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Duncan Napier’s tuna hunting. [2008-03-25]

Had a good day off the point last week with Gareth Beaumont and Allan Du Plessis of South Sea Safaris, bagging two fine "Yellows" and a longfin. The larger yellowfin was extremely powerful as I shot him from above just behind the dorsal fin without the spear doing any major structural damage, so the fish was in the perfect towing position, especially downhill toward the bottom of the Ocean. My normal yellowtail buoy (one of those hard orange ones) was pulled down to 60 meters and my next float, an orange-pink bulbous one of about 5 litres, often used as marker buoys, was pulled down to 30 meters. Next in line was my boogie board that was getting cut in two by the float line rope as the fish tried to pull that under as well. Fortunately there was another boogie board on the boat that I could attach to the end of the whole setup to prevent losing the fish. After an epic hour long battle and a few cramps in my legs I managed to subdue the fine fish.

When my hard yellowtail buoy finally popped up out of the depths, it was flatter than the proverbial pancake. It has regained some of its original shape but there are distinct ridges where the buoy was compressed. The 5 litre orange float was also squashed flat by the pressure. The moral of the story is don't take a knife to a gunfight - never use air filled buoys for tuna, only foam filled ones.

I was the only diver. The fisherman landed three other Yellows of between 50 and 65 kg and about 10 longfin.


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