EUROPEAN SPEARFISHING RECORDS ASSOCIATION
Capture Notable (EU)
Capture Notable (WW)
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Scientific name: Thunnus albacares
Diver: Paulo Afonso
Location: Pico Island, Azores
In the early morning of October / 3 / 2020 me and David, aboard my boat Pérola Negra, got out of my home towns harbor, situated in the center north side of Pico Island, heading straight down the coastline, skirting the Island to the south side where the tuna action was.
10 NM covered and we turned the pencil point tip of the island, leaving behind calm/flat sea weather from the north to enter strong wind, grumpy sea conditions on the south. We could already see piles of birds hitting the water all over the area, about 5 NM offshore. I immediately began jumping in on the bait-ball frenzy's over and over again, adapting my approach technique as I learned the specific circumstances of that day. Rough weather and the fish behaving very jumpy made for difficult conditions. But eventually, on an attempt that at first seemed unsuccessful, like all previous ones, just when I was calling the boat to pick me up, I turned my head around to be was surprised with the sight of a shoal of big Yellow fins cruising behind me near the surface. I carefully swam towards them but this action pushed them to go deeper really fast so with a poorly prepared breath hold I dove on them. As I was descending, I selected a tuna moving on a trajectory with potential for interception, but still very far away so I kicked down as hard as I could trying to close the gap and, in the momentum gained, I pulled the trigger on my Riffe Blue Water Elite speargun. Extremely far and not advisable shot to take. The shaft hit the fish on its last third towards the tail, not with enough power to penetrate all the way through, but by the wiggling kind of way the fish swam off, enough to damage its spine and detach the slip tip inside. I took my time pulling the tuna up with the help of a single 11L hard float making sure there wasn't to much drag pressure whenever it would take off on a sudden burst of energy. Once I got the clip and pull float to the shooting line, David passed me the reel gun from the boat and I went down to second shoot the tuna, about 20 minutes after first shot. Missing the kill shot “woke up” the fish that swam up to the surface where the rest of the battle was fought. Grabbing to the reel gun line right behind the shooting line length I was towed around for the next 10 minutes. Eventually I was able to work my way up the line luckily dispatching this huge Yellowfin tuna with a single strike of my dive knife.
Sunny day with few clouds
Choppy sea agitated by strong current and wind 20 meters underwater visibility
24 degrees Celsius water temperature
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