Giant Bluefin Tuna - Up to 1000 lbs!

By Capt Andy LoCascio - 09/12/2012 - Short URL: - Views: 217940

Capt Andy LoCascio just returned from several days of giant bluefin tuna fishing in Prince Edward Island, Canada.  He was joined by Mitch Wergiles and Steve Palmo and they fished with Capt Troy Bruce (Bruce Brothers Charters) and mate Ryan Young.

Capt Andy LoCascio with a 108inch 900lb giant tuna saying goodbye just prior to release

The guys got in on an incredible bite and ended up releasing 5 giant tuna weighting 650, 675, 800, 900, and one fish over 1000 pounds!  All of the fish were caught on stand-up tackle.  Capt Andy jumped in the water with his 900 pound fish to say goodbye prior to the release and to provide some scale as to how large these fish really are.This is an all release fishery!  The local fishermen and the Canadian government are doing everything possible to regulate and carefully preserve this valuable resource.  The locals are allowed to take a single fish per boat each season and they release everything else.  There is no recreational fishing allowed so don’t even consider bringing your boat there.

Stand-Up Tackle

Capt Andy and his crew chose to use stand-up tackle that included 2-speed Penn 80 International reels and Black Magic belts and harnesses.

Steve Palmo hooked up to a 700lb giant tuna using Black Magic stand-up belt and harness

The best words to describe the experience would be “humility” and “pain”.  These fish are simply huge and drag pressures from 45-60lbs are required.  This is an incredible amount of drag and it is really the limit of what can be done with stand-up tackle.  The other options would be to fight the fish from a fighting chair (where even more pressure can be applied) or from the gunwale (which is the least challenging).

Rigs and Bait

Capt Andy, Steve, and Mitch (who released all their fish) with a 750lb giant bluefin tuna that was landed by another crew

Nearly everyone is  using big Mustad Ultrapoint 3X strong 6/0 through 11/0 circle hooks.  This is really the ONLY hook to use.  EVERY fish that was caught was hooked in the corner of the mouth.  In addition to this doing the least amount of harm to the fish, it made for an easy release and eliminated the chance that the tuna’s teeth would eventually cut through the 200-300lb leader.  The preferred baits were either live mackerel or whole dead herring.

Hand Feeding

When he bite is really on, there is the opportunity to chum the fish right to the side of the boat and hand-feed them the bait.  This is an incredible “bucket list” experience and even the captains and mates get excited when they do it (even though it happens quite often).  There is nothing more heart-stopping than seeing a 1000lb+ giant bluefin tuna come out from under the boat and grab a herring.  It is not unusual to see multiple fish competing for the chum.

GOPRO Underwater Video Coming Soon!

Bruce Brothers Charters

There are several charter operations, but we only have experienced working with the Bruce Brothers.   Capt Andy said that he would rate Capt Troy Bruce and mate Ryan Young in his top-five list and stated “These guys are super sharp and very professional.  Their passion for what they are doing is incredible and they made the trip one that I will never forget!“.  The bite goes from late July through early October and reservations must be made many months (or even longer) in advance.

Getting To Prince Edward Island

Delta flies directly to Charlottetown, PEI from New York through the end of August.  After that, Air Canada flies to Charlottetown through Montreal or Toronto.  The island is very beautiful and the locals are friendly (and speak English).  The fishing is done mostly out of Souris (pronounced “soree”) and there are plenty of places to stay.

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By Capt Andy LoCascio - Host of Northeast Angling TV
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