Friday, October 14, 2011

Tuna 1 - TAG 1

We left the wharf knowing that the wind would pick up later that afternoon...we just weren't sure when. The boys from mainland Nova Scotia (Steve McInnis and Bernie Chisolm) met us off Mabou early in the morning. It was flat calm, and after jigging up some mackerel we drifted close to shore hopping to get bit. There was no wind and the tide was running against the drift, so after doing a 360 around our baits we decided to head off shore. Local scientist, Aaron Spares, spotted some fish jumping from the top of the cab, so we set up.

Craigor Cameron battles a bluefin
With the camera rolling, three or four fish splashed 500 yards off the stern and looked like they were headed towards our Huey bait (named after a local fisherman that flat lines a mackerel with a balloon). The boat waited with anticipation, but the fish didn't look like they were going to bite...then...WHAM...the line went tight, the rubber band shattered, and the reel zinged as the Bay Queen IV scrambled into position. We fought the fish for a good 45 minutes and we could tell it was a big fish by the way it behaved and marked on the sounder. We would reel it up to 50 feet and it would dive back to 120. This cat and mouse game ended when the mono chaffed and the line broke. Tuna 1...TAG team 0.
This bluefin is being tagged with an acoustic tag
Dejected but optimistic, the team regrouped and got the lines back in the water. The clouds over Cape Breton gathered and the wind began to puff. Capt. Dennis put his favorite pink balloon on the down bait for good luck...and just as we were thinking it might be time to head home...Zing...we were tight again. This time the tuna couldn't out smart us, and after a short fight the 250 lb bluefin was on board and back in the ocean with a new acoustic tag that will last for 1300 days.

By the time we were done tagging, the sea had turned into a frothy mess and we were all happy to head to shore.

-Robbie Schallert

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