DEWEY BEACH, Del. (AP) - The biggest tuna on Delaware record was a monster.
A Virginia angler reeled in an 873-pound bluefin on Saturday, 40 miles off the southern Delaware coast, state wildlife officials said.
The massive fish exceeded Delaware's previous record tuna by more than 500 pounds, said Aaron Hurd of the Division of Fish and Wildlife, who identified the tuna and recorded its weight on Saturday morning.
"We couldn't believe our eyes," Hurd said.
The bluefin was 9 1/2 feet long, with a girth of 6 1/2 feet.
It was caught by Dan Dillon of Herndon, Va., aboard a charter boat, Captain Ike II. The boat's captain, Dave Collins, said it took more than 1 1/2 hours to reel in the tuna, and another two hours to haul it into the boat.
Dillon used an 80-pound test monofilament line on an 80-pound class reel, using a bluefish fillet as bait.
After being weighed, the tuna was filleted, wildlife officials said.
Dillon made the catch during the annual Delaware Open Tuna Trolling Tournament, but the Captain Ike II was out on an overnight shark-fishing trip and wasn't registered in the tournament, organizers said.
The tournament winner weighed in at just over 120 pounds.
Sponsored by my WALLET. Member of MY WALLET PRO STAFF. No I didn't get a hat, shirt, or a bag of worms to say that. Captain Mike (USCG Master 100 GRT)