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Blue fin tuna fishing in Ireland

The Bluefin Tuna Experience 2000: Bluefin Tuna fishing in Ireland - the first fish 2000.

Photo: plastic squid

While Michael waited for his boat to be delivered a 75 year old ex-commercial fisherman, Alan Glanville was afloat aboard Brian McGilloway's "Suzanne" only two miles out from Killybegs. Alan had watched East Coast anglers fishing for Blue fin tuna while on holiday in the United States and had decided to have a go here.

Remembering the tactics used on the other side of the Atlantic Alan fished with 130 lb. class boat rod and a Penn International reel loaded with 200 lb. mono. The bait was a large squid-type trolling lure.

Photo: Alan Glanville with his 529lb blue fin tuna

On the 24th of September 2000 the moment Kevin Linnane had dreamed of for so long became a reality. The squid was taken by a huge fish that moved off at great pace. The strike drove the hook home and a blue fin tuna was on! When the fish was finally brought to the boat it tipped the scales at 353 lb. (160 kg). Unbelievably, considering the long wait for the first fish, Alan did it all again the very next day. Only this time the fish was bigger.

The 25th of September 2000 saw Alan Glanville set a new Irish record for blue fin tuna - a huge fish of 529 lb. (240 kg) that took three quarters of an hour to boat. This fish proved to be the biggest fish ever caught on rod and line in Irish waters.

Photo: Michael McVeigh with his first blue fin tuna

Three weeks later Michael McVeigh was fishing from his newly delivered vessel "Rosguill" with American big fish expert, Dan Shannon. On just her second day ever on the water the "Rosguill" proved herself when Michael caught a fine blue fin tuna of 344 lb. (156 kg) three miles off Downings.

Dan, who usually fishes the American East Coast from Connecticut to Maine, had always believed big game fish could be caught in Irish waters. He had leapt at the chance to join Michael in his investigations and was not disappointed.

Next: Two years in a row and a new European record
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