LONGFIN TUNA

It was the middle of May when I was invited to join my friends, Sam and Scott on a trip to the deep to look for Yellowfin and Longfin Tuna. After saying yes before Scott could even finish his sentence, I was already packing.

We launched from Hout Bay around 1AM from where the long steam began and arrived around 5AM, put the Rapalas out and kept our eyes peeled for any bird activity. It wasn’t even half an hour before we had our first strike: a nice longie of 15kg’s. It was good start to the day. After managing to catch a few more on the backlines, we decided to start baiting for them. This too was productive catching a couple until it quietened down, Sam shouted to me to try the spoon and if I had known what I was in for I would have stayed with the bait!

As I normally put the spoon into the water it was a matter of seconds before I got a pull. I was using a Jigstar Kojak 450 paired with an Alutecnos Gorilla 20 spooled with 100lb Suffix braid, a mean combo with serious stopping power! The Longie ate and I immediately tightened up. All seemed well. I was gaining line and slowly turning its head towards the boat. Then the tables turned my antireverse bearing was… no more anti-reverse! I remember thinking just don’t let go of the handle or my hand would have some proper bruises. I tried to regain control of the fish as it continued to take more line. At this point the rest of the crew were nearly in tears from laughter. 

Now starting to get the upper hand, pushed my drag to sunset and towed that Longfin straight to the boat, where it was greeted with a shiny gaff. I couldn’t have been more relieved! Despite the anti-reverse, the setup was brilliant and now with its new bearing is once again ready for the beginning of the new season. We hit land, sorted out the boat and gear. After a well needed shower we had some fresh Longfin to prepare for the pan, with seared Longfin steaks on the menu. 

Scott started us off with some beautiful sashimi, at the same time I was preparing the ingredients: soy sauce for the raw tuna, lemon juice and sesame seeds for the steaks. With the pan hot, the steaks went on, a quick few minutes on each side trying not to overcook the fish – and done. We were so tired from the days fishing that we devoured the fish. We were either very tired or it was cooked well?

But it tasted delicious! Soft and packed with flavour.

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