100kg Yellowfin Tuna

On Friday, 18 October 2019, myself and Pumba left home bright and early to prep for our join a charter in Hout Bay. As we prepped Fish Tales for the day, our guests started arriving and after the final preparations, we were on the water and running to the tuna grounds. It was a bumpy ride out as our chosen fishing grounds meant we ran straight into a rather angry sea, with a lot of wind memory from the previous day. 

After a 2 hour, painstakingly slow trip, we arrived in 19 degrees of electric blue water. I pulled back on the throttles and said: “let’s put lines in”. We set the lines and prepped the bait for the potential madness that I was sure will follow soon!

A short message from a good friend.

Not long after another vessel and good friend of Fish Tales, called me with a short message –  “find a trawler or longliner, they are holding good fish”. I turned to Pumba, and without uttering a single word, Pumbs started pulling the lines in. We found a stern trawler on our Raymarine, AIS-equipped GPS, I set the course and we began the 4nm run.

We arrived at the trawler and started to trawl around her, I closely monitored our Raymarine side scan as we passed the vessel, as well as our down view fish finder but didn’t see any signs of tuna around. There were plenty of boats charging this specific trawler and I decided to rather go look further down her chum line away from all the other boats. 

FISH ON!!!

We came across a hake longliner. We stopped, positioned Fish Tales and before I had the chance to say anything, Pumba stripped a line and went tight almost immediately! FISH ON!!! Now I was certain this was going to be an epic day! We landed a 45kg yellowfin, but there was no sign of more fish as the longliner had left in the meantime. I got another call: “I have yellowfin with me not far from you, come!” 

I plotted the position and off we went. Upon arrival myself and Pumbs started baiting heavily, within minutes we hooked another yellowfin! From there on we where feeding yellowfin on the surface for about 5 hours.

The BIG surprise.

I recall hooking a yellowfin tuna, I thought I saw it eat the bait line I stripped thinking it was a 45kg fish… I was mistaken. Around 1:30 pm Stephan had wrestled the bus of a fish to the side of Fish Tales. We boated the fish and even though the tail didn’t fit in the box, I still thought it was a 80kg, max 90kg fish. The fish eventually dried up after we hooked and landed another 60kg fish.

Fast forward to the arrival at Hout Bay Harbour. As I started pulling the chain and hoisting Stephen’s yellowfin it still had not dawned on me that this beautiful fish holds a big surprise. The next thing I heard was, “It’s a 100”!!! I looked at the scale and there it was, 100.40kg. What a great way to end the day! 

It most certainly put the young guns into the lead of a little internal competition between the Fish Tales skippers. Being the biggest fish of the season so far! 

It simply shows, putting in the time and effort, coupled with an experienced and passionate crew, a state of the art boat, electronics and these are the catches you can expect.

I know I don’t just speak for myself when I say, we can’t wait for the next trip and we can’t wait to have you on board!

Till next time,  

Captain Nick Marnitz 

Fish Tales Skipper