Dave Pfeiffer of Isle of Palms, S.C. is the president of Shimano Fishing North America, headquartered in Ladson, S.C., and the fishing industry is more than just a job for him. Last month, Pfeiffer completed an angling feat that has only been matched twice before. He landed a 219-pound bluefin tuna on antique tackle, including 24-thread linen line.
The fight lasted 48 minutes, and it culminated with Pfeiffer joining Dr. C.P. Morehouse, founder of the Tuna Club of Avalon and the tournament Pfeiffer was competing in, and one other angler as the only three in history to land bluefin tuna in excess of 200 pounds on 24-thread linen line, which was replaced long ago by single-strand monofilament as the most common line of choice for anglers.
Pfeiffer, who caught the fish off the coast of California’s Santa Catalina Island, became the first angler to land a 200+ pound tuna on the antique-style line in over 100 years. Morehouse landed his 251-pound tuna in 1899. The other angler caught a 219-pound tuna in 1901.
“Finally, after well over a century, a third bluefin tuna over 200 pounds has been landed on 24-thread line,” said Pfeiffer in an article he penned for Sport Fishing Magazine. “I can’t easily express what a thrill this catch was, and is, for me.”
Along with the 24-thread line, Pfeiffer was using a 1920s-era fishing rod made of ash that was paired with a reel from the 1930s which is equipped with much smaller, slower gears than modern fishing reels. That made the fight much more about Man vs. Fish than anglers experience when fishing with modern gear.
The Tuna Club of Avalon was founded in 1898, and its members put big-game fishing on the map in the United States. Other members include Gen. George Patton, Charlie Chaplin, Herbert Hoover, Zane Grey, and Bing Crosby.