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August 26, 2013

Record-Breaking Bluefin Tuna off New Hampshire

New Hampshire may have a new state record, a 962-pound bluefin tuna.

Captain Bruce DelleChiaie, Captain Garth Morin and angler Captain Rick Green, fishing aboard the Salt Shaker out of New Castle, New Hampshire, on August 13, had set up a chum line when they first spotted the fish. It fed under the boat for fifteen minutes before taking Green’s herring bait.

“The fish stayed on the surface for most of the fight, then sprinted to the bottom in 380 feet of water where it died,” said Morin. After that, he said, that it was a matter of winching it in, foot by foot. The fight lasted 3½ hours, and as Green brought the fish up under the boat, a large blue shark circled. “Fortunately the shark decided not to try the sushi,” said Morin.

Back at the dock the 119-inch fish, which had been gutted, gilled and bled out, weighed in at 962 pounds ‑- 97 pounds heavier than the existing New Hampshire record bluefin of 865 pounds, caught in 2001.

“The leader held tough,” said Morin, “though it was chafed severely by the mouth of the giant.”

The rig Green used consisted of a Shimano Tiagra 130 on a Chatham Special extra long rod with Winthrop guides; 200-pound Jenkai main line, a 230-pound Spro barrel swivel, a 20-foot leader of 150-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon Premier and an Owner 9/O Offshore hook with herring for bait.

The appropriated documents, signed by witnesses, have been sent to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department for certification as a new state record for Atlantic bluefin tuna.