Date: June 30th, 2015
Time: 12 noon
Wind: 10-15kts South
Location: 30 miles Southeast of Moriches
Bait/Lure: Big Popper
Fish: 1 bluefin tuna
Largest:: 43" 51 pounds
New boat record..WOW!
Caught a tuna in June..WOW!
Caught it on a popper..WOW!
I was like a caged animal waiting for Rand to get out of work. He pulled up at 11:45, and we pushed off at noon. We cleared a lumpy Moriches Inlet to find a nice looking ocean. Our destination was about 30 miles SE of the inlet to an area known as the Coimbra. We had heard reports of tuna being in a lot closer than 30 miles out.
As we were cruising out at 32 mph, the wind began to pick up. The waves now had some small white caps on top. It makes it a lot harder to see fish busting on the surface with white caps.
As we kept an eye out for tuna on the surface I spotted something off to the left. I thought I saw an explosion on the surface. Sure enough something was feeding up on the surface, throwing a lot of white water around. I have gone over this scenario a million times in my head. I pulled back on the throttle and ran to the front of the boat. I grabbed my spinning rod that I rigged with a popper and heaved it. The popper landed right in the middle of the exploding fish. I turned the handle 3 times and I shouted out "I'm in!"
At this point I still couldn't confirm even if it was a tuna. As I was reeling, the fish seemed very small. I got it 10 feet from the boat and was then able to confirm that it was a tuna. I also saw that it is a lot bigger than I thought. The tuna at this point had no idea that he was hooked. Just as I said that, he started to do what a hooked tuna does... He dove straight for the bottom. The reel at this point was screaming. A half hour later Rand sunk the gaff into the tuna and slung him overboard.
We were very pumped. We had a fish in the boat before we even started to troll. We thought is was going to be a great day. However, despite marking bait, that would be the only tuna that we would boat. All in all a great day. I don't think there is any better way to catch a fish than on a popper.