The last Friday in February was a good day for the captain and crew of the custom sports fishing boat Peggy, despite the engine and steering problems that had plagued her for days. It would become a record-setting day for Capt. Mike Guthrie of Harker Island, N.C., as he and his daughter Sara, along with Debra Roney of Morehead City and Kendall Showfety of Greensboro, N.C., set out on an overcast day to fish the deep waters along the Little Abaco Canyon.
The day began as most other fishing days on the water, not knowing what to expect. Then came the strike that would result in a three-and-a-half-hour struggle to haul in the largest blue fin tuna Capt. Guthrie had recorded.
“We fought it for what seemed like a lifetime,” Guthrie said, “and the crew never gave up.”
The 128-pound Roney hooked the catch and added, “It was a record day for everyone.”
The Peggy is a 60-foot custom boat designed by the North Carolina-based Briglia Boatworks and is owned by Doug and Peggy Abrams of Raleigh, N.C. She arrived in Abaco two weeks earlier on a spur of the moment trip from North Carolina with Jean Smith, the owner’s 80-year-old mother-in-law, her twin sister and in company with Tom and Nancy Obrien, who over the years have been frequent visitors to Marsh Harbour.
“We were sitting around the table one night and said let’s go to Abaco,” recalled Tom Obrien, “and that’s how this all got started.”
The fish was caught on a Mold Craft high-speed artificial plug some seven miles northeast of the Man-O-War Channel in waters estimated at over 4000 feet. Due to its weight, it was towed nine miles back to the Man-O-War Channel entrance, where four crew members of the nearby Ryans Joy of Morehead City, N.C., swam over to help get the gargantuan tuna aboard Peggy.
After arriving at Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour, Capt. Guthrie added, “It’s the biggest tuna I’ve ever landed, and we think it should be shared with everyone that appreciates the effort it has taken to bring her here.”
The fish was subsequently weighed in at 678 pounds and was 104 inches in length. The fish was distributed amongst the staff at Abaco Beach Resort, local residents and area boaters.
Despite all the celebrity following the impromptu fishing expedition, the crew of Peggy cast her lines and headed back to North Carolina—but not before they took a lot of pictures to document a remarkable story to share with their friends back home.
Robert Wilson is a Cruising Editor for the Waterway Guide. To follow his Bahamian adventures, visit http://cruisingwilson.blogspot.com.
NOTE: Coastal Angler Magazine-FLAHAMA’s Abaco representative Captain Perry Thomas was captaining the 61 foot Hatteras Ryans Joy of Morehead City, N.C., which assisted Peggy’s crew in securing this giant tuna to the boat for the trip back to Abaco Beach Resort at Boat Harbour. Great teamwork Capt. Perry! We’re glad to have you aboard the Coastal Angler Magazine-FLAHAMA team.