The magnificent bluefin tuna
1st October, 2003
Richard Ellis celebrates the beauty of one of nature’s most miraculous, and least appreciated creatures – the bluefin tuna.‘To me, he seemed enormous, supremely beautiful and unattainable. He flashed purple, bronze, silver-gold. When he went under he left a surging abyss in the water, a gurgling whirlpool.’
So wrote Zane Grey (right) of one of his many attempts to land a bluefin tuna. Grey, better known as an author of popular western novels in the 1920s and 1930s, was a passionate big-game fisherman, spending most of his not inconsiderable royalties (his books sold 13 million copies) on fishing trips, boats, and gear. In Tales of Swordfish and Tuna (1927) he described his battles with giant bluefin, first in California – and then in Nova Scotia waters.
‘I was struck dumb by the bulk and beauty of that tuna.’ Grey wrote. ‘My eyes were glued to his noble proportions and his transforming colors. He was dying, and the hues of a tuna change most and are most beautiful at that time. He was shield-shaped, very full and round, and high and long. His back glowed a deep dark purple. His side gleamed like mother-of-pearl in a... To view the rest of this article - you must be a paying subscriber and Login
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