We were supposed to fish on the Godspeed on Monday but on our way down Captain David gave us a call. He said the fish had moved well to the North and that it was supposed to blow Southwest so rather than run really far and get our butts kicked he set us up on the Phideaux.
This was very cool of Captain David. He is a total class act. Anyway we met at the boat around 6am and met Capt. Jaime and Mate Jeff and headed on our way. It was still Flat on the way out but we knew it was gonna blow at some point. After an hour and a half run we saw some slicks and noticed some birds and even alot of Hammerheads crusing the surface. Captain Jaime found some good marks and we dropped our jigs. I immediately came tight as I started reeling only to have my main line break. I am assuming my line got screwed up on that last trip fighting that fish for a couple hours. Anyways we are 0 for 1. While my jigging rod is out of commission we find some shallower marks. I decided to throw my popping rod with a big Komodo OTI Popper. After a couple of casts my popper gets destroyed and I am tight to a very large tuna. This fish was well on its way to spooling me but the Captain started backing down before this could happen. Gulf Stream water was spraying in my face but it actually felt good as this fish was kicking my butt. Just as it seemed the fish was gonna settle into his circles, the hook pulled. Oh well... back at it Captain Jaime finds some more marks. We drop jigs and Chris is hooked up. At first it looked like this may be a smaller fish but I don't think the fish knew he was hooked. This fish realized and peeled off some serious line.
Chris did a great job with this fish and we finally got the fish close. We were not sure whether this fish was going to be under 73 inches. We slid it threw the tuna door while keeping water on it. We quickly measured found it was 75 inches and took a quick picture and put her back in and revived her.
This fish took us a ways off of our marks as we followed it a bit and the gulf stream was cranking that day. The wind was picking up and it was getting a bit choppy. Earlier in the day the Mate Jeff mentioned that he saw a whale that almost looked like an Orca but he didn't get a good look at it. After motoring around for a while we pull up to some other boats and we get some marks. As we pull up we see a pod of Orca's/Killer Whales. I had no idea they were around in North Carolina. The Captain did mention that he saw them once before in all of his time on the water. Anyways I shot some video but they kind of dissapeared or swam towards the other boats. It looked like a Family unit as they were all different sizes. So we are all amazed for a bit feeling lucky to witness this. After a bit we get on some good marks. Greg throws a popper and gets some good boils on it so I grab my popping rod and work the popper about two pops and bam I get nailed by another large tuna. The fish takes off and I start working on it. It didn't seem as big as the first fish I hooked and I got her under control. I almost had her at color when we saw to the left the pod of Orca's coming towards us and the fish. Greg said ugh ohh and next thing I know the Orcas took a big breath and dove. As soon as they dove my Tuna took off for the the horizon. These Orcas were after my Tuna WTF do I do? Well about 150 yards out we see a huge explosion and the largest of the group of Orca's nails the Tuna. I didn't see all of it as I was kinda working on fighting the fish but everyone else did. Unfortunately we don't have video of all of this but Greg wasnt sure the Orca had the Tuna so I handed him the rod and I started taking video. He realized once he got tight and the Orca came to the surface again that she had the Tuna. Captain Jaime saw it even better than we did. Here is the video I did capture of the Orca's
Now if there was ever a way to lose a fish and not care, this was it. This was probably the coolest thing I have ever witnessed in all of my time on the water. We were very fortunate as few people in the world have probably ever seen anything like it. Some of the other boats had the same thing happen to them. Here is a shot of a Tuna that was attacked on the Canyon Runner.
We only landed one Tuna but it was an amazing day I will never forget. This was Blue Planet type action. If you are thinking about heading down there do it. This is an absolute World Class Fishery that must be experienced.