Big fish Crusher!

NSW Central Coast angler Mark Fry and his crew caught the fish of a lifetime last weekend – a 197kg bluefin tuna.

While the jury’s out [awaiting results of genetic sampling] on whether the pending Australian and World record fish is a Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) or Southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii), there’s no denying it’s a monster!

In atrocious conditions, Fry headed northeast to the Norah Canyons in his Bar Crusher 670HT “Fraid Knot” on Saturday morning, while many other boats entered in the 2022 Broken Bay Invitational Tournament remained onshore.

Hooked-up to a pending world record bluefin tuna.

Fry said it was a challenging 40nm run in the big and messy conditions just to get out there in time for “start fishing”.

“We allowed ourselves plenty of time to get there safely and then hooked the fish within 30mins of putting our lures in the water,” Fry said.

“Rick was on the rod [24kg tackle] and the rest of the crew was on duty to ensure he didn’t fall overboard as we battled the fish… and the ocean!

“The fight lasted around two hours and as we started to head home with the fish onboard things got even more hectic.”

On top of the large swell, a 35kt-plus southerly kicked-in around 10.30am making the already angry sea even worse. It’s not something any experienced skipper looks forward to with a long run back to port, regardless of a boat’s size!

Monster bluefin tuna… 197kg of it!

“Our run back to Broken Bay to have the fish weighed took around six hours, but it’s nothing the Bar Crusher can’t handle… just drive to the conditions and the boat does the rest,” Fry said.

“We did our best to keep the fish cool and wet throughout the day, although by the time it was officially weighed the flesh was unfortunately no good for anyone to eat.

“People couldn’t believe we fished day one of the tournament, when many of the bigger game boats stayed at the marina, let alone catch a fish like this… I’m still on a high and probably will be for some time yet!”

Fishing Weapon! This Bar Crusher 670HT is a proven fish raiser.

Fry’s boat is a proven fish raiser with a well-documented history of encountering some seriously big fish.

The boat was previously owned by fishing/boating industry stalwart and Bar Crusher marketing director Ben Sandman. His mate, the late David Lockwood, hit the nail on the head in this article on when the 670HT was offered for sale a few years ago.

One of the big blue marlin Ben Sandman and his crew, including Fisho’s Chris Yu and Patrick Linehan,
caught and released from the same boat.

“This boat continues to raise fish after fish,” Fry said.

“I upgraded from a smaller Bar Crusher 610C to this 670HT and haven’t looked back.

“It’ll be a very long time before this boat comes up for sale again, as I just don’t want to let it go!”

Among the 40-boat fleet entered in the two-day Broken Bay Invitational Tournament, “Fraid Knot” took out “Champion Boat – Capture” and “Highest Point Scoring Other Game Fish”. (Skipper: Mark Fry; crew: Rick Goulding, Brendan Monks and Cameron Smith.)

The current world records for bluefin tuna are:
– Pacific bluefin tuna: 118.61kg (24kg tackle record)
– Southern bluefin tuna: 167.50kg (all-tackle record)

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