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sonny88

measuring a bluefin

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I hate to sound like an idiot, but I've never measured a bft before. They've always obviously been legal. Now, things have changed. How do you measure them? Do you follow the contour of the body? Do you go to the tip of the tail or to the end of the body? Also, what's the best prodcedure for releasing them. Thanks, for your help!

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If you do boat one measure from the lower jaw to the fork in the tail.

Try not to follow the contour. Its very likely in the slot limit prohibiting you from keeping it.

You can then put it back overboard and watch it sink like a stone.

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You might want to get a rough estimate of the size of the tuna in the water first before bringing it on board. We use two sticks with a 59 inch string attached and also another two sticks with a 73 inch string attached. Then 2 people hold each stick alongside the tuna to get an approximate size to see if it falls outside the 59-73 inch slot limit while swimming the tuna along side the boat. Anything close to this limit you probably should release. I am sure everyone has their own way of getting a measurement in the water though.

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View PostGo Here: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/Com...uide/index.htm

 

You can measure them with the tape on the fish (following the contour along the lateral line) from the tip of the lower jaw to the base of the fork in the tail. there is 1-5% margin of error allowed, but I wouldn't recommend relying on that.

 

 

You have to measure from the tip of the upper jaw! You can follow the contour of the lateral line to the fork. Upper jaw, upper jaw, upper jaw. This next peice is copy and pasted from your link:

 

Tunas with heads on

CFL is the sole criterion for determining the size class of whole (with head on)

Atlantic tunas. The measurement must be taken in a line, tracing the contour

(

i.e., curve) of the body from the tip of the upper jaw to the fork of the tail,

which abuts the dorsal insertion of the pectoral fin and the dorsal side of the

caudal keel.

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Bluefin are the only round fish required to be measured curvilinearly in the northeast. It's also illegal to boat one that's not a legal size, and as The Knife pointed out, you're going to kill it by gaffing and boarding it.

 

The best way (IMHO): Fight the fish boatside, as quickly as possible. This means using appropriate tackle... don't go out there undergunned! Once you get the fish boatside, have someone leader the fish, and then get a gaff just inside the chin of the lower jaw. This is the least invasive place to gaff the fish, and minimizes stress. Throw a tail rope on it, and you have the fish subdued. Remove the hook from the fish.

 

Now you can tape the fish... I just use a normal tape, and get the best approximation I can by holding one end at the upper jaw and pulling the tape out along the length of the fish. If you're fishing CCB, these fish have mainly fallen into the 200lb class, which is right in that 59-73" illegal slot limit. Smaller fish have been spotted south. If it's legal, bring it aboard and enjoy. If not... Release the tail rope, and slowly tow the fish along with the lip gaff until color is restored and you see the fish vigorously beating its tail, 15-20 min. It might take longer or shorter depending on how long the fight was. If you did it right you should see the fish swim off when you take out the gaff- if it falls on it's side at all after release, it's probably crab food.

 

I'm sure others can chime in, this has just worked for us.

 

Good luck out there... I'm still hunting for a fish outside of that slot!

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