Thursday, October 13, 2011

Let's Go Fly a Kite!

The Celtic Colors are in full swing here in Cape Breton, along with a cool autumn breeze. The Bay Queen IV headed north up the coast line to the Mabou Coal Mines to meet up with the PEI tag boats. After a quick stop for mackerel, we started to set-up our gear a quarter mile from shore...but before we could get our last bait in the water, the Neptuna crackled over the radio that he had a fish on. After a short, 20 minute fight, Ross Keus and TAG Team 2 were on the board with an acoustically tagged 400 lber.
The SE wind picked up in the morning allowing the boats to fly their kites. The kite allows the boats to fish on the downwind side of the boat, and it keeps the mackerel right on the surface so the tuna can't see the line. I have been staring at the "kite bait" for five years now...and at high noon I was rewarded. The crew was forward in the cab eating lunch and I was about to join them...when SMASH...out of the water...20 feet from the 850 pound bluefin ripped through the surface under the kite. I have pictured this moment in my head a thousand times, especially how I would react when this actually happened...of course, I froze with excitement. Capt. Dennis tried to yell but he was muffled by the hamburger in his mouth...Craig knocked his bag of mini licorice in the air that rained down like confetti...and after what seemed like minutes I finally reached the rod to crank in the slack. The line went tight...and with a triumphant roar...I had finally seen and hooked a Giant off the kite! Sheldon Gillis took over from there and the TAG team readied the equipment. Everyone's adrenaline was soaring...if you haven't seen a kite strike...get up to Port is spectacular!!! After a 31 minute battle, the 800 lb bluefin came aboard and was fitted with a satellite tag along his right dorsal.

We tagged one more fish and saw and two leatherback turtles swimming off the stern. All in all it was a great Cape Breton tuna fishing day!

-Robbie Schallert

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