna.

We stayed at the same spot as we kept getting good marks under the boat and landed nice long fin in 20/25kg class. We caught most of our long fin on 10kg spinning outfits, which accounted for some excellent fights on the light tackle. It was during all this excitement that the 2nd yellow fin took the baited hook and off it went! At this stage we asked who wanted this fight and believe it or not but Maurice was up for this fight again. This time he said he knew what to expect and was ready for the beast. I stood next to him when the line was peeling off the reel and said to myself this is a better fish but wasn't going to tell Maurice. After a decent 1 hour 30 min fight we had the fish close to the boat and we could see it was a proper yellow fin.

At this stage Maurice was very exhausted and I kept telling him to relax and take it easy as these big fish are lost mostly in the last 5 minutes of a fight due to trying to pull to hard. So eventually the fish came up next to the boat and the first gaff was in and with that Maurice was very relieved. It took another gaff and 2 of us to lift the fish over the gunnels. With the magnificent fish on the deck we could see it was a beast.

With this big yellow fin landed we decided to call it a day and head homewards. As we ran home I could see some tired faces and happy ones too. When we got home we took some pictures and all that came with us had some lovely fish to take home. The 2 yellow fins landed weighed 60kg and 90kg and a few decent long fins in between. Fred had also landed a nice Dorado which was a first for him and the boat.

All in all it was a great day out. Thanks to Fred for the invite and for Hilton and the 2 Kurt's and Maurice for the time spent on the water. Congratulations to Maurice on his 2 yellow fins and a truly memorable day.

Hanging on and reeling inMaurice Habets with his two yellow finsThe happy and tired crew after a day of hard fishing  

[ VIEWED. 7435 ]

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