Angler Stuart Meyer’s 115-pound yellowfin tuna was not only the largest tuna caught in the 1st Jig Fest Fishing Tournament on Pike Lake in Slinger, Wisconsin, it was also the heaviest.
“We started fishing around 5:30 am,” said Meyer. “Nothing happened, so we moved to another area nearby and fished some more but still didn’t catch anything. We were just about to leave when we decided to take one more pass. Bam, my line went off. It was 9 a.m. on the dot. At first I couldn’t tell how big the fish was because it stayed on the surface. Then, all of a sudden it dove deep, took line and started running. That’s when I knew it was big. It took me two hours to finally catch it.”
As impressive as Meyer’s monster fish was, he didn’t know he’d won until he’d won. Eli Fuller, the tournament’s co-organizer, had his own heifer of a tuna, making it a close competition.
“We both knew our fish were over 100 lbs, but it looked really tight,” explained Meyer. “When the scales registered my fish at 115 lbs to his 114 lbs, that’s when we celebrated. It was a really good day.”
Winning took a deft combination of technique, and being in the right place at the right time, Meyer said.
Meyer’s catch was undoubtedly extraordinary, but it was also far from being the biggest fish ever caught. Back in 2005, fishermen in northern Thailand caught what scientists believe is the largest freshwater fish ever recorded — let alone caught. The Mekong giant catfish was nine feet long, and 646-pounds — the same size as an adult grizzly bear.
Nevertheless, few anglers out there could reel in such a massive tuna. Though there’s no doubt that Meyer was definitely the winner and for good reason, one question still remains. Who will win next year? And with how big of a fish?