Fishing Stories

Angler hooks rare monster 300lb tuna off the Welsh coast

An angler has caught the "fish of a lifetime" when he hooked a rare giant 300lb bluefin tuna off the Welsh coast - as he was getting ready to pack up for the day

Dave Price, Andy Baker and Danny Sadler reeled in the catch of their lives


Dave Price and his friends Andy Baker and Danny Sadler had caught ten blue sharks between them and were getting ready to go back to shore when he hooked the massive fish.

Charter skipper Mr Price, 50, battled for an hour and 20 minutes before they could finally pull the fish onto their boat and realised what it was.
Bluefin tuna are usually found in the Atlantic and are very rare off the coast of Britain. 

Commercially the fish is very valuable, but as it is an endangered species and subject to an EU commercial fishing ban the group of friends had to throw their prize catch back.

If they had been able to sell it the fish could have been worth up to £60,000.

The team were on board Andy Truelove's boat Atlantic Blue fishing for blue and porbeagle sharks off the coast of Dale, Pembrokeshire.
They had caught ten blue sharks, which weighed up to 55lbs.

It took all four men and a rope to get the huge tuna onto the boat and they then measured it.

At 75.5inches (6ft 3.5in) long the monster catch was taller than Mr Price and had a girth of 49inches, which meant it weighed close to 300lb.

The fish smashed his previous personal best - 60lbs for a tope shark - in more than 40 years of fishing.

Mr Price, from Holmes Chapel in Cheshire, said: "We were actually on a shark fishing trip, mainly looking for blue sharks and porbeagles.

"We'd actually caught ten blue sharks between us, of up to 55lbs, and this was the last fish of the day.

"It just took off, it was so fast. I knew it wasn't a blue shark but I thought it might be a porbeagle.

"It took an hour and 20 minutes to catch it. I had to wear a harness and it took all four of us to haul it onto the boat. We had to get a rope round it to pull it onboard.

"It's longer than me. I'm 6ft 2in and this was 6ft 3.5in.

"I was in shock afterwards.

"I'm a charter skipper myself so it was a bit of a busman's holiday. It's unusual for me to be on another boat and I hit the jackpot.

"My previous biggest was a tope of about 60lb but this was a fish of a lifetime, it was fantastic.

"You're not allowed to land tuna on the shore in Britain, but it would have been worth a lot of money.

"They are pretty rare off the coast here. A few have been hooked in the past but they are very difficult to actually catch and get on the boat." 

The Atlantic Bluefin tuna, or Thunnus thynnus in Latin, can dive to depths of 1,600ft and reach speeds of 40mph.

They are rarely seen in the English Channel although they were once common in the Mediterranean and Atlantic.

Over the past few decades numbers have declined by up to 82 per cent largely due to over fishing.

They are the most expensive food fish and a single tuna, weighing 489lbs, sold for over £1m at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market in 2013 to a sushi chain owner.
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