THE thought of a large yellow fin tuna being caught from the beach was enough to tempt Southend Angling Centre Proprietor Rory Coase and friend Stewart Ward to endure a nine hour flight.
The duo flew in a military aircraft from RAF Brize Norton to the Ascension Islands in the middle of the South Atlantic.
But unfortunately the bait fish were not shoaled up on the beaches, so all the yellow fin tuna action centred on boat fishing.
The pair boated a total of 21 yellow fins in six short trips, with the biggest of 171 lbs being landed by Coase.
While out on their first evening trip, their 21foot boat was slammed several times by a 30 foot whale shark, which is believed to have been trying to remove barnacles from its back.
As well as tunas, there were amberjacks on every drop with high speed jigs from the boat. The shore fishing from the rocks and beaches at dawn and dusk, accounted for numerous hard fighting jacks to 15 lbs, with many hitting the lures before the bail arm could even be closed.
The local residents, who are unquestionably the friendliest people ever encountered by the Essex Anglers, invited Ward & Coase to compete in their annual fishing completion.
With the help of local legendary tuna skipper “Kimbo” they came first out of 12 boats and 40 anglers, with Ward landing his personal best tuna of 127 lbs during the competition.