Kim Bain-Moore and a Gigantic Bluefin Tuna!
Evinrude Pro Kim Bain-Moore and her husband went to Prince Edward Island in Canada recently to realize a dream of theirs: to catch a massive bluefin tuna. Here’s her story:
After a great 2012 bass fishing season with my Evinrude powered E-Nation Legend on the Lady Bass Anglers Association tournament trail (which included the AOY title), my husband and I planned a trip to Prince Edward Island, Canada for some tuna fishing in celebration of a fun & successful year, not to mention, catching a really big tuna had long been a goal of ours.
The tuna fishery is PEI is very regulated and only commercial boats with permits are allowed to target them. The decks on commercial lobster boats are converted and used to take anglers out. Only one fish can be landed per trip, barbless circle hooks are required and only one fish per permit per year may be harvested to sell abroad (Japan). Our charter boat for the trip, ‘Frayed Knot’ had harvested their fish for the year, so any fish caught during our three days of fishing were released. While I had caught a big tuna out of the fighting chair on day one, I really wanted to take the next challenge and catch a big one on stand-up gear. My biggest fish on 80lb stand up gear prior to this trip was a 300lb blue marlin, and with these tuna averaging between 600-800lbs, some into the 1000lb class; this was my biggest challenge yet. I had pulled the hooks on two fish on the second day. It was the 3rd and final day where I really worked up the courage to give it another go.
As I stood at the gunnel strapped and harnessed in to the 80lb bent butt outfit, I started to wonder if I was out of my mind but before I could complete my thought, Curt (the captain) had launched my herring into the ocean where it disappeared into the cavernous maw of a Volkswagen sized tuna! Fish On! Over the next hour, I fought the fish through a gauntlet of herring nets, sunfish, buoys and through a few tears of both pain and joy, until I had the fish boat side. At around 700lbs, it was by far the largest fish I had ever caught on stand up tackle. A fish of a lifetime, one that had pushed my mind and body to it’s limit and beyond.
As you’re unable to remove the fish from the water, the only option for anglers to get up close and personal with their tuna for a photo is bonsai in the 60-degree water. Embracing the tradition, I unfastened the harness, speedily jumped out of my rain suit and cannon balled into the frigid ocean. The water took my breath away, and so did the fish. I will always remember the overwhelming sense of achievement at landing a fish so much bigger than me and being able to share that with my husband and family (you bet I called them in Australia right away!). Being in the water and watching the tuna swim away as the leader was cut was amazing! This was the most EPIC fishing trip EVER!! You guys know where I’ll be when the bass season wraps up next year- heading up to Canada to go fish with Tony’s Tuna Fishing!! Eh!!