I honestly believed that I had missed my chance and would never catch a jumbo yellowfin tuna!
I began game fishing on the NSW far south coast as an early teenager in the mid to late nineties and it was then the best of the yellowfin runs seemed to end.
Of course each year there are a couple of good fin caught and yes now, I get to land many big bluefin tuna. But, the real esteem is the jumbo yellowfin and I had all but concluded that my shed wall would not feature a mount or photograph of a giant fin of my own!
Well that all changed in the most glorious way possible recently while filming aboard ‘fin’ out of Lord Howe island. Myself and Andy Caves were enjoying a day around Balls Pyramid but having absolutely no luck. We hooked a big score of what felt like seriously large kingfish, the 20-40kg type and all but one small one (around a meter) were eaten by sharks. We were physically and emotionally battered, and completely beaten by the sharks.
At about 4pm we decided to put out a couple of halco max 190’s and troll home for some wahoo. We then decided to put a lumo sprocket in really short on my Saltiga 8000 dogfight spin outfit with 80lb Daiwa braid when an almighty hole appeared where the lure was within seconds.
The first run seemed like a wahoo only bigger as around three hundred meters of braid vanished from the spool. From there, the fight was absolutely torrid, typical of any yellowfin and it was becoming more and more obvious to us that this was indeed going to be a large yellowfin.
Given that my body felt broken from the entire day on the 80lb jig stick before the fight started, I was quick to get into a gimble and modified harness and as soon as I did, the game changed. I was able to exert as much pressure as possible all the time.
At one stage, I actually whispered to Andy that I thought I had bent the drive shaft in the dogfight because I just couldn’t get a half turn on the reel. Ive caught a serious number of big tuna and marlin on Saltigas and I hadn’t experienced this kind of torque but of course the reel was perfect.
Maintaining a drag of immense pressure the entire fight, and making certain to win the small battles within the fight, after fifty minutes we had a jumbo yellowfin do one circle on the surface towards the boat and two gaffs went in simultaneously.
I can hardly explain just how pumped up everyone on board was at that moment. Once again the Saltiga Dogfight had proven itself on the toughest test and I had boated a jumbo yellowfin. Once back at the dock, the big girl weighed an impressive 90kg bled!
The really cool part is you’ll be able to see all of this capture inside season eight of my show- Adventure Angler early next year.