Picking Up the (Meat) Stick

york tuna
Longtail Tuna - Photo by Daniel Favato

Whoa, dude, that ought to get ‘em.

The strike was all but immediate.  Kris Tindale, the support-boat skipper, had tightened the drag on the reel before I began casting, but nothing quite prepares anyone for the startling pull of a tuna suddenly tearing line off the spool.  Longtails, also called northern bluefin tuna, these had the courtesy to run only fifteen or maybe twenty pounds, the size of tuna that still seems manageable, given the right gear and renewed excitement of sport you haven’t tried in a while.

Bait and birds off the bow – Photo by Daniel Favato

Fair game?  After the third one, my hands and arms quivering some, I handed the rod over to Daniel Favato, shooting film all day for Midcurrent Travel, allowing him a whack at the fun. 

Results: The same.

Back at the lodge, I felt a little sheepish.  But we had kept only one fish, more than enough for a good fix of sashimi – and it seemed my reputation was still intact, or at least as much as I could hope for following a few of those blue bastards, earlier in the day, that made me look more than a little silly.

And tomorrow, anyway, I’d have a twelve-weight aboard when we headed into the channel.

That ought to be interesting.

Gray’s angling editor Scott Sadil reports from Queensland, Australia, that the stories he had heard about sharks and crocodiles are apparently all true.