Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More Bluefin Tagged

Well, we tagged a couple more bluefin this weekend and missed our chance at two others. It was a Duke University all star weekend as we had two boatloads of folks from Durham joining us on the water. On Saturday the 12th, we were joined by Mary Turnipseed, Meredith Barrett and Lucas Joppa, all graduate students at Duke, and Franklin Miller, an undergraduate. In addition, Gaelin Rosenwaks, who has been tagging with us for years, made a guest appearance, traveling down from New York City. The seas were a bit rough but we hooked up to a nice fish at about 9:30. Franklin fought it about 40 minutes before we lost it at the back of the boat. We got a couple of good looks at it and it looked like a nice, big fish. Aren't they all huge when they get away? Undeterred, we soldiered on and were rewarded with another hook up at about noon. We didn't miss this chance and ended up bringing this fish aboard. This one measured 197 cm (78 inches). After a quick surgery, this fish departed the Sensation with a brand new archival tag. He'll be the popular fish in his school, for sure!

On Sunday, another group from Duke's main campus made the lovely trek down from Durham to join us on the water. Joe Sexton, Ted Gilliland Franklin Miller and Lisa Pokorny joined the tagging team for an exciting day of chasing the elusive bluefin. Like the day before we hooked up to a nice fish in the morning but lost it before we could get the fish aboard. We made the switch to lighter leaders the previous week to increase the number of bites but, of course, that always increases the risk of broken leaders. We were definitely getting more strikes but the lost fish are always a disappointment. Not all hope was lost, though and we were delightfully surprised when we caught a little bluefin (134 cm) that was mixed in with the larger fish. This one is now also the proud owner of the latest in archival tagging technology.

Just wanted to say thanks to all who joined us out on the water this weekend. We appreciate the help. It wasn't the best weather conditions but nonetheless, the terrestrial biologists were green with envy when they saw how exciting the world of marine biology could be!

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