Big and Biggest

by Tony Bishop on September 10, 2008

tunacatch_180

A New Zealand woman’s claim to a world fishing record has came with a  twist in the tale. Earlier this week, Sue Tindale of Auckland caught a bluefin tuna weighing 219 kg’s (483#), setting an unofficial world women’s record.

But she may have only held it for a matter of minutes, as another Kiwi woman also caught a whopper the very same day. Lyn Salvidge’s bluefin tuna weighed in at 223 kg’s (491#) – an astonishingly four kilos more.

"To sort of have two ladies weighing in a fish together was amazing," Ms Salvidge says. "So they put Sue’s fish up at 219 and I was looking at mine thinking oh, so I was really quite nervous."

Despite losing the record, Ms Tindale was not at the very least envious of Ms Salvidge’s four extra kilos.

"I just did the fish for myself and Scott anyway," she says. "And I just wouldn’t swap the adventure. And good on her if she beats me, it doesn’t worry me at all."

The two tuna very nearly beat both keen game fishers.

"I’d never felt anything so powerful," Ms Salvidge says. "I mean, I’ve caught marlin and stuff before, but never anything like this. This was like a horse."

"The bait got cast and just about instantly we were hooked up, and I thought ‘oh no.’" Ms Salvidge says. "This fish just about pulled me out of the chair and then the fight was on and it took three and a half hours."

The Tindales say it will be tuna for dinner every third night from now on. Of the 219 kilograms of tuna, 180 kilograms was cut off for eating.

It will be a few months before the US-based IGFA world record scrutineers verify both catches.

(Footnote: It can only be guessed at how many thousand dollars these two fish might have fetched on the Japanese market – but it is highly illegal for non-commercial fishers to sell fish in New Zealand.)

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