Yellowfin Tuna


28″ x 10″ Soft Sculpture. Edition of 50

“With all this luck, I almost lost track of my quest to land a big tuna, and to tell you the truth, with only one more day left to go, I didn’t think it was going to happen. I loaded my kayak onto the ship at dawn, and we set out of the harbor at dawn. Hours passed without a strike, and anxiousness slowly gave way to hopelessness. Then the calm is interrupted by a reel going into full scream; the “Big Pink” jet gets hit and all hell breaks loose. I grab the rod, set the hook, and seconds later, I’m in my kayak, lashed to something downright mean.. This thing headed straight down, and I could tell that it was a tuna- a big tuna. The massive head shakes and incredible surges were amplified by the fact that my 2 speed 30 reel was rigged with braided line- I could feel everything the fish did.

All the mental and physical training I did in preparation for this very moment paid off big-time as I went into full animal mode. I took the fight to the tuna, and even though I was hoping to God that he wouldn’t come loose, I fought him as if I didn’t care what happened. I kept heaving on that head of his and cranking, never letting him get into a rhythm. Really I was bluffing, because this was a fish that was way more powerful than I, but I made him think that I was twenty feet tall.

People ask me what it was like to fight a 111 pound tuna from a kayak, and the first thing that comes to mind is, you know how moms lift cars off of the ground when their baby is stuck under the tire? It was like that. I don’t remember the pain- I remember thinking, take away his will to live.”

Bluewater John