It might be a 352kg frozen slab at this stage - but Kevin Baker’s world record tuna is turning heads.
The monstrous northern pacific bluefin tuna made a subdued arrival into Tauranga last night with onlookers eager to catch a glimpse of the record breaker and pose for a once in a lifetime photo.
Fishers from the Cova Rosa fishing charter pose with the giant 352kg tuna caught onboard.
In front of about 20 friends and family at the Tauranga Sport Fishing Club, the larger than life tuna was proudly displayed with Kevin firmly at its side.
Picking up his precious cargo from Wellington yesterday morning, Kevin loaded the frozen fish onto the back of a trailer and made his way back to Tauranga for the brief celebrity appearance before heading to being moulded and mounted on the wall of the Waihau Bay Sports Fishing Club.
On September 14 the 50-year-old tentatively wrote himself into the fishing record books after landing the sizeable tuna off the coast of Greymouth.
Kevin Baker proudly poses with the 352kg pacific blue fin tuna.
Kevin was onboard the Enchanter Fishing Charter’s Cova Rosa when he hooked the impressive catch, which took 30 minutes to wind in from hook to boat on 60kg gear.
The tuna is thought to be the heaviest caught on rod and reel. It was weighed and measured before a justice of the peace, who verified the catch when the boat berthed in Greymouth on the Saturday morning.
According to the International Game Fish Association’s records, the largest bluefin tuna caught was 678.58kg, landed by Ken Fraser in October 1979 in Nova Scotia, Canada.
The world record for the biggest fish caught with a rod and reel, until this catch, was 334kg.