A New Zealand woman may have caught the world’s largest Pacific bluefin tuna, which would make the sizeable fish the largest of its kind to be caught on a rod and reel.
Donna Pascoe, 56, is credited with making the catch. She was onboard her boat “Gladiator” on Feb. 19 when she hooked the 907-pound pacific bluefin tuna. She sent the fish’s measurements to the International Game Fish Association to recognize her as the new world record holder for a pacific bluefin tuna catch, and she's still waiting for the official word. But in the meantime, the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council announced this week it’s the largest fish ever caught by a female angler off New Zealand.
"I hooked up at 9:10 a.m. with the reel screaming," Pascoe told the Saltwater Sportsman. "The fish never surfaced, so we had no idea what was on the other end. After three hours, the fish surfaced and the skipper yelled 'Tuna, world record!'"
The record is currently held by Kevin Baker, who caught a 777-pound tuna in Greymouth, New Zealand, last September. Pascoe’s catch took four hours to reel in.
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"The line was peeling out like it was attached to a freight train," she says. "As usual, I was pretty nervous that I might get spooled. Thankfully, the fish stopped running and I was able to get a bit of line back in."
Regardless of what the IGFA says,
Even four men couldn’t pull the giant fish on board.
“Four men could not pull it onto the boat, so had to be assisted by the boat anchor winch and even then it took half an hour to bring on board,” Pascoe said in a Facebook post describing the record catch.
Pascoe says her stamina during the fish’s four-hour fight didn’t wane.
"Once we had the fish, I was so excited that my arms and legs could have fallen off and I wouldn't have noticed," she says. "I think adrenalin is a great thing and it certainly kept me going."