Bluefin – Pacific Bluefin Tuna a Possible World Record!
The South Island ‘s West Coast Pacific and southern bluefin tuna fisheries are still producing some mighty fish for those prepared to get out and chase them. West Coast local Steve McCowan landed one of the heaviest Pacific bluefin yet taken in New Zealand waters. His potential world record fish was first hooked at 6 am on Monday 27 August 2007 while fishing aboard the charter vessel Jewel skippered by Ian Bain. It took Steve another 2½ hours to bring it safely to the boat.
The giant tuna are attracted to the large hoki trawlers that fish off the West Coast. It is the fish and offal dropping from the net that attracts them for an easy meal.
Earlier that day the crew hooked, tagged and released another two smaller Pacific bluefins before finally hooking the big one! Finding the fish was the hardest part according to skipper Ian Bain! “We followed the Korean boats for a while and just nothing. It was behind the Russian boats we found the tuna.”
On their return to West Port, the big Pacific bluefin was found to tip the scales to an incredible 325kgs. The fish wasn’t gutted or bled so as to retain its full weight. It is just a matter now of waiting to see if the record fish will be recognized officially by the International Game Fish Association. Congratulations Steve!