You dont know what patience and perseverance will bring. Charter boat captain Danny Wadsworth can tell you that from experience.
The Smithfield native informed his party of four anglers last Friday that he didnt think they would catch a giant bluefin tuna small enough to keep and that they should reserve their one-fish trophy limit for a true giant.
Sure enough, it was the next fish we caught, he said.
Connecticut angler Jill Muller reeled in a 609-pound bluefin after a two-hour fight.
This is probably one of the largest that has been caught this year, said Wadsworth, who has been a charter captain for 25 years and runs Point Runner Charters out of the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center at Nags Head.
North Carolinas state record is an 805-pound fish caught in March 2011, also out of Oregon Inlet. That fish broke the record of 744 pounds set in 1995, according to N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries news releases.
Wadsworth and his crew took a party of four about 35 miles southeast of Oregon Inlet to the blended water along the Continental Shelf near the Gulf Stream. The recreational anglers were catch-and-release fishing, and New Yorker Steve Donovan, son Stephen Donovan, and Mullers daughter Michelle hooked three fish in the 300- to 400-pound range.
The fish were too big for Wadsworth to keep under strict regulations. The federal permit allows one fish per day less than 73 inches which would weigh about 200 pounds, he said and only one bluefin exceeding 73 inches can be kept per year, so the captain was holding out for a trophy fish topping 100 inches. During Mullers turn in the fighting chair, the 102-inch trophy hit a trolling bait.
Wadsworth said he expects the migratory species to remain in the area for two or three more weeks.
We really have grown to rely on the fish being here in December through mid April, and they have been here consistently for the past several years, he said.