Charter boat Twilight brings in big haul of tuna
What was supposed to be a four-day fishing trip got cut short this week.
Why? Too many fish and no place for more on the boat.
In the count were nine yellowfin tuna, two bigeye tuna, plus wahoo to name a few.
When the Twilight with Capt. Robert Hill at the helm backed in Tuesday evening at the Destin Fishing Rodeo his group of anglers from Kentucky and Pensacola looked a bit tired, and rightly so after filling up several tubs with fish, plus the ice boxes and a fish bag.
But excitement started to rise as they hauled the fish off the boat and onto the barge.
First they weighed in a 46.2-pound wahoo that took over first place in the Extended Voyage Division. James Richardson was the angler on the rod. They also took second with a 34 pounder pulled in by Tony Thomas.
Then they started hauling out some huge yellowfin tuna.
Earlier this month, there have been a couple of boats in search of yellowfin tuna.
Hill hit the jackpot this week.
“They bit for us,” he said.
They pulled about three or four of the yellowfins onto the Rodeo barge and then picked out a couple of the big ones to weigh.
The first tuna weighed a 100.8 pounds, however, the next one looked bigger.
And without a doubt it was. Kevin Brewer weighed in a 124.6-pound yellowfin for first in the Extended Voyage Division. Second went to James Richardson with a 113.8-pounder.
With the yellowfin wowing the crowd, captain noted they had more.
Then came the bigeye tuna.
The first one weighed in at 172.2 pounds and was caught by Chris Thomas.
But then came the big bigeye. Deckhand Jordan Colson hauled it up to the scales with a short gaff, the fish was then hoisted up by none other than Miss Destin Brooke O’Keefe as the crowd pulled out their cellphones to snap photos.
Weighmaster Bruce Cheves then called out the weight, 203.8 pounds.
“It was an hour-and-a-half of pure misery,” said Jesse Cox who hauled in the huge bigeye. “It wasn’t that bad ... it was just a long long fight.
“He fought all the way until he got to the surface and that was it ... he was done,” he added.
As for Thomas, who’s bigeye finished second, he said the fight was “long and painful.”
The crazy thing about the bigeye battles were they were both on line at the same time.
“It was back and forth, over and under each other,” Thomas said. “(Deckhands) Travis and Pixley kept bailing us out ... if it wasn’t for those guys we wouldn’t be doing anything.”
Thomas was referring to Travis Marlin and Steve Pixley, who were working the deck of the Twilight along with Colson.
“They are the best decks on the market,” Richardson said, who reeled in the first place wahoo and the second place yellowfin. “The captain did a fantastic job. If it hadn’t been for those guys we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to catch those fish.”