Twelve-Year-Old Lands New Junior World-Record Bluefin Tuna

giant bluefish tuna

Nova Scotia’s giant bluefin tuna grounds are legendary in every way. In fact, the world-record giant bluefin tuna of 1,496 pounds was caught there by Ken Fraser in 1979. Well, move over Ken, because 12-year-old Jenna Gavin is looking to be a contender for that record, and she’s off to a great start. Her 618-pound giant bluefin tuna qualifies as a Junior World Record, breaking the previous record of 432 pounds.

The huge horse mackerel hit a live bait in the shallow waters of the Northumberland Strait, according to OutdoorHub. Probably the most amazing factor of Jenna's accomplishment is that she beat the fish in two hours without any assistance from her parents or crew. This goes to show proper fighting techniques can beat any size fish, even when implemented by the most diminutive angler.

Once hooked, bluefin tuna always look to sound down into the depths, but in shallow water, they have nowhere to sound and run outward, giving the angler the advantage as the boat can back down on the fish, and pressure can be applied directly to stop the run of the fish. When battling big fish, use simple, short pump-and-reel strokes, accomplished by dipping the rod. Then slide back in the fighting chair and use your leg muscles to pull back on the rod. Repeating this method to gain short, quick chunks of line is the way to win.

And above all, stamina plays a big role. Jenna was able to hold on to the searing runs of the fish, mainly because she didn’t exhaust her power trying to wrench the tuna in with her arms and back. When a large fish runs, just hold fast to the rod and let it do its thing. The moment a big fish stops running, knuckle down and start short-pumping the fish back to the boat. Of course, if there is slack in the line and the fish is running toward you, simply reel the line back on as fast as possible. The short-pump technique may only gain little stretches of line, but in the long run, that’s what brings a big fish boatside while conserving your strength.