This was a really interesting job for us recently, working on True Blue Fishing Charter’s Rodman 1250 sports cruiser.
True Blue Fishing Charters run one of the very few licensed tuna fishing boats in the UK and ,while Poole based, they head down to the West Country during the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna season which starts around mid-summer.
These guys catch some really big fish, but remember this isn’t the sort of fishing just anyone is allowed to do! It’s heavily regulated and you must have approval from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
Recreational sea anglers and commercial vessels are not allowed to target or land bluefin tuna.
There are only a few regulated and approved vessels in the whole country who operate under CHART a scientific ‘catch-and-release tagging’ programme for 2021. Skippers who have been selected for the CHART programme will secure a Marine Management Organisation (MMO) scientific licence. Their skippers are trained in catching, tagging and data recording techniques so that they can contribute to bluefin tuna research.
Their fishing is catch and release only, allowing these amazing apex predators to head back into the sea unharmed- where they could live for up to 40 years and grow up to 10 feet (2000lbs) in size.
Steve came to us because he wanted to upgrade his old equipment with something new that would help with finding fish more quickly. The key to catching bluefin tuna is to find the bait balls that they’ll be feeding on. One of the best ways to identify these bait balls is to look for sea birds who will also be feeding from above, but as you can imagine this can take many hours!
This is where his brand new tech comes in, particularly the Raymarine Cyclone Pro 110w radar- with it’s bird scanning option- which can pick up flocks of seabirds at ranges of up to 10 miles, making it much easier to know in which direction to head.
We also fitted 3 x Axiom Pro 12’s, twin RV220 transducers and a Navionics Platinum Chart with relief shading function, which delivers highly detailed shading combining both colour and shadow giving a much clearer and easier to interpret view of the sea bed rather than just contour lines alone.
Happy fishing Steve and co!
If you are interested in finding out more about True Blue then head over to their website: Trueblue Charters.
You can also find out more about Bluefin Tuna fishing regulations in the UK by looking at the government website Bluefin tuna in the UK - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) or CHART CatcH And Release Tag (CHART) Scientific Data Collection Programme for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ABT) - Cefas (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science)