After a two-year shutdown due to the global pandemic, the Bluefin Blowout is returning to Gloucester, Mass., on July 26-28.
New England’s premier fishing tournament will involve 57 vessels from all sectors of the bluefin tuna fishery, commercial, charter, and private, in a contest to see who can catch the biggest bluefin tuna. Top contestants will win approximately $60,000 in prizes, but the real winner will be the Alzheimer’s Association, beneficiary of the $500,000 the event hopes to raise.
Hosted by the Lyon-Waugh Auto Group and the Cape Ann Marina, the tournament will begin with a captains’ meeting on the evening of July 26, followed be two days of fishing, with a ticketed barbecue on the evening of July 27.
The official weigh-in station will be at Cape Ann Marina, and will close on July 28 at 4:30 p.m. or whenever the last fish is weighed.
Kyle Grant of the F/V Battlewagon has been competing since 2014 and is happy to be back.
“By late July there ought to be some big fish around,” says Grant, who came in second place in 2018 with a 630-pound dressed fish. “There was a thousand-pounder one year,” he says.
To date, Ken Fraser caught the biggest bluefin tuna on record. Fishing on Oct. 26, 1979 out of Port Hood, Novia Scotia on the west side of Cape Breton Island, Fraser landed a 1,496-pound bluefin while trolling a mackerel behind his boat. Reportedly, the fight only lasted 45 minutes before the crew got gaffs into the fish.
So far, Marlene Goldstein has caught the largest tuna ever landed in Massachusetts. Caught in Cape Cod Bay in September of 1984, Goldstein’s tuna weighed 1,228 pounds, making it the second-largest tuna caught in the Northeast. She caught the record-setting bluefin on a foot-long plastic squid on a spread.
According to Grant, the cost of registering to compete in the Bluefin Blowout is around $2,000, and the deadline is July 1.
“It’s not too bad,” he says. “They raise a lot of money.”