As striped-bass anglers shuffled their catches in wheelbarrows to the weigh-ins for the ninth annual Mid-Atlantic Rockfish Shootout, most of the crowd descended on a boom straining to lift a huge bluefin tuna onto another set of scales about a hundred yards down the dock.
J.T. Holt of Virginia Beach was on Team Pimp Fish Pirates when the tuna hit a parachute rig designed for the event’s targeted species.
After a 35-minute fight and a short ride down the beach to Rudee Inlet, Holt’s fish tipped the scales at 265 pounds. It could be worth several thousands of dollars — partly in tournament winnings and more from a tuna buyer on scene to purchase the fish.