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Antrim angler Thomas reels in monster tuna in Canada

By Nevin Farrell

Published 03/10/2016

Thomas White and the Bluefin Tuna
Thomas White and the Bluefin Tuna
With one of his earlier catches, a 179lb skate

It takes a lot to dwarf 6ft-one-inch tall Ballymena angler Thomas White, but now he is showing off what he describes as his "ultimate trophy shot".

The 55-year-old proudly posed beside a mammoth 661lb - or 47 stone - Bluefin Tuna he reeled in during a titanic 55-minute tussle during a trip to Canada.

Thomas told the Belfast Telegraph last night: "This is the biggest fish I have ever landed. It is a dream come true."

Huge tuna are so strong they have been known to tow boats and at the end of the man-versus-fish duel, he revealed: "My arms were pretty much shot."

He added: "They use heavy duty gear to land these things. Whenever you are fishing for one of these things it is not like going down to Waterfoot or Ballintoy Harbour and you throw out a float.

"It is like standing on a bridge on a motorway and dropping a hook and catching a car.

"These things can nearly empty a reel, and can pull you overboard and tow the boat, but there are rod holders around the side of the boat to help."

Thomas was unable to put a price on the fish, which belonged to the boat captain, but said individual tuna have fetched over £15,000.

It is not the first time Thomas has made headlines. The previous biggest fish he caught was in 2014 when he landed a monster stingray after a titanic two-hour struggle on a Thai river. And there was a major surprise in store when he brought that 550lb fish to the shore of the Mae Klong River estuary for a photo - the huge fish gave birth to a live pup.

Now, he has been to Prince Edward Island in Canada and it turned out to be a trip to remember too.

Thomas said: "Normally the fishing there is catch and release, to preserve the stock. Normally a fish is brought to the side of the boat and it is released, but every year every captain is allowed to land one fish.

"That area is famous for big fish. I couldn't pass by the opportunity to do a bit of fishing in one of the world's top angling destinations, as the world has gone Bluefin Tuna crazy in recent years."

He said Prince Edward Island has earned itself a reputation as being the Giant Bluefin capital of the world.

Thomas added: "For anybody who loves their fishing, it doesn't get any better than that.

"Giant Bluefin Tuna are the ultimate fish."

Belfast Telegraph

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