Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

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Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby castronova » October 20th, 2016, 6:50 pm

I got a text from GR Tarr at noon on Friday - Headed to ****** Sunday, coming back Wednesday, want to go?

From then until about 1:30 I got time off from work, checked my empty bank account, and bought a plane ticket. I was not entirely prepared gear wise but was close and know when GR plans a trip, it's not to play around.

I knew we were chasing tuna. I have never been attracted to tuna for some reason. Not one to plan a trip for them is what I mean. They are beautiful and delicious, I just don't know what I don't know.

We met up when I landed and drove many hours to the port we were going out of. Some of the boats had gotten tuna but it was hard work. We were headed in a different direction and a lot further. We were going to roll the dice.

It was GR, myself, and a good friend of his Guy. I had packed in about 6 hours as I had plans after work on Friday and had dinner planned Saturday night with my girl. I had to leave Key West to Mia at 3:30 in the morning to catch my flight. We got our gear together, had a little food and a few beers and hit the sack.

We got up and packed up the next morning with Keith Love wanting to leave a little early. At 6:30 we were ready to leave the dock. He had clients the whole week but they had to work hard for fish. We had other plans, not the same old. It paid off.

We went way out and into the epic blue water of the Gulf. Looked down and there were yellowfin right away. GR then I whacked a couple to get on the board. Before the end of day 1 we had shot 12 tuna, 7 yellowfin. I actually lost a really nice fish at the end of the day. I would gather we passed up on 30 smaller versions of the fish after we had our fun. We stayed out a long time and got to the dock late at night. We were spent so had some dinner and hit the sack.

Day 2 we got out and right away big tuna again. Guy shoots a very nice fish that takes away from the boat with a very large bull shark. We had to leave the spot to help him out. We ended up losing the fish. The decision was to go even further, further than further. We jumped in and Keith asked to join us, there was no objection he had been a great captain and guide. There was nothing at the get go but just 10 minutes in a few monsters come up from the deep and the talent that be landed perfect holding shots. 181 and 150 lb tuna landed. Of course there are many of us in the photos who didn't shoot the fish. These guys understand the team work involved and love having everyone join in as much as anyone I've ever met. What an incredible group of guys to dive with. You'll know more about the story in the future.

I'm keeping this short to write an article but had to share with the spearing forum crew. The photos are pretty good and I'll save a few of those as well. Enjoy.

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Last edited by castronova on October 21st, 2016, 2:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby Alex Ray » October 20th, 2016, 7:33 pm

Daaammmn
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby Schwaman » October 21st, 2016, 2:36 am

Epic!
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby Westbury » October 21st, 2016, 7:01 am

Awww hell yes!!

"12 tuna, 7 yellowfin".......

what were the other tuna you guys shot?

nice fish!
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby castronova » October 21st, 2016, 8:09 am

Thanks.

That was day one. We ended up with 15 tuna, 5 were blackfin and 10 were yellowfin. We didn't keep any blackfin though, we chummed them for yellowfin. GR shot all the blackfin. That guy is a sniper if I've ever seen one.
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby Bill McIntyre » October 21st, 2016, 12:23 pm

So how does GR's new gun compare to your Abellan? Is it wood or carbon fiber?
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby castronova » October 21st, 2016, 12:32 pm

In the hands of G.R. it doesn't matter, haha.

It's wood and it's very nice. They are much lighter than the Abellan and thinner. They shoot thinner shafts too. The Pelagic series he makes in a 130 and 140 shoot 8mm shafts max. They will recoil a little more than the Abellan but didn't seem dramatic, just a little kick. His smaller reel guns (90cm - 120cm) shoot 7mm shafts. All of his models are a tad longer due to the muzzle of the Abellan saving space, but not much. Like an inch. They are sleek looking though and think it will be a very popular rear handle.

His reef models have ambidextrous handles while his pelagic models have more of a pistol grip like the Abellan. I didn't put my hand on it but it seemed a little smaller, not as deep.

But thanks for the kind words about our fish Bill. :bowrofl:
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby Bill McIntyre » October 21st, 2016, 12:58 pm

castronova wrote:In the hands of G.R. it doesn't matter, haha.


Funny how that works. Daryl always says its the Indian more than the arrow, and I'm afraid its true. No matter what I carry I can't hold my breath worth a shit.

It's wood and it's very nice. They are much lighter than the Abellan and thinner. They shoot thinner shafts too. The Pelagic series he makes in a 130 and 140 shoot 8mm shafts max. They will recoil a little more than the Abellan but didn't seem dramatic, just a little kick. His smaller reel guns (90cm - 120cm) shoot 7mm shafts. All of his models are a tad longer due to the muzzle of the Abellan saving space, but not much. Like an inch. They are sleek looking though and think it will be a very popular rear handle.

His reef models have ambidextrous handles while his pelagic models have more of a pistol grip like the Abellan. I didn't put my hand on it but it seemed a little smaller, not as deep.

But thanks for the kind words about our fish Bill. :bowrofl:


Thanks. I keep seeing them on Facebook, but never had any details.

Oh, BTW. Nice fish. :)
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby Straz » October 22nd, 2016, 6:38 am

Epic, J.P. I was supposed to go there last week but I got staff infection on my leg and had to cancel. My two friends that went got on them too. I am bummed that I couldn't go but I am stoked for you and my buds. Congrats to you!!!
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby chris oak » October 23rd, 2016, 7:45 pm

FLIPPING AWESOME!!! Thanks for sharing all the photos and story JP that story was all time, I bet you are still living off that tuna high.
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby castronova » October 24th, 2016, 5:23 am

Funny. I sent GR an email yesterday asking when the tuna high wears off? His reply could only be described as tears of laughter! hahaha Apparently it doesn't wear off. My 70# box of tuna fillets arrives tomorrow!
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby castronova » October 28th, 2016, 8:49 am

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Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby Alex Ray » October 28th, 2016, 10:38 am

Those fish don't look hard to hit at all...
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby chris oak » October 28th, 2016, 5:37 pm

Gawd that had to be so much fun. I've still yet to see that many just buzzing bait.
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby GavinTexas » October 30th, 2016, 12:44 pm

Awesome. I missed out due to my Wyoming trip.

How many shafts did y'all go through?

Don't see many sharks in the video. Pretty sharky or not too bad?
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby Trace » October 31st, 2016, 3:30 pm

Wow that was great, one day...
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby castronova » October 31st, 2016, 5:05 pm

GavinTexas wrote:Awesome. I missed out due to my Wyoming trip.

How many shafts did y'all go through?

Don't see many sharks in the video. Pretty sharky or not too bad?


It was very sharky but not very intimidating. Most were pretty small. We had a couple nice hammerheads, one bull, and one black tip come in. You watch the bigger ones but they are not too numerous.

I was the only one who bent a shaft. The Aimrite slip-tip I ordered had spectra that was way too tight inside the slide ring. I didn't have but a few hours to get ready for the trip so I didn't change it out. I could pull on it and it would slide but it was tough, thought a tuna would pull it out but I was wrong. The tip toggled on the other side of the fish but the shaft got stuck just behind the tip and the shaft bent. That tip cost me $125 shaft. Thanks Aimrite.
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby castronova » October 31st, 2016, 5:14 pm

Alex Ray wrote:Those fish don't look hard to hit at all...


Remember, this isn't a tuna gun. ;)
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby Alex Ray » October 31st, 2016, 6:38 pm

castronova wrote:
Alex Ray wrote:Those fish don't look hard to hit at all...


Remember, this isn't a tuna gun. ;)


Does that mean they're easier or harder to hit? Regardless, my comment was sarcastic in nature because those fish were ZIPPING about, far faster than the sleeper seabass I typically try to chase down
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby castronova » November 1st, 2016, 6:39 am

Alex Ray wrote:
castronova wrote:
Alex Ray wrote:Those fish don't look hard to hit at all...


Remember, this isn't a tuna gun. ;)


Does that mean they're easier or harder to hit? Regardless, my comment was sarcastic in nature because those fish were ZIPPING about, far faster than the sleeper seabass I typically try to chase down


Yeah, I was being sarcastic too. Haha. I was just playing about the other Abellan thread but I don't want to start anything. Was just a joke.

They move pretty fast and turn very quick. I did not have a problem shooting them although it was not super easy. A gun with plenty of power is certainly useful. I do not know if light shafts will work for them.
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby Big_Berg » November 7th, 2016, 8:04 am

Wow, what an epic adventure! Thank you for sharing and congrats on a solid haul! I am curious as what the plan is with all of that meat? You have so much it would be almost impossible to eat it all sushi style while it's still fresh. I assume you plan to give some to friends and family. Do you also plan to can any? I hope to see some meal pics in the near future.
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby castronova » November 7th, 2016, 8:28 am

Thank you. I may have some meal photos to share here, didn't think of that. When I get some more time I'll look and upload.

I should have wrote about the fillets. We had them processed after the slabs were taken off the fish. They were skinned and bloodline removed, cut into 1.5" steaks and vacuum sealed then shipped to our houses. I shipped home 70#, another guy 70# and the last guy 40#. What was left was supposed to be picked up by the captain but they wrongly shipped the remainder to one of the other guys we dove with :rolls: I think he was fighting those charges. It wasn't cheap. I think I paid $440 for my 70#'s. The captain also took a couple of the larger full fish. We could have shot a lot more for sure.

I only sent that much back to share with friends. It's always a good way to give back. The owner where I keep my boat, good friends that help me work on the boat, guys that dive with me that go out of there way to help, my sister and her family, my parents, my grandparents all got fish. I've had 2 huge meals with a bunch of friends too. So far it's been Sashim, Sushi, and tataki style. I'm going to make some tuna salad this week. After all of those people getting a couple bags each I still have 10 bags left. It has been worth every penny though. And it means more that they were our fish.

The other guys have sent text photo's making large batches of tuna for their friends and families too.
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby Neptonics » November 7th, 2016, 11:16 am

WOw! Epic trip and awesome pics and video. Congrats!
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby Big_Berg » November 8th, 2016, 5:40 am

castronova wrote:Thank you. I may have some meal photos to share here, didn't think of that. When I get some more time I'll look and upload.

I should have wrote about the fillets. We had them processed after the slabs were taken off the fish. They were skinned and bloodline removed, cut into 1.5" steaks and vacuum sealed then shipped to our houses. I shipped home 70#, another guy 70# and the last guy 40#. What was left was supposed to be picked up by the captain but they wrongly shipped the remainder to one of the other guys we dove with :rolls: I think he was fighting those charges. It wasn't cheap. I think I paid $440 for my 70#'s. The captain also took a couple of the larger full fish. We could have shot a lot more for sure.

I only sent that much back to share with friends. It's always a good way to give back. The owner where I keep my boat, good friends that help me work on the boat, guys that dive with me that go out of there way to help, my sister and her family, my parents, my grandparents all got fish. I've had 2 huge meals with a bunch of friends too. So far it's been Sashim, Sushi, and tataki style. I'm going to make some tuna salad this week. After all of those people getting a couple bags each I still have 10 bags left. It has been worth every penny though. And it means more that they were our fish.

The other guys have sent text photo's making large batches of tuna for their friends and families too.



Hell yea!!

When it comes down to it that's what it's all about. Stoked to hear you spread the love and I'm sure people loved it. I dream of filleting up a big fish like some of the ones you have in the picture!

I always appreciate your contributions to this board, California of not.

Congrats again! And please post some meat pics hahaha
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby dam » November 10th, 2016, 11:16 am

You guys shoot tuna like I shoot opaleyes back home. Your pictures are stellar, btw. Jesus. What an epic trip. :bow-blue:
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Re: Yellowfin Tuna Extravaganza

Postby castronova » November 14th, 2016, 5:38 am

Thanks everyone. Big Berg, no luck on the photos dude. I'm usually overboard on the food photos but just haven't done it lately. Good thing is I still have about 8 - 10 bags of tuna left ;)
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