Catching yellowfin tuna was red hot for the commercial fishing boat “Luna Sea” off Brielle, N.J. on Oct. 22. That’s when Capt. Matt Florio of Brick, N.J. hooked, fought and landed a different kind of tuna, reports the Asbury Park Press.
It was an albacore or longfin tuna that has unofficially become the New Jersey record, beating the old top mark for the species. The soon-to-be-former N.J. record albacore was caught almost 40 years ago by Dr. S. Scannapiego in the Spencer Canyon, weighing 77-pounds, 15-ounces.
The “Luna Sea” crew was hammering tuna in the East Elbow of the Hudson Canyon, located nearly 100 miles east of the mouth of the Hudson River when Florio boated his 78-pound, 1.5-ounce albacore.
Florio’s fish was weighed on certified scales at Hoffman’s Marina in Brielle. The paperwork making the heavyweight albacore the new state record currently is working through the process handled by New Jersey Fish and Wildlife.
The whole crew aboard the “Luna Sea” that day are commercial fishermen. They included Luke Florio, Chris Steinert and Sean Lodzinski all of Brick and Sam Messler of Stafford, N.J.
Albacore or longfin tuna have worldwide range in warm temperate waters, according to the IGFA. However, the deep-water sportfish make seasonal migrations into colder waters, such as those found off the Northeastern U. S.
Albacore usually are easy to distinguish from other tuna by oversize pectoral fins that appear more like wings on the fish than fins when its cruising the water.
The highly-regarded gamefish can be caught multiple ways, including jigging, trolling and chunking with bait. The fish is prized as a table fish for its desirable white meat.
The IGFA All-Tackle record albacore weighed 88-pounds, 2-ounces and was caught in 1977 by angler Siegfried Dickmann in the Canary Islands, located off the northwest coast of Africa.