2017 marks the 6th Annual Bluefin Blowout held at the Cape Ann's Marina Resort in Gloucester, MA and the Zombait team came prepared to demo our latest product to hundreds of local anglers and spectators. The Bluefin Blowout is a 3-day offshore tournament which attracts 50 captains and their crews from all along the East Coast to compete and claim bragging rights for bringing home the biggest Bluefin Tuna. The weather was choppy but skies were blue in what would become a record-setting year for the tournament and an amazing weekend for Team Zombait.
The Zombait team arrived on Thursday to demo the brand-new Zombait lure to the captains and spectators. We spoke with dozens of skilled fisherman as to what works best for them when they’re out fighting the elements in open waters trying to bring home a prized tuna. Zombait was well received by these anglers who agree that having a live bait backup is essential.
Zombait Booth at the Bluefin Blowout 2017 (Photo Credit: Matthew F. Borowski)
While live bait was in good supply this time around, several of the captains purchased some Zombait lures to have as backup (see our last post "Always Have Backup Bait" -- We couldn't agree more) while 25-60 miles offshore to Stellwagen Bank and beyond. At 10pm sharp, the boats steamed out of the Cape Ann's Marina Resort one by one in an attempt to catch the biggest tuna, and take home the grand prize of $25k.
Cape Ann's Marina (Photo Credit: Matthew F. Borowski)
The crowds started buzzing early Friday afternoon as the tournament referee announced that there were several vessels heading back towards the docks with tuna on board. While we didn’t know who caught what, or how big a fish was on its way, the anxiety and eagerness to witness the weigh-ins was mounting and the crowds began to grow.
Bluefin Blowout Tuna Weigh-In Crowds (Photo Credit: Matthew F. Borowski)
The captains pulled in, 8 of them that night, and started weighing in their catches in front of a thrilled audience. One after another, tuna were hauled over from the docks and loaded into the local seafood trucks, ready to be sold and shipped to their final destinations all over the world.
One of the last vessels to pull into the docks that night were our new friends, Capt Alex Petrucci Sr. and his son Capt Alex Petrucci Jr. from Duck Soup out of Point Judith, RI.
We met Captain Alex on Thursday night and were fortunate enough to not only chat with him, but supply him with his very own Zombait Starter 3-pack. 24 hours later, a rumor was circulating around that night that a vessel snagged their first tournament Tuna with Zombait. It wasn’t until we were able to meet up with Alex that he spotted us from a distance, and simply yelled Zombait! As we turned to look across the docks, there stood Alex holding his Zombait lure (and Tito, of course) proudly in the air.
Capt Alex Petrucci Jr with his trophy tuna, Zombait lure, & Tito (Photo Credit: Cidalia Schwartz)
When it was all said and done, Capt Alex brought home a 340lb. Bluefin Tuna. However, the real joy and pleasure came when he told us how his experience all unfolded. Here's how it all came to be.
On Friday, once Alex and his crew made it to their fishing grounds, his live bait, mostly mackerel, took a turn for the worse. His live bait options were running thin. There were no other baits to be caught out there, time was ticking, and he couldn’t get anything to bite his lines. He called in over the radio to the other captains to find out if there was any action on their end and began hearing murmurings of other captains hooking up tuna.
Finally, one captain called over and said, “Aren’t you fishing with Zombait?” Alex acknowledged that he had some on board and decided to rig up a herring with Zombait. Out at sea and caught dead in the water, it was time for Alex and his crew of the Duck Soup to Look Alive Out There! Watch Alex as he reels in his tuna:
Capt Alex Petrucci Jr reeling in and weighing his tuna at the Bluefin Blowout 2017 (Photo Credit: Alex Petrucci Jr)
Within 30 mins of Zombait being tossed in the water, the Tuna hit and hit hard. Alex couldn’t believe it, but he had caught his prize.
The Duck Soup Crew Posing With their 340lb Bluefin Tuna, Caught Using a Zombait Lure (Photo Credit: Cidalia Schwartz)
Now you may be wondering (as we certainly were), what happened to the Zombait lure that got nailed by that tuna? Alex carried the trophy Zombait lure around the rest of the night, still wiggling and barely a scratch on it! The batteries finally gave out after ~ 5 hours of run time (could be a new record for us). It was a great catch and we are so happy to be part of the Duck Soup story that night.
For some, it was their first time hearing about our product. For others, they have seen us before, namely at the Bluefin Blowout 2015 where we first demo'd our product, then still in the early prototype stages. Whether new friends or old, Thursday night's captain’s dinner gave us the chance to demonstrate Zombait’s effectiveness, and how to efficiently utilize the product.
It only seems appropriate to look back at the 2015 Bluefin Blowout and reflect on how far the Zombait team has improved and matured. It took 2 years and a lot of commitment and were humbled by the response to our product and even more so to see a team snag a giant Bluefin Tuna on one of our products. When we look back again at 2015 and remember the only team to get a tuna that year, its only right that it was Duck Soup and Capt Alex Petrucci and his team who won the tournament; true professionals who strive for excellence in doing what they love.
The Duck Soup Crew Posing With their tournament-winning Bluefin Tuna in 2015 (Photo Credit: Matthew F Borowski)
Thank you to all of the captains this year and to the amazing staff that put on this event. It was truly an event that we will remember for the rest of our lives. Keep doing what you do best and we promise to continue creating high quality fishing products to help make your trips more successful.
To Tito, the Duck Soup crew, and to everyone who helped make the Bluefin Blowout 2017 a huge success: Look Alive Out There.