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November 14, 2013

Angler Releases Three 1,000-Pound Bluefin Tuna in 24 Hours

Fishing out of Prince Edward Island for his 70th birthday, Mike Davis just missed no. 4 when a 10/0 hook snapped

Catching a giant bluefin in the 1,000-pound range is a fantasy for many anglers. It’s one realized for a few who make the autumn trek to the Canadian Maritimes and are fortunate enough to hook and bring to the boat such a beast.

But catching a huge bluefin wasn’t nearly enough to satisfy Joseph M. (Mike) Davis of Sedona, Arizona, who celebrated his 70th birthday by catching three tuna with taped estimates putting their weights at 950 to 1,100 pounds, and just missing a fourth when a hook snapped near the boat. And he did it all in 24 hours.

Davis, who recently chartered with Capt. Troy Bruce out of North Lake Harbor on Prince Edward Island, says his first hookup came late on a Saturday afternoon. Despite using 200-pound braided line with 50 pounds of drag, “The line went out so fast I barely got in the chair and hooked up to the reel before half the line was gone!”

But Davis prevailed and an hour or so later, Bruce measured and released it, declared the fish to weigh 950 to 1,000 pounds.

Giant number two struck midmorning of the next day. That one measured out at more than 1,100 pounds. “I celebrated with a soft drink and Ibuprofen,” says Davis.

The third giant was on shortly thereafter. Even well into the fight, the tuna moved so fast around the boat that water sprayed off the line. Finally, the leader was close — when the 10/0 3X circle hook broke.

The last giant — which Davis did boat later that day — was estimated at 1,050 before its release. “By the time I hooked up the fourth giant,” the angler says, “my technique had gotten better because my arms and legs had gotten worse.”