It was a fish for the Delaware record books. The
largest tuna on Delaware record, a massive 873 lb. blue fin, was
caught on Saturday by the charter boat, Captain Ike II, about 40
miles off-shore from the Indian River Inlet.
According to the boat’s captain, Dave Collins of
Frankford, the tuna was caught by Dan Dillon or Herndon, VA with an
80 lb. test monofilament line on an 80 lb. class reel, using a blue
fish fillet as bait. The tuna was so huge
|that it more
than 1 ½ hours to reel the tuna to the boat and another 2 more hours
to haul it into the boat, said Captain Collins. All six men on the
fishing charter were needed to haul the fish onto the deck, he said.
The blue fin tuna was weighed at the Hook’em and Cook’em weigh-in
station located at the Indian River Marina. Aaron Hurd of DNREC’s
Division of Fish and Wildlife, officially identified and recorded the
weight of the giant blue fin tuna at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 2.
We couldn’t believe our eyes, said Mr. Hurd. The tuna was 9 ½ feet in
length with a girth of 6 ½ feet. Its total weight of 873 lbs.
exceeded the previous record catch by more than 500 lbs.
The holiday weekend brought serious fishing enthusiasts from across
the region eager to bag the largest fish in the Delaware Open Tuna
Trolling Tournament. The annual July 4th weekend event is sponsored
by the Indian River Boating Association (IRBA), which holds several
fishing tournaments throughout the season.
The Captain Ike II was out on an overnight shark-fishing trip and
wasn’t registered in our three-day tournament, said Don Cline,
President of the IRBA. Blue fin tuna caught off Delaware with rod and
reel usually range from 35 to 200 lbs. This year’s tournament winner
weighed in at 120.6 lbs, so it amazed everyone to see this monster of
a fish, he said.
This weekend’s tournament was a great success with anglers bringing
in a large catch of blue and yellow fin tuna, shark, flounder, and
sea bass, said Gary King, marina manager with DNREC’s Division of
Parks and Recreation. Delaware offers some of the finest deep-sea
fishing on the East coast, and we expect this season to be a great
one, he said.
For more information regarding upcoming IRBA fishing tournaments,
contact the Indian River Marina at (302) 227-3071. To learn about the
Indian River Marina at the Delaware Seashore State Park, visit their
web site at www.destateparks.com/marina/index.asp.