Captain Jake Matney and deck mates Devin Sarver and Jett Tolbert are set to break the Sunshine State’s bluefin record after reeling in an incredibly heavy 832-pound tuna!
After being certified by the state, the fish will be the heaviest bluefin tuna ever caught off the coast of Florida. It was caught just 160 miles off the coast of Destin, Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico onboard the No Name.
The fishermen said they originally went out to target and capture marlin for the day, however, they were just as pleased to reel in this record-breaking bluefin tuna.
Jake, Devin, and Jett took turns fighting the fish while Jennifer Matney, Jeremiah Matney, and Jacob Matney, who are members of the captain’s family, were also on the boat. The crew said it took about five hours to wear the fish down so they could pull it to the boat.
“Fishing has always been a way of life for my family and something that we love to do together,” Captain Matney told ABC 3. “I’m very fortunate to have [my family] on the boat for this and to have this caliber of fishermen on my team.”
As they were pulling the boat into a dock in Destin, Florida, many people gathered around to see the fish get transported onto the dock. April Sarve filmed a video of the weigh-in showing the fish was truly heavier than the current state record.
The 832.2-pound fish beat the current state record, which is an 826.5-pound fish caught by Rick Whitley and his deck mates back in 2017.
Even though The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Saltwater Angler Recognition program has not certified the fish yet, it’s looking promising that the 832-pounder will be the new state record.
“We were stoked to finally land one that we could bring in and hang up,” Tolbert said. “It’s harder than people think. On the last trip, we fought one for 10 hours, and it broke off. So bringing in this one meant a lot to me.”
“Words cannot express how grateful I am,” Devin wrote. “This is what dreams are made of! I’ve never had so much respect for a fish, and to catch him in the Gulf of Mexico is a feat of its own. This bluefin was as bad as they come.”