Taking part in the cup presentation from the second annual MacLeod’s Ledge Bluefin Tuna Cup are, from left, Jim Munro, Controls and Equipment; Andrew and Sharon Roberts, crew of Misty Blue Waters; tournament coordinator Anne Arsenault and Brian Dutt, president of Controls and Equipment. The 10 foot two-inch tuna the Controls and Equipment team hooked was the largest fish measured during the two-day tournament. Other members of the winning team were Chris Stevens, Matt Landry and Gilles Richard.
TIGNISH -- The crew of Misty Blue Waters could have taken their hooks and went home after the first day of the 2013 MacLeod’s Ledge Bluefin Tuna Cup Challenge last weekend in Tignish, but, if they had, their Controls and Equipment corporate team would have missed out on a second day of adventure.
The 10 foot, two inch tuna the team hooked on the opening day of the two-day challenge on Friday held up as the event’s winner. Their nine-foot, six-inch hook on Saturday tied for the second biggest fish, by length.
Members of the winning team are Brian Dutt, Jim Munro, Chris Stevens, Matt Landry and Gilles Richard.
Anne Arsenault, coordinator of the challenge for Tignish Initiatives said the seven participating teams enjoyed the experience.
One team was shut-out of the challenge but not for lack of excitement and adventure. “They actually hooked up and fought their four fish,” she reported. The first three got away. Either the hook came out or the fish broke the line. Under the rules of the catch and release fishery, fish must be cut free if they are not landed within one hour of being hooked, and that is what happened to the team’s fourth fish, Arsenault said.
“But they had tonnes of fun,” she said. “They had a riot. It’s not like they felt they missed out just because they didn’t get a measurement.”
Besides, besting a ten foot two hook would be difficult. “That’s a huge fish,” she stressed.
The tournament was allotted one tag, meaning one team had an opportunity to actually land a fish. That opportunity was awarded to the West Isle Enterprises team through a lottery. They landed a seven foot eight inch fish on Friday which was subsequently sold and flown to Japan. Arsenault said the fish was said to be good quality. Any profits from the sale of the fish will help offset the cost of running next year’s tournament.
As winners of the tournament, the Controls and Equipment team received $2,000 to donate to a charity of their choice. They decided to give $1,500 to the IWK Children’s Hospital and the remaining $500 to the West Prince Caring Cupboard. It’s a sure bet that Controls and Equipment will be back for next year’s tournament as they received the $1,800 in raffle money from the chance to land a tuna and promptly put it towards next year’s entry fee.
Teams were treated to an oyster bar reception and entertainment by Michael Myers Thursday night, golf Friday afternoon, a Taste of P.E.I. Barbecue Friday night followed by entertainment with Dwayne Doiron, and SA Saturday night awards and lobster feat followed by a dance with 45 Knots.
Arsenault said the tuna were bountiful for the second annual challenge. “Pretty well everybody can get out there and hook up,” she acknowledged.
“They’re just biting at the bit. That’s the exciting part of it. Everybody gets to have a wonderful experience,” she said, but added, “It’s still a major challenge to measure the longest fish.”