Team Big Coast Kingfisher/Yamaha took second place in the Bamfield Tuna Shootout last week in Bamfield with a four-fish aggregate of 109 pounds.
Big Coast, a 28-footer out of Port Alberni, is sponsored by Kingfisher Boats of Vernon and was co-captained by Vernon’s Tim Milne and Mike Evans of Parksville. The crew included team members Brian Savard of Comox and Jes McFarlan of Parksville.
The eight-day derby featured 35 boats targeting albacore tuna more than 50 miles offshore of Vancouver Island’s west coast. Each crew weighed in their top four fish and a pair of 29.5 pounders tipped the scales for Big Coast.
“The weather was horrendous most of the week with seas reaching six metres so we just waited it out,” said Milne. “We finally got a weather window for a couple days and our crew hooked 15 tuna, fishing about 55 miles offshore in three metre seas. It was definitely a party when we nailed the two big ones.”
Freedom 22 of Burnaby took first overall with a four-tuna aggregate of 110.5 pounds while Willie’s Rig from Bamfield took third with 101.85 pounds. The Big Coast crew earned $3,000 for its silver finish, also weighing in the second and third biggest derby fish.
“It was so cool to take the big Kingfisher way offshore and fish tuna in British Columbia,” said Milne. “We’ve all fished Mexico before but to chase down the Albacore in Canada seemed almost exotic. Most people have no idea you can even catch tuna in the Great White North.”