Trolling From an Aircraft Carrier!

No joke: Watch this video as off-duty sailors set out to prove they can hook and land tuna, high up on the fantail of the USS Nimitz, underway in the Eastern Pacific.

USS Nimitz underway
That’s one serious offshore sport-fisher! U.S. Navy

Looking to move up to a slightly bigger boat for your offshore fishing? Something, say, in the 1,000-foot range?

Improbable as it sounds, some SF fans and fishing enthusiasts have been trolling off the 30-foot-high fantail of the USS Nimitz. They’ve brought out serious trolling gear and, when off watch and free, take advantage of their workplace location to put out high-speed lures.

This video provided by Lieutenant Tyler Brown and shot by Machinist’s Mate Nuclear Second Class Turner Benham shows that trolling from an aircraft carrier is as possible as it is improbable.


On the plus side, the 100,000-pound supercarrier is a whole more stable, even in a chop (such as 10-foot seas) than your average center console.

But there are some drawbacks. Most sport-fishers have a crew of one or two, but the Nimitz requires more than 6,000. Not a lot of backing down, nor quick turns to chase fish. Don’t count on running around the boat to follow hooked fish. In fact, don’t count on slowing down to fight a fish. Brown says their trolling speed is typically around 8 knots, and notes that even an effort to slow down (think about all the jokes about how long it takes to turn an aircraft carrier) probably would take so long it wouldn’t help.

But these guys were determined to prove they could hook and catch tuna from an aircraft carrier, with a spread of Shimano Tiagra 80Ws, and Penn Internationals and Senators. Watch and see if they ever did it.


And stay tuned for the next video, when — after getting this newest wrinkle in the sport of fishing all figured out — they manage to put a trophy yellowfin in the boat!


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