September 19, 2013
Possible World Record Pacific Bluefin Caught off New Zealand
By Ben Romans
On Saturday, September 14th, 2013, New Zealand angler Kevin Baker caught a 352.5 kg (777 pound) pacific bluefin tuna—a fish that could be the heaviest pacific bluefin caught on rod-and-reel and would best the International Game Fish Association's world record by just over 37 pounds.
According to New Zealand TV3 News, Baker was fishing on board a boat from Enchanter Fishing Charters off the coast of Greymouth as part of a week-long charter. At one point, another angler on the boat hooked a tuna, but the line broke after a three-hour fight. Baker says he immediately threw his bait into the water and hooked up on the biggest fish of his life, though it reportedly only took him 30 minutes to subdue.
On shore, the justice of the peace verified the fish weight and measurements, though at this time, it's not known whether the scale was certified, as per IGFA rules. Baker says he's in the process of gathering the necessary paperwork and documentation to submit an application to the IGFA.
The fish would reportedly be worth around $70,000 on the Japenese market, but Baker says legal regulations prevent him from selling it. Instead, he plans to mount the fish for display.
The current world record pacific bluefin tuna weighed 335.37 kg (739 lbs., 6 oz.) and was also caught off the coast of New Zealand by angler Nathan Adams in 2012.