1 Race to PEI 2 Gilberts Trip of a Lifetime
The Race to PEI on BDoutdoors.com is a very popular contest where one lucky member gets drawn from the thousands who have registered. This year’s Race to PEI brought Gilbert Saucedo of California, face to face with a giant bluefin tuna in Prince Edward Island Canada.
2 Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a living postcard. Quaint houses, rolling green fields and red rock cliffs into the ocean are revealed when winter rolls back it’s white covers.
3 Tonys Tuna Fishing
Tonys Tuna Fishing offers first class bluefin tuna fishing aboard their comfortable and sea worthy boats that are built right on the island. The BD team has been fishing with Tony’s Tuna Fishing for years now, producing many “trips of a lifetime.”
4 Little Miss Maddy
With the cold of winter and seasonal lobster beat behind it, the Little Miss Maddy gears up for tuna fishing and this year’s Race to PEI winner.
5 Race 2 PEI Winner Gilbert Saucedo
Jason Hayashi of BD said â€œthis year we had the pleasure of bringing Gilbert Saucedo of California. He won the 2013 Race to PEI contest and was on deck for the first bite.
6 Fitting the standup harness
The anticipation built as Gilbert got fitted in the fighting harness and we put some test pressure on the rod.
7 Rigging for giant tuna
Capt. Bradley MacDonald rigs a fresh 200 pound Seaguar Florocarbon leader and makes sure everything is just right. These fish put every aspect of the tackle to the test.
8 Catching Bait PEI
Jigging up live mackerels for bait is the first order of business. We made a tank full in short order just outside the harbor.
9 Live Mackerel Bait
Our deckhand Matt Rose was always there to help and really made our trip a success.
10 Setting the Kite Baits
Typically we put out three live baits for a drift. One of which dangled enticingly from a kite.
11 Setting the flat lines
The other two baits, long and short, dangled under a float, just like a bobber when you were a kid. Only it’s waiting on a giant tuna and not a bluegill.
12 Chumming for giant tuna
Cut mackerel chunks served as our chum and put out a slick in our drift. The Bubba Blade cut through them like butter.
13 Giant tuna meter marks
Holy cow! Just like on tv, the giant mark of the tuna as it passes under the boat. It did not always result in a bite, but it always got our blood going at the possibility.
14 Waiting for a bite
I always say the key to fishing is knowing that any second you could get the bite of a lifetime, the trick is to maintain that anticipation all day!
15 Gilbert steps into harness
Luckily, Gilbert only had to wait about 15 minutes before the water exploded and the game was on. Notice he’s still smiling!
16 Hooked to a giant tuna
Settled into the give and take battle, Gilbert learned to rely on the harness and really lean back against the 50 pounds of drag pressure the Okuma was putting on the fish.
17 Gilbert fights giant tuna
Now forty minutes in, Gilbert hung tough, but so did the fish. It was a tug of war against each other with each brutal head shake transferring down his legs.
18 Determined to win battle
If you could see through those Costas, you would see pure grit and determination to see this battle through.
19 Digging in to bluefin tuna
After a while, one starts to wonder if this is really fun or not, but no way did Gilbert want to hand off the rod when we jokingly offered.
20 Feeling the Standup Burn
I think this is the point where Gilbert spouted some sweet nothings to the fish in Spanish.
21 Okuma Makaira 80w
The Okuma Makaira 80w takes this punishment everyday of tuna season and they performed beautifully.
22 Landing Giant Bluefin Tuna
Final victory was sweet. Matt worked the leader and Capt. Bradley cradled the tail while Gilbert got a look at his nemesis.
23 Giant bluefin hooked
Estimated by the crew to weigh about 900 pounds, this bluefin tuna was surreal in size beside the boat.
24 Giant Tuna Boatside
The relatively small Mustad circle hook had worked it’s magic and locked into the corner of the mouth. They are required to remove the barb so the hook will quickly work out once the pressure is removed.
25 Giant Tuna leader Cut
Adrenaline, relief, joy, pride all mask the pain at the end. Gilbert got to cut the leader and release this giant to fight another day. Congratulations Gilbert on the fish of a lifetime!
26 PEI 2 Sponsors
And thanks also to our industry partners whose great equipment took a beating from a giant so that we could have the â€œtrip of a lifetimeâ€.