Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Trolling for yellowfin

THE school’s still out so he’d rather enjoy the bask of sunlight that day.

Just after the summer, he ventured out to the ocean to chase blue marlins.

At 16, Paul Gabriel “Paulie” Minor had been competing with the elite fishermen in the world every summer at Siargao in Surigao del Norte.

He was 14 years old when he won his first competition, the Siargao International Game Fishing tournament in 2016. He bested more than 60 local and international anglers.

At that time, Paulie had caught the fastest fish in the world - a sailfish, which weighed 38.8 kilos.

Like many anglers, he had been chasing marlins. He caught a break last year and landed a 90-kilo black marlin.

Just this June, Paulie trolled again for marlin.

Keeping a constant eye, he readied his bait to lure out this rare fish, as it usually stays far offshore.

But then he learned there’s a big tuna offshore. So he chased them.

Paulie said they’re already at the second payao, a fish attracting device, when something big caught on his rod.

It’s a yellowfin tuna.

He hooked a yellowfin tuna at 20 miles offshore on the Pacific Ocean.

Yellowfin tuna are known for their beauty and power. It has a dark blue dorsal and of course, yellow fins. It’s also a popular food - think of sashimi.

Paulie said they got the yellowfin on the rod but it’s not giving up the tackle.

“It’s hard to bring it was circling the boat,” Paulie said.

Paulie and his companion took turns to reel in the yellowfin.

“The tuna fought harder than marlin. The way they fight, they swim straight down, it’s like pulling up a heavy rock,” Paulie said.

The struggle to land the 45-kilo tuna lasted for one hour and 15 minutes.

“It’s very rare to catch a tuna at that size,” he said, adding that yellowfin is seasonal, meaning they’re not offshore all year round as they migrate.

He said the “tuna season” is every September.

The teen angler said he gave half of the catch to the boatman.

(Game fishing)

Meanwhile, Paulie and his father, Paul, joined again the tournament in Siargao this summer.

The teenage angler finished first runner-up, just like last year, after he caught an 18-kilo sailfish and a four-kilo amberjack.

His dad, who was the champion in 2017, finished third with his catch, a dorado, and a two-kilo tuna.

Paulie recalled it was his father who taught him how to fish at a very young age.

For this teen, he likes to troll - not so much on the internet but in the large bodies of water, such as the ocean. So, keep on trolling Paulie.


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