We report here the wonderful and instructive story by the strong Italian spearo, Metafuni Giovanni, who describes well the battle with a tuna of more than 60 kg. An exhausting battle with an unpredictable result until the very end.
“I have always admired this power of nature with reverential fear. In my life, only a couple of times I have had the chance to try a shot to a tuna, hoping to catch it. The first time was more or less 10 years ago, and the tuna was so big it made me almost do some water skiing for 30 seconds, bringing me out of Santa Maria di Leuca coast, (Puglia region, Italy) for a couple of hundred meters. I thank God that the shaft came of the fish and that the insufficient sling gun did not completely penetrate the area of the tail. I was astonished at the end by the way the tuna bent the shaft with the only strength of its swimming and speed, making the metal take the shape of something like a question mark, impossible to be straightened again.
This time I was confident of my equipment and I have wanted to take the occasion and try again a shot, considering that the weight and dimensions of the tuna encountered were more accessible. I have tried to aim to a vital part of the head, but have anticipated the shot with my KATANA 115 by some hundredth of a second, and the shaft has stuck between the mandibular operculum and the mouth, a very hard part. Not having hit any vital part. the tuna has expressed all its strength, reacting and reaching the bottom, that in such area of the sea goes down to the sand at around 30-35 meters.
Back to the surface I have tried in every way to call a boat that had just positioned the fishing nets, as I was actually spearfishing entering the water from the coast, but paradoxically when you need them….I was at only 500 meters from the coast. So it was me and the tuna, and there was a constant fast and loose. At a certain point, the tuna seemed exhausted and I managed to pull it up at only a couple of meters from my fins, as it continued to swim under me like a pendulum, drawing concentric circles. So a bundle with the line was becoming dangerous and I had to come out of it.
After a few minutes, having got off the line, I managed to get hold of the shaft with the right hand, and pull with strength the prey towards me. The tuna seemed exhausted, and did not move except for the gills that opened and closed frantically. I wanted to try to use the knife to give an end to this battle. I literally embraced the tuna, I went with my hand to reach the knife, but…with a hit of the tail the fish managed to get free and moving its head pointed the shaft against me, hitting me on the chest and “LUCKILY” only tearing my wetsuit and wounding me superficially.
Once free the tuna went towards the bottom with a couple of amazingly strong hits of the tail, that managed to break the line already exhausted by the battle. I saw the tuna fading away in the depth of the sea, bringing with it the shaft and my hopes of glory of fishing a tuna alone, entering in the water from the coast, and with no help at all…but at the end of the day it is as if I had reached my goal and, believe me…embracing the tuna has been a unique sensation.
Next time anyway, with the experience made, I will not try such a catch if I will not have with me a companion and a boat available. The Scombroid, when over 60 kg, must be caught with all the necessary attentions, and nothing can be left to chance.
I thank Luigi Puretti (Italian 2016 spearfishing champion), who, hearing my story on the phone, has managed to give me important advice, in case I will be again face to face with the King of the Seas!”