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870 POUNDS 10' 4" Bluefin Tuna!

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Holy bluefin tuna!

After nearly two hours of battling an 870-pounder off Block Island yesterday morning, a Westhampton Beach summer resident reeled in his largest catch to date.
Adam Kibel, 43, had been out fishing with three of his buddies since 8 p.m. Friday and hadn't had much luck. Fourteen hours later, his 50-foot boat was speeding backward to catch up with all the line the 10-foot, 4-inch fish was pulling.

"It was very exciting," said Kibel, who started fishing about 25 years ago. "It was strenuous."

He didn't take all the credit for the catch, though. "It's a team effort when you catch a big fish like that," he said.

Kibel, who works in real estate development, beat his record by a narrow margin - one pound. In 1986, he caught an 869-pound blue marlin.

This catch, he said, will probably end up in Japan as sushi, as he plans to sell it to a broker for between $5 and $10 per pound. Three years ago, he made $4,800 from the sale of a 600-pound tuna he caught in Nantucket.

He said he only feasts on his catches when they weigh in at 50 or 60 pounds.

Kibel, of Murray Hill in Manhattan, considers himself a "pretty decent" fisherman and goes out fishing almost every weekend during the summer, especially when there are murmurings of good action from the local fishermen.

Kibel and his fishing buddies set out from Jackson's Marina in Shinnecock Inlet and were in the Atlantic Ocean 20 miles south of Block Island when he hooked the tuna.

His secret? Going fishing often and researching what technique works best. So far, Kibel said he's discovered that butterfish work well as bait for bluefin.

These days, Kibel said, the average bluefin catch has been about 750 pounds, when it's typically around 100 pounds.

"This catch is way above average, in general," he said.

According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the largest bluefin tuna in New York was caught in 1977 and weighed in at 1,071 pounds.

Bill Rush, manager of the Star Island Yacht Club in Montauk, said 800-pound fish are caught about once every year during migration.

Last week, Rush said, 640- and 670-pound bluefin were caught.

"There seems to be some big fish out there," he said.

About bluefin tuna

Considered one of the great-est of the big-game fish, bluefin tuna travel in large schools, especially when they are young. The very largest, however, tend to be solitary.

Overfishing has reportedly reduced bluefin population to just 3 percent of pre-1960 levels.

Seasonal migrators, bluefins generally appear in area waters in early summer. Sleekly built, they may reach speeds of more than 50 mph and live 20 or more years.

Experienced fishermen troll lures and use bait fishing to catch them; effective baits include herring, butterfish, mackerel and squid.

Bluefin is prized in Japan for sushi and sashimi; however, its rarity makes it the most expensive tuna for consumption.

All-tackle record: 1,496 pounds, caught off Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1979.



SOURCES: MAINE DEPARTMENT OF MARINE RESOURCES,
Bluefin tuna caught by Adam Kibel

870

pounds

10' 4"

long

Its likely future: sushi
post #2 of 32
i gotta get me some tuna
post #3 of 32
Pics or shens.....
post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 
The picture was in today's newsday, i didn't have time to scan it cause I'm not at home. I'll try to get it in tonight unless someone gets it before me.
post #5 of 32
Horse Mackeral... routinely left in dumpsters in Brielle NJ during the 1950's.
post #6 of 32
Nice Fish!

Is it legal to sell spot caught fish back East or did this guy have a commercial permit?
post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 
I think this was a rec. fisherman. THe picture is of Kibel and his son with a few other people. The size of this tuna is unreal.
post #8 of 32
[quote=crashq

Is it legal to sell spot caught fish back East or did this guy have a commercial permit?[/quote]

I was thinking the same...
Not that it ever stopped anyone, anyway...
you should see the "zoo" going on with salmon here in BC...I'm talking about people coming back to shore with 3 or even 4 times the limit...
post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
Heres a pic.
525
post #10 of 32
I sit me or dop I know better than that the japense market for "toro" is higly respected... that fish is sitting there rotting... I would think a "sushi" broker would have way better judgement on "grading" the future "toro" as be sub grade while it's spoiling on the rack so to speak...
post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mericanwit
I sit me or dop I know better than that the japense market for "toro" is higly respected... that fish is sitting there rotting... I would think a "sushi" broker would have way better judgement on "grading" the future "toro" as be sub grade while it's spoiling on the rack so to speak...


very good insight. i'd like to know the answer to this.
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raza
very good insight. i'd like to know the answer to this.


First of all..... great catch. If that fish was on ice or wrapped on deck there wouldnt be anything wrong with the meat caused by hanging it and snapping a few photos. From witnessing these "sushi experts" core tuna for grade tests they are usually more interesred in the layers closer to the center (worth more money back home).... Besides they will buy the fish and cut it up and ship it back to Japan and elsewhere overnight all in one seamless process.
post #13 of 32
Not a big deal to have fish hanging for a minute or two--unless it was caught on a very large vessel, it's unlikely the fish was properly iced and cared for anyway. Most times they ride home on deck. Furthermore, the Japanese market is way over-rated. Based on suffering economy in Japan, plus advent of Asian and Mediterranean fish farming plus large supply of cold-water, high-fat content, commercially caught and dressed giants landing on the market from Canadian Maritimes plus average price for domestic market topping out at around $6 per pound, don't think a couple minutes in the sling is going to ruin the fish. Besides, unless someone has a very strong back, it has to get out of the boat somehow. Money days (save the rare 50:1 fish) are gonzo for giant BFT. Nowadays--especially Mud Hole-caught fish--are about recooping fuel bill for a week of fishing, not getting rich on one big hit. One in 20 guys knows how to care for a fish properly, and based on core samples, some rather suspect fish (i.e. bigeye 15 hours uniced on deck) still get top $.

No rhyme or reason to any of it these days, like there was during tuna fever in the late 80s.
post #14 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response guys. Interesting info. What I wouldn't give to of fought that fish in the chair.
post #15 of 32

Quote:







Ron Roland of Plano accomplished the unthinkable on May 23. He landed the biggest fish ever documented caught on a rod and reel in the Gulf of Mexico. The fish was a 1,152-pound bluefin tuna, an unusual species for the Gulf and a fish known as a ferocious heavyweight fighter.





Roland is an experienced saltwater angler who was fishing aboard a 50-foot Hatteras owned by Roland's friends, Mike and Paul Ippolito of New Orleans. Also aboard was Patrick Fitzmorris of New Orleans. They were fishing a weedline about 35 miles offshore.





"Mike was on the flying bridge, and he spotted some surface activity in the distance," Roland said. "About that time, another fisherman came on the marine radio and said that he'd spotted some bluefin tuna jumping."





The fishing buddies were ready for a big fish. They'd been trolling for marlin. They reeled in their lines and headed for the distant action. Roland was sitting in the air-conditioned salon when his friends put lures back in the water.





Teamwork is required to catch a big fish, and the anglers had fished together often and had a plan of action. Luckily for Roland, it was his turn on the rod.





"As soon as we put the lures out, we got a strike – bam – just like that," Roland said. "I grabbed the rod and climbed into the fighting chair and got hooked up. We had five other lines out, and Patrick and Paul were reeling them in when we suddenly realized that strategy would not work. Within a few seconds of the strike, the fish had spooled 700 to 800 yards of line."





The huge reel held about 1,000 yards of 100-pound test line. The boat had to start immediately backing up or the fish would take all the line. Roland's fishing partners cut two lines rather than taking the time to reel them in.





Most big bluefins are caught along the eastern seaboard in relatively shallow water 200 to 300 feet deep. Off the mouth of the Mississippi, the continental shelf falls off quickly. Roland's fish bit in water that was 3,000 feet deep, and there was every danger that the fish would head straight for the bottom.





Aided by slick, calm seas, the crew spent the next hour steadily backing up on the powerful tuna.





"The fish was hooked up for an hour before we felt like we were even in the fight," Roland said. "It was that long before we had some semblance of control. By control, I mean we had regained enough line that one run probably wouldn't empty the reel."





The big-game rigging featured 18 feet of double line and a 15-foot leader. After 90 minutes on the rod, Roland had regained all the lost line and his crew was preparing to land the fish.





Roland had not seen the fish and was beginning to wonder if it was as big as his friends thought. From his perch on the flying bridge, Mike Ippolito was yelling to be careful with the green (undefeated) tuna. Roland was strapped into the chair, but one of the crew would have to grab the line, and Ippolito was concerned he could be jerked overboard.





He was also worried about putting the big green fish in the boat where it could destroy gear and people alike. He need not have worried. The tuna was just coming up for a look. It apparently didn't like what it saw. The fish turned and made a steady run that lasted five to eight minutes and peeled off 500 yards of line.





Three hours into the fight, the fish made a third impressive run. Roland's hands were blistered and his arms and legs alternately cramped. He focused on the rhythm of pumping the massive big-game rod and reeling as much line as possible as the rod tip was lowered.





About 8 p.m., the tuna made a final run – straight down. If the giant fish had started its fight by sounding, it would have won within minutes. Four hours of fighting against the drag had taken its toll.





Roland wasn't in such great shape, himself. The seemingly endless sea was pitch dark, and Roland considered giving up. Mike Ippolito came down from the bridge, relieved by his brother. Though all the anglers were seasoned, Mike had the most experience with big fish. Sensing a once-in-a-lifetime catch, he and his New Orleans mates yelled everything from insults and death threats to encouragement to keep their tired comrade in the game.





"It was getting ugly," Roland said. "I was caught between the 50-foot boat and the 1,000-pound fish. I was in pain, but I decided to deal with it. The rod was completely doubled over and the line was stretched so tight that it made a sound like a banjo as it creeped off the reel."





Ippolito decided it was time to go for broke. He instructed Roland to lock down the drag. Either the fish would break off or it would give up. For the next 45 minutes, Paul Ippolito would gun the boat's powerful engines forward for 10 seconds, then back up as fast as possible. Each maneuver allowed Roland to gain three or four cranks of line.





Roland could feel that the fish was about done. It shook its head occasionally, but that's about all the fight it had left. Roland was able to gain line at a reasonable rate. When he finally reeled the huge fish to the surface, his crew got a flying gaff in its head and a rope on the tail.





That's when they discovered a new problem. There was no way to get the fish aboard. Four men could not slide it through the transom door on the big Hatteras. In an effort to lift the tuna, they almost burned up the anchor winch. They finally gave up hopes of boating the fish and headed for Port Eades, near the mouth of the Mississippi, towing the tuna like a dingy behind the Hatteras. The fight took 5 hours and 15 minutes. Chugging along at five knots, the boat ride to port required six hours.





At 1,152 pounds, Roland's fish unseats the Texas record tiger shark (1,129 pounds) as the biggest fish reported caught on rod and reel from the Gulf of Mexico. It easily beats the old Louisiana record bluefin tuna, a 1981 catch that weighed 891 pounds. Roland's fish measured 10 feet, 10.5 inches long by 8 feet, 2 inches in girth.





The International Game Fish Association all-tackle world record for bluefins weighed 1,496 pounds and was caught off Nova Scotia in 1979. IGFA has no line class record category for 100-pound test line. The world record for 130-pound test line weighed 1,170 pounds. The 80-pound test line record is 974 pounds, six ounces.









another large tuna, this one has a great story to read also... depicts the fight... well written. the guy who caught the fish is one of my closest friends.





Louisiana current record holder, largest fish (any species) pulled out of the gulf of mexico.
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