Record Catch Landed on Last Day of Trophy Season
Caught on the last day of 2018 of the North Carolina bluefin tuna trophy season, there is a new state record for the largest of the tuna family.
Weighing in at 877 pounds the tuna was landed on March 17—that’s St. Patrick’s Day. It does take a while for the weight to become official, but here it is a little less than one month later and there is a new record in the books.
Leaving from Pirates Cove on Roanoke Island, A-Salt Weapon, captained by Dennis Endee took retired Army General Scott Chambers, hailing from Townsend, Delaware out to the Gulf Stream.
Chambers and the tuna battled for two and a half hours and after the battle was won, it still took another hour and a half to bring the fish onboard.
The new 877 pound record destroys the old record of 805 pounds, although even the new NC record seems like a minnow compared to the 1496 pound bluefin taken off Nova Scotia in 1979.
A fast, powerful swimmer, bluefin tuna are at the top of the ocean food chain but over fishing has reduced stocks significantly.
The fish is the preferred sushi fish in Japan, and somewhere around 80% of the global catch ends up in the country.
Bluefin is preferred over other tuna species because it has a higher fat content and according to reports, the higher fat creates a more complex flavor.
In the United States and North Carolina, bluefin tuna fishing is highly regulated and can change from year to year depending on stock assessment.
Although fresh bluefin can sell upwards to $60 or $70 a pound on the Japanese market, General Chambers had no plans to sell his catch, giving away large quantities of tuna steaks to the crew and friends and, according to him, having his wife fix tuna tacos.