A lucky deckhand caught an enormous 180-pound bigeye tuna while fishing off the coast of Venice, Louisiana. London Rosiere, a deckhand for Paradise Outfitters, hooked the big-eyed behemoth with her first bait. The charter crew’s customers then reeled it in, Newsweek reports.
“I don’t know of anyone [else] who has caught a big eye of this size this year,” Rosiere explained. “The boats around us had all been catching smaller yellowfin, like 30-pounders.”
Bigeye tuna are known for the quality of their meat. They can grow up to eight feet long and weigh up to 400 pounds. The fish can be found in temperate and tropical waters across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
Andrew Bateman and his team were not expecting to catch much fish, as a cold front had moved into the area days before. “The bite hadn’t really been too great,” Rosiere recalled. “But we said our morning prayers and went out with a positive attitude, and it was actually the first bait I threw out.”
“While the customers are reeling in the fish, you can kind of see the bend in the rod, [which shows] how heavy the fish is, so we knew it was going to be a big fish …[But] you don’t really know how big it is until it hits the deck.”
The fish was gargantuan–far bigger than the crew had anticipated. “I had to put my leg on the rail and push because I needed more leverage,” Rosiere explained. “We got him in the boat and we all started cheering. We were hooting and hollering and jumping up and down.” Pictures of the amazing catch were shared on Instagram.
This lucky Louisiana fisher was mesmerized by her bigeye tuna catch
“Its colors are bright and it’s shiny, I mean it’s so beautiful,” Rosiere said. “They say it’s lit up. It’s got the iridescent colors–the gold and silver and blue. It’s just such a miraculous looking creature.” Of course, the tuna isn’t just nice to look at. “It’s amazing eating too, you just get so much meat from it. It’s healthy eating and it’s sustainable.”
The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) recommends eating Atlantic bigeye tuna because it is caught sustainably and responsibly. Thanks to limits on fishing this species, populations have become more stable. “Our regulations further ensure that fishing does not harm the population,” an NOAA spokesperson told Newsweek. “As long as anglers follow these regulations, they can feel confident that fishing for bigeye is sustainable. Plus, they are great seafood.”
For Rosiere, the journey to becoming a deckhand has not always been easy. “I lost my home in Hurricane Katrina and ended up stranded in New York City at 19,” she recalled. After losing her mother and brother, she was pulled back to Louisiana. She started working as a deckhand in order to raise money for a non-profit community project called Camp SoulGrow which she established after her mother’s death.
“We’re a non-profit workshop camp for kids where kids can come and learn [new skills] from people in the community,” she explained. “It’s all to help kids gain self-esteem and try new things without any pressure.” Rosiere is proud of the destination of her journey. “I came home to bring Camp SoulGrow here and then I found the fishing,” she said. “I call myself Cinderella backwards—I used to be in the dresses and now I’m cutting chum.”