Eyeballs and Space Fridges

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Bigeye Tuna Tail
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I had barely gotten the fifth lure in the water when the long line went tight, line screaming off the reel as a solid bigeye charged away from the boat. I turned around just in time to watch three spreader bars have “space refrigerators** dropped on them” as bigeye tuna wolf packed our spread. It was 8 hours later that we would realize how truly epic a trip we’d had.

2am the night before I had been laying wide awake in bed, hopes of sleeping proving as fruitless as usual when leaving for the canyons in the morning. An eternity later, 3am rolled around and I hopped out of bed to make my ritualistic pre-tuna trip eggs. 

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. . .

A mix of emotions surged through me as 1050 horsepower of outboard engines rocketed us south of Martha’s Vineyard. An average canyons run for us is around 100 miles, but the night before I had made the call to shoot the extra 50 miles, even further from home, in pursuit of what a buddy had called one of the most incredible bites he had ever seen. Now more than 2.5 hours into the trip there, I stepped out from behind the center console to feel the breeze and wake myself up. Running 55 miles an hour, the breeze was more like a brick wall and I lunged for a hand hold while being thrown off balance. There is a reason we joke that the 39 Invincible is a spaceship, not a boat. I was definitely awake after that. 

With 2 hours left in the run I was wondering if there would be any life. With an hour left in the run I was hoping we would see something. As I readied the spread with 30 minutes left I was praying I’d made the right call. 1 mile to go and I was nervous to sip my coffee, hands shaking incessantly. I’d been waiting two weeks to sit where I was. 3+ hours of running, over a thousand dollars in gas and a sleepless night had gone into planning this trip and we were finally there. Pulling back on the throttles, I threw in the first lure of the day with only one other boat in sight. Little did I know it would be the most action-packed day of tuna fishing I’d ever experienced.