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Posted: 11 Sep 2006 10:13 pm Post subject: 870 giant comes in...Sorry, Charlie!


Sorry, Charlie! Tuna reeled in
Fisherman catches 870-pound bluefin off Block Island; big catch destined to be dinner
Newsday Staff Writer

September 10, 2006

Holy bluefin tuna!

After nearly two hours of battling an 870-pounder off Block Island yesterday morning, a Westhampton Beach summer resident reeled in his largest catch to date.

Adam Kibel, 43, had been out fishing with three of his buddies since 8 p.m. Friday and hadn't had much luck. Fourteen hours later, his 50-foot boat was speeding backward to catch up with all the line the 10-foot, 4-inch fish was pulling.

"It was very exciting," said Kibel, who started fishing about 25 years ago. "It was strenuous."

He didn't take all the credit for the catch, though. "It's a team effort when you catch a big fish like that," he said.

Kibel, who works in real estate development, beat his record by a narrow margin - one pound. In 1986, he caught an 869-pound blue marlin.

This catch, he said, will probably end up in Japan as sushi, as he plans to sell it to a broker for between $5 and $10 per pound. Three years ago, he made $4,800 from the sale of a 600-pound tuna he caught in Nantucket.

He said he only feasts on his catches when they weigh in at 50 or 60 pounds.

Kibel, of Murray Hill in Manhattan, considers himself a "pretty decent" fisherman and goes out fishing almost every weekend during the summer, especially when there are murmurings of good action from the local fishermen.

Kibel and his fishing buddies set out from Jackson's Marina in Shinnecock Inlet and were in the Atlantic Ocean 20 miles south of Block Island when he hooked the tuna.

His secret? Going fishing often and researching what technique works best. So far, Kibel said he's discovered that butterfish work well as bait for bluefin.

These days, Kibel said, the average bluefin catch has been about 750 pounds, when it's typically around 100 pounds.

"This catch is way above average, in general," he said.

According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the largest bluefin tuna in New York was caught in 1977 and weighed in at 1,071 pounds.

Bill Rush, manager of the Star Island Yacht Club in Montauk, said 800-pound fish are caught about once every year during migration.

Last week, Rush said, 640- and 670-pound bluefin were caught.

"There seems to be some big fish out there," he said.

About bluefin tuna

Considered one of the great-est of the big-game fish, bluefin tuna travel in large schools, especially when they are young. The very largest, however, tend to be solitary.

Overfishing has reportedly reduced bluefin population to just 3 percent of pre-1960 levels.

Seasonal migrators, bluefins generally appear in area waters in early summer. Sleekly built, they may reach speeds of more than 50 mph and live 20 or more years.

Experienced fishermen troll lures and use bait fishing to catch them; effective baits include herring, butterfish, mackerel and squid.

Bluefin is prized in Japan for sushi and sashimi; however, its rarity makes it the most expensive tuna for consumption.

All-tackle record: 1,496 pounds, caught off Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1979.


Bluefin tuna caught by Adam Kibel



10' 4"


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