Grown men have spent hours battling massive bluefin tuna, only to have them break free at the last minute. That’s why it may sound hard to believe that 14-year-old Kaleb Richardson not only landed an 835-pound, he brought in in in just 55 minutes.
Richardson was fishing with his father, Keith, on his 58-foot boat with some friends out of Grand Isle on a multi-day trip to the Green Canyon when the tuna hit.
The trip started off successful and the anglers tagged and released a 500-pound blue marlin on Thursday, but things slowed down after that. They headed to the Neptune platform on Saturday looking for better luck. They found it.
“We were about a half-mile off the platform, and I was on the bridge with my captain, Chris Mowad,” Keith Richardson said. “He saw this tuna just busting bait, and said it was the largest yellowfin he’d ever seen in his life, so we went to try to catch it.”
The crew was unsuccessful at hooking the fish on the first attempt, so they turned around. The fish was coming at them at full speed.
“When he got to the lure, he came about halfway out the water and just engulfed it. At that point, we were like, ‘It’s got to be a bluefin. A yellowfin doesn’t get that big.'”
Kaleb Richardson got in the fighting chair, preparing for a marathon of a fight. He’s had experience fighting granders before, so he was ready for whatever happened.
The battle ended much quicker than anyone anticipated. It only stayed up top for about 10 minutes before it dove. Even that couldn’t save the fish, because Kaleb brought it up in 45 minutes.
After finally getting it on the boat with some help from a neighboring boat with a Come-Along, they measured the fish at 113 inches long and with 86-inches of girth. It was when they got back to Grand Isle that they discovered its impressive weight at 835 pounds, the biggest bluefin caught in Louisiana since 2003, when Ron Roland caught a state-record 1,152-pounder.