675 Offshore Lands Huge Bluefin Tuna
29 May 2014

675 Offshore Lands Huge Bluefin Tuna

Haines Hunter pro angler Jack Auld put his new 675 Offshore through its paces last weekend down at Portland on Victoria’s South West coast. Below is his account of boating a fish of a lifetime on the vessels maiden voyage on the Victorian tuna grounds.

Ever since building my 675 Offshore Hardtop, I’ve had the goal of landing a southern bluefin tuna as the boat’s first game capture. I had been eager to run the boat in the southern ocean off Portland and when I finally got my chance I couldn’t have planned it any better! My 675 was flawless in every way in the turbulent offshore conditions that frequent the southern ocean. My 675 handled the wishy-washy conditions beautifully with a cruising speed for best performance and fuel economy of 22-25 knots in a head sea and 25-28 knots in a following sea. At these speeds all the crew were able to remain seated while underway to chat and enjoy the day with the boat remaining stable and allowing me to navigate the swell with ease once my trim and speed was set. It’s amazing how little effort is required on the skipper’s behalf to drive this vessel through an ocean swell.

Now back to the fishing! We set off with a goal of boating a big bluefin. Once we arrived at the area I wanted to fish we were met with birds bombing bait schools and dolphins and seals working the area with no other boats to be seen so I was quietly confident. We proceeded to search for fish using the sounder and the birds above to locate the fish. We marked up tuna on the sounder and plenty of bait, set the spread and it was just a case of waiting for a strike. Not too long after the short rigger began emptying a 50 wide like we had hooked a bus.

We soon cleared the deck and fellow Haines Hunter owner Brad Parkinson was on the rod. We quickly got him locked into a harness and I began chasing down this big tuna with the boat. This fish was hooked in 50 metres of water and changed direction quickly, making for some intense moments trying to keep tight to the fish while trying to get some line back on the reel. We won the battle and the beast of a tuna was ripped through the side door and on the deck after a short twenty minute fight, which is pretty quick considering tuna of this size can take hours to land if you let the fish dictate the fight. The excitement and relief of our team was huge and it was great to have my goal and plan come together in my new 675.

The fish later weighed in at 110.1kg and was over 6 foot long. The whole layout of the cockpit and the responsive handling of the 675 allowed the crew and boat to effectively work as a team and bring this fish in so quickly. Little things like the ability to quickly put rods away in the launchers, easily accessible gaff storage in the side pockets and the dive door to bring the fish aboard all aided in getting the job down quickly, efficiently and with no drama in what can be a highly intense situation. I can’t wait to do it all again and the 675 now has some very big shoes to fill.

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