Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:18 am
: Me, Moody Marlin, Syl & AliDuration
: 9am - 6pmTide
: Spreader bars - 130lbs trolling gearRigs
: No fish landedReport
: I would not normally put up a catch report when no fish were actually caught but I wanted to share today's experience anyway. Our friends in Downings, Syl & Ali had been out last Saturday and had spotted a couple of Tuna busts, no great numbers but positive sightings none the less. The following couple of days there were more positive reports from other boats, including 2 hook ups, resulting in fish lost. So as we left Mulroy Bay this morning we had high hopes of at least spotting some fish. We were out only 20 mins when we spotted our 1st bust, and as we followed gannets, we continued to see Tuna appearing on the surface every 10 minutes or so for the first couple of hours with the occasional fish breaching well clear of the water, 1 or 2 within a boat length of us. There then followed about an hour when both the birds & the Tuna disappeared. We were thinking of pulling in the gear and steaming to another area, when the fish began to appear on the surface again. 2 fully breached about 500 yards ahead of us, and as we steamed in that direction at about 5 knots, a fish busted 20' from one of the spreader bars and then in an instant reappeared and swallowed the lure. Cue screaming reel and a missed heart beat. After about 10 seconds the reel stopped screaming, and I reeled in to discover the stinger lure and hook missing. 400lbs mono sliced somehow. We trolled around the area for another hour or 2 spotting the occasional bust and then headed in the direction of home, again spotting fish on the surface every 20 mins or so. As we got within a mile of Mulroy it was lines in time. No sooner had we taken the gear in and put the rods away, the biggest bust of the day appeared in front of us not half a mile from the shore. Tuna breaching everywhere and gannets filling their bellies with saurys. By the time we had the rods back out and the spreader bars back in the water, the frenzy had ended. So, a day with no fish caught, and yet, the most spectacular day out fishing I have had in this country. I feel blessed to have witnessed what I saw today, and after 6 barren years, the mighty Bluefin Tuna is back in our waters. I heard reports of a 600lb tuna landed into Mullaghmore yesterday. After what I witnessed earlier, I don't think it will be the last. I hope the weather holds so I can get back up again within the next week.
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Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:35 am
TUNA TUNA TUNA! TUNA everywhere!! Was an excellent day out, hopefully we'll be back up sooner rather than later.
Thanks again to the lads for having us.
Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:30 am
Great report, hard luck tho. Next time.
Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:31 am
Exciting stuff there, I've had the priveledge to witness Bluefin's in numbers like this off our shore's in 2005 and 2007 and it's and experience that stays with you for life. Amazing fish. Hopefully there are a few more hook ups this time around and the weather plays ball for anyone looking to get out to them in the next month.
Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:04 am
Are you fishing with McVeigh?
Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:15 pm
no rob, out with trevor ryder onboard "bonito" out of downings. i think michael is already booked with another group.
Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:56 pm
Yep, Michael is fishing Tuna for the next 3 days. Apparently broke off on 2 this morning. Our crew were out again this morning and said there's even more Bluefin about than yesterday. I'd say you'll be in for a treat on Sunday on the Bonito. Have fun!
Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:26 pm
nice one rob!!
good luck to yourself too man
Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:07 pm
sounds like an absolute spectacle to be witnessed all right, and right off our very own shores
thanks for the post.. and eye-opener!
and the question that you are probably gonna be asked anyway, i might aswell ask it now..: What do you intend to do with these fish if you catch one?? will you kill it, is it legal to do so? and if you do kill it, then what..? - would it be sellable?
(sorry, that was 4 questions)
Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:14 pm
Rob Millard wrote:I heard reports of a 600lb tuna landed into Mullaghmore yesterday.
if you are on Facebook then you can read all about it here:https://www.facebook.com/OffshoreWatersportsMullaghmore
Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:08 pm
It's entirely down to Ali, as the owner of the boat I would respect his decision. Personally, I would like to see them released at the side of the boat. These are valuable fish however. I'm unsure of the legality of selling them. It's not illegal for anglers to kill them though.
Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:16 pm
yeah, theres a whole debate as to whether they would survive if released too though, its hard to know. but then again people actively tag and release them suggesting that they do survive
and people say its the industrial fishing that does the harm and not the angler, regardless, i see every bluefin tuna in our waters at the moment as invaluable
towards conservation and the rejuvenation of stocks - i would loved to have seen it released, this is an endangered species, numbers are critically low
the pictures of the fish on that facebook page show that it had been carefully gutted not through the belly but just behind the gills, suggesting that they have cleverly preserved the valuable belly meet too. i can imagine fish like these heading straight to a meat factory freezer and then they would be tried to be sold abroad. very valuable fish indeed. pity
As far as I am aware it is illegal to fish for and kill bluefin tuna in Irish waters - for commercial fishermen anyway - im just not sure about anglers but I can imagine it must surely stand for them/us too..?
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Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:43 pm
Stamford university in the states have undertaken an extensive tagging programme of line caught bluefin, including tagging some fish caught in Ireland 8 or so years ago, so I guess carefully released fish do survive. I can't imagine angling pressure would have any impact in the overall stock, but I think anglers as a group, should lead by example. It's difficult to take the high moral ground if we are killing these fish too.
I'm not castigating the crew of Kiwi Girl btw, as I understand it, they tagged and released another bluefin today. I have heard a report of a boat that caught and killed 4 today in south Donegal. Good for them, that's an awesome achievement, but I can't help thinking that they should have kept 1 and released 3.
Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:54 pm
Or better still, release all 4. I have a feeling that there'll be a good few caught over the next few weeks. I hope people see some sense, and it's not just 1 big blood bath.
Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:13 am
I have no issues with killing a fish to eat it.
Anyone killing a fish and selling it is a commercial fisherman, be it licensed or unlicensed, angling or netting.
Anyone, recreational angler or commercial fisherman, licensed or unlicensed, killing a protected species or a fish out of season is a criminal.
Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:14 pm
It's hard to disagree with your point of view Tanglerat. The European quota for this year is 13,000 tonnes, if the average fish caught is about 400lbs, that's 65,000 approx fish killed commercially. If anglers in Ireland were to kill 50 fish this year, it would have little impact when compared with the commercial numbers. As I stated above, anglers should lead by example, and the EU should continue to cut the quota, or better still, a moratorium on Bluefin fishing. However, Bluefin fishing is big business, and as we've seen in this country, big business influences political decision making to the detriment of the greater good.
Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:13 pm
Would you target and kill an African lion, white rhino, silver back gorilla, or Siberian tiger?
Blue fin tuna are a WWF recognised endangered species: http://worldwildlife.org/species/bluefin-tuna
North east Atlantic blue fin tuna are today, nine years after Charles Clover high lighted their plight in "The End of the Line", still in a precarious position due to illegal fishing, unreported catches, ranching (Whereby tuna are caught and transfered live to sea cages for fattening up. Due to an anomally these fish are not counted as quota so distorting catch figures further), and ongoing conmmercial fishing above MSY.
Two or more Atlantic bluefin populations are currently recognized by ICCAT, the international commission charged with conserving highly migratory fishes like bluefin in the Atlantic. A western population spawns in the Gulf of Mexico and is primarily fished by North Americans, and an eastern population spawns in the Mediterranean Sea and is fished by European and North African fishers, along with high seas longliners from multiple nations. The PLoS ONE study indicates that since 1950 adult bluefin tuna numbers have declined by as much as 83% in the Gulf of Mexico spawned western Atlantic population, and 67% in the Mediterranean spawned eastern Atlantic population.
"Current population models assume that a fish caught in the West Atlantic was born in the west, and a fish caught in the east was born in the east," said senior author Dr. Murdoch McAllister of the University of British Columbia. "We now know that upwards of 50% of bluefin caught in some western fisheries were spawned in the Mediterranean, and incorrect assignment of these fish biases assessments may compromise recovery efforts of this valuable species." High levels of fishing in the Mediterranean Sea, including pirate fishing, resulted in the highest fishing mortality on record for the species between 1998 and 2007. Importantly, the model shows that this egregious overfishing in the East depleted not just the eastern population but the western one as well. The eastern catch of bluefin tuna has been cut by approximately half since 2007 so this trend may reverse in the coming years.
The model estimates that eastern bluefin tuna can recover relatively quickly with perfect adherence to current regulations. However, significant illegal overfishing continues to be documented and threatens the recovery of fish in both the eastern and western Atlantic. Recovery of the depleted western Atlantic bluefin tuna population will take more than 15 years under current fishery regulations.
Ireland's sea angling fraternity consistantly points the finger at commercial practices especially when it comes to bass, talk about shooting ourselves in the foot.
Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:25 pm
If other nations outside the EU are continuing to catch Bluefin Tuna and throw the stocks in jeopardy then I don't think we should be taking the higher moral ground against any Donegal based charter skipper who has invested heavily in equipment for targetting and taking a fish or two. They didn't create the problem and I hope they are left in peace.
Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:39 pm
The reality is that there are probably only a half dozen boats geared up to target these fish right now, and if the truth be told, none of them are particularly efficient at catching them. I don't see the problem with them being allowed to fish for them on a catch and release basis. They are safer here, with a few sportfishing boats chasing them, than they are in the Med, the straits of Gibralter or anywhere else. If we are fortunate, and they begin to appear again on an annual basis, our Government should look to protect these fish while they're here, and develop big game fishing tourism for the North West, much as the Canadian Government has at Prince Edward Island. Of course we might not see these fish again for another few years.
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