On July 17, 1997 six of us chartered aboard Captain Tony Wing's boat "Hammer" out of Indian River Inlet, Delaware. At this particular time the limit on bluefin tuna was four fish per boat. On this trip we caught our 4 fish limit and then continued to catch and release. We brought a total of 15 bluefin to the boat along with 6 blue fish in the 12-15 pound range. The tuna averaged 40-45 pounds each. All were caught about 40 miles east of the Inlet while chunking with butterfish. Tuna fishing is without a doubt the most exciting sport I have ever done. I especially liked chunking since it was just you against the fish. From the pictures you can see we used stand-up rigs and did not fight the fish using a fighting chair to hold the rod.
|The Hammer is a 40 foot sport fisherman powered by twin diesels. She is docked at the North Shore Marina, Indian River Inlet, Delaware. It does not show very well but on the right side of the picture are the 15 bluefin tuna flags flying from the outrigger, indicating the number of bluefins we caught on this trip.|
|This is me "hard at work" while fighting one of the bluefin tuna. The power that these fish have are awesome. I have read that a bluefin can swim at up to 50 MPH! After each member of our party landed a fish, they wanted to rest for at least 30 minutes before fighting another fish. It took about 10-15 minutes to bring them to boat. The equipment supplied by Captain Tony was first class and consisted of Penn Internationals, spooled with 80-130 pound test line. Even with the drag set on the 130 pound test line, the tuna could peal off line whenever they made a run.|
|Here is the captain bringing one over the gunnel.|
|Compare the size of this one to the feet of the men.|
|This is my son holding one of the catch back at the dock.|
|These are the 4 we kept. If you look close at the one laying on the scale, its tail has been cut off. We did this to try and get it to fit in my 72 quart Igloo cooler, but it was still to large to get the top closed.|
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