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REGINA — For Saskatchewan’s Troy Kincaid — rig worker by profession but fishermen by hobby — the waters of Hawaii were recently the scene of an epic struggle between him and a 231-pound bigeye tuna.

After 45 minutes, the 29-year-old was able to reel the fish in. The catch, that came on March 24, broke Hawaii’s state record for bigeye tuna — set in 1996 — by three pounds.

“It was a battle,” Kincaid says. “I had to hold on to stay inside the boat, because I’m in a little strap that hooks up to the rod, so the fish could probably take you overboard.

“In Hawaii, they basically live off fishing, so it was a pretty big deal.”

Kincaid says his “adrenalin kicked in” during the encounter. Mike Furrer, a local who Kincaid was staying with during his trip, was in the boat during the catch. Furrer says it was a learning experience for Kincaid, whose biggest catch before that point was 70-80 pounds.

“He’s never touched anything that big in his life,” says Furrer, 47, whose personal-best catch was a 688-pound blue marlin that took him 12 minutes to reel in.

“You should have seen Troy shaking in the chair. His legs were shaking, he was grabbing onto rails for dear life, because this thing’s taking him for a ride. He had a very heavy-duty battle on his hands.”

Chuck Johnston, owner of Hawaii Fishing News, says the State has been experiencing a huge number of bigeye tuna. There is still no clear reason as to why this is.

He was impressed with the haul.

“These are hard-fighting fish,” Johnston says.

According to Kincaid, he was using a lure the size of a 500 millilitre pop bottle. By the time the fish had been reeled in and put onto the boat, he says he was “feeling it.”

Since fish of that size aren’t exactly suitable to hang up on the mantel, the tuna and marlin were sold. The tuna brought in $3,800 and the marlin sold for $500.

Growing up on a lake in Mainprize, Kincaid has been fishing for most of his life. He enjoys how relaxing it is, adding once you catch a fish you’re hooked. Until recently, he mostly fished in freshwater. Last year, he got into saltwater fishing and went down to Hawaii.
Now that he has experienced catching a big fish, Kincaid is setting his sights even higher. While he also pulled in a 240-pound blue marlin during the same trip, that fell some 1,500 pounds short of the record.

The largest fish ever caught was an 1,805-pound blue marlin in Hawaii, reeled in on June 10, 1970.
Clearly, there’s always a bigger fish.

“I want to catch a 500-1,000 pound Marlin,” Kincaid says. “That is my goal now.”