Virginia Man Breaks North Carolina Bluefin Tuna Record
Corey Schultz, of Waverly, Va., caught the fish Saturday aboard the Sea Breeze out of Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. The fish measured 112 inches curved fork length with a 76-inch girth.
Schultz caught the fish on a Shimano 80 rod and reel using 130 line test with ballyhoo for bait.
“It was all that rod and reel wanted, I can tell you that,” Schultz said.
Schultz had caught a 350-pound tuna with the same captain – Ned Ashby – last year and released the catch. Then, Schultz used a 50-wide reel.
This year, he used an 80-wide reel.
“I knew within the first few minutes it was not the same caliber fish,” Schultz said.
Schultz said he fought the fish for about 2½ hours and had close to 1,000 yards of line out. Everyone in the boat’s party of six, in addition to the captain and mate, helped to get the fish on board.
“It was an unforgettable experience, that’s for sure,” Schultz said.
The former North Carolina state record bluefin tuna weighed 744 pounds and was caught off Oregon Inlet in 1995. The International Game Fish Association record bluefin tuna weighed 1,496 pounds and was caught off Nova Scotia in 1979.
For more information, contact Carole Willis, sportfishing specialist and N.C. Saltwater Fishing Tournament Coordinator with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries at (252) 808-8081 or Carole [dot] Y [dot] Willis [at] ncdenr [dot] gov.