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June 23, 2012

HAWAII: record-sized yellowfin tuna landed

The cahrter boat Reel Hooker boated a record-sized yellowfin tuna (also called Allison tuna) weighing 222.2 pounds (100.56 kg) by wahine angler Shauna Turner. She was fishing with Captain Greg France and deckman Chris Wong.

They were about five miles on the NASA-Buoy side of the K-Buoy off the backside of Lanai. It was looking good as they found the birds and porpoise school. Greg worked the area for about 30 minutes without getting a bite. Another boat came through the school, picking up an ahi on its first pass.

They decided to hang out and work the school for another hour. Greg told Chris to get out the salmon-colored" Lee Aoki" lure. He rigged it up and put it out on the long gone position.

They were running out of time, with Greg about ready to head back to Lahaina. About ten minutes later, on their last pass through the school, they had a bite on that lure.

The big yellowfin tuna took off straight down, ripping out the 60-pound test line from a 50-class reel for about 150 yards and then stopped. Greg thought it was one of the smaller ahi that had been caught during the day. Shauna had her ahi 45 yards from the boat in about 30 minutes.

Over the next hour, they were in a bit of a stalemate as they worked the tuna up the last 50 yards. The rod was doubled over the stern as Shauna short-pumped the rod, getting cranks when she could. They had a lot of drag on the reel, with the 60-pound test line pinging off the spool in a give-and-take.

Greg circled the fish trying to confuse it. This worked for awhile. He idled the boat ahead of the ahi, not letting it get under the boat but keeping it as close as possible. Greg made a couple of more circles before the leader came up. The ahi was digging back and forth across the stern and wasn't ready to come in.
This was Greg's largest yellowfin tuna in 20 years of fishing.

This is the largest yellowfin tuna by a wahine angler. It is also the largest ahi in nine years. It is the third largest by a Lahaina Charter boat and the fourth largest for Lahaina Harbor since 1977. The Lahaina Harbor record is 235 pounds, caught during the first Lahaina Jackpot Tournament back in 1977.

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