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 Novia Scotia – Giant Bluefin Tuna

Tuna Fishing – "Bullet of the Sea"

Charles Holder never knew when he caught the first recorded tuna on rod and reel in the late 1800s off the California coast, that he had unleashed one of the greatest fishing passions in the history of outdoor sports – a passion for big strong fish that would drive thousands of deep-sea fishermen to travel around the World in pursuit of the "Bullet of the Sea"– simply it’s called "Tuna Fishing". 

As the years went by since Holder’s catch, the weight of world-record bluefin Tuna crept higher and higher — from 400 & 500 pound catches to Zane Grey’s 758 pound champion in 1924, to the first 1,000+ pound tuna boated in 1970 off Nova Scotia, to current world-record catches that tip the scales at over 1,200+ and 1,300+ pounds. The bluefin has captured the hearts of great anglers like Zane Grey and Ernest Hemingway, who boated his first tuna in the Bahamas in 1935; Michael Lerner, who caught 640+ bluefins over a lifetime; and Elwood K. Harry, president of the International Game Fish Association, who has boated a lifetime total of 610+ big tuna. As many first-time tuna anglers have discovered and remembered for weeks with aching muscles, bones, shoulders and strained backs, catching a bluefin Tuna on rod and reel requires hours of exhausting muscle-busting, back-breaking, leg-wrenching work  –  not too much unlike trying to haul a small car (by hand) up a steep hill.

The world-record fish was taken by fanatical tuna fisherman Ken Fraser off Nova Scotia in 1979, measuring 13′ long and weighing 1,496 pounds.

You will notice that like the early tuna fishermen who used the largest Penn Senator’s Ken also relied on a Penn International reel along with a Fenwick rod to help him land his record. Ken has published a superb book on his pursuit of a world record bluefin. Aptly named ‘Possessed’!

The book is 243 pages in full colour, and covers the full story of his journey and frustrations searching for a world record Giant Bluefin Tuna. The journey itself took many years to complete and the book came along 25 years later. ISBN 978-0-9810342-0-1. For more information you can contact Ken at  info@kenfraser.ca

So what of the present day Novia Scotia Tuna fishing?

The fishery is now subject to strict quota rules that limits the total tonnage of fish that can be sold commercially. Because of this the fishery has made a remarkable recovery over recent years. And with rod and line caught tuna considered the best eating in the lucrative Japanese Sushi markets the commercial boats are now taking avid Sportfisherman aboard their vessels and giving them a chance to fight against the ‘bullet of the sea’

With fights lasting up to 6 or 7hrs it is not for the fainthearted! Like their predecessors these anglers are putting their faith in Penn International reels to stand up to the extreme pressures placed on the reel. Here are just some of the captures taken this autumn.


You can find out more information on everything that this fishery has to offer at http://www.bluewaterfishing.eu/e_start.html

Who knows next year it could be you?

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