Anglers and crew aboard the 52-foot Destin-based boat “Bow’d Up” pulled away from the Florida Panhandle port on Nov. 29, excited about a three-day offshore trip for bottomfish and tuna. Little did they know that their heaviest catch of the trip would become a likely Florida record for bigeye tuna.
The group bottomfished on Nov. 30, and began tuna fishing that night.
“We started out chunking for tuna and we caught three yellowfins that night, so we were doing great,” says Bow’d Up Capt. Brady Bowman. “At 9:30 a.m. that next morning [Dec. 1] we caught a very nice 125-pound bigeye tuna near an offshore oil rig, and lost a couple other big fish I thought were yellowfins. My sonar was just lit up with big fish deep, and we stayed on ‘em.” The Bow’d Up crew was fishing 145 miles off the Florida coast, in 7,200-feet of water, with big fish “marking” on sonar down below.
“We were near a drilling ship, and bait was everywhere,” says Bowman….