A mixed bunch of anglers fished on Kiwi Girl last weekend. Some met for the first time onboard the boat, others had been friends for over 60 years. But they all had one thing on their mind – tuna!

Setting out from Mullaghmore it wasn’t long before they saw the first bit of action, sea birds and dolphins converging on a tuna bust. The boat set course for an intercept, the gear was deployed and the game of trolling began.

Despite seeing an incredible abundance of wildlife, including minke whales, hundreds of dolphins, seals, a huge mix of sea birds and of course bluefin tuna, it was around 2pm before the first hook up. A fish had swiped at the left hand set of gear and missed. It was teased back to the squids and missed again! It immediately crossed to the lures on the right and BANG! it was on.

tuna fishing
Gavin giving it welly!

The tuna took the rig on the stand up rod, so Gavin Mannix was strapped into the harness and connected directly to the biggest fish he had ever played in his life. It took about 30 minutes to bring the boat, after much coaching and cheering from everyone onboard. The fish was unhooked, recovered along side and tagged and measured for the TunaChart programme.

tuna fishing
Gavin Mannix unhooks his prize

After few hours of trolling and wildlife spotting (and spotting wild tales!) another fish was hooked. This was a much bigger beast, so this one was played from the fighting chair. Eamon Giblin, a man for whom no trout ever proved a match, was soon hanging on for dear life. He fought with gusto and panache and never a bead of sweat speckled his brow. Again the contest lasted about 30 minutes and the fish was brought to the side of the boat.

tuna fishing
Eamon Gilblin meets his match and Mattie Hughes, more used to the dapping rod, calls for reinforcements

Declan Kilgannon, skipper of the Kiwi Girl, did everything in his power to secure a third hook up but that was it for this trip. No one wanted anymore from the day as everyone had enjoyed a great adventure at sea. Eamon took to the long road to Scariff in County Clare with a satisfied grin and thoughts of making the most of this on the Sunday night! Gavin and his father Hugh, made the short trip back to Fermanagh equally pleased and making plans for the next trip out after bluefin tuna, maybe this time there’ll be third generation of Mannix’s onboard.

Myles and Gavin with a tuna
The tuna is given plenty of time to recover alongside so that it is released fighting fit!

Go Fishing…

Kiwi Girl

From Mullaghmore Harbour, our Sea Fishing Ireland experience aboard the M.V. Kiwi Girl will bring you to some of the best inshore fishing grounds in Europe. We offer a wide range of Sea Fishing Ireland Boat Trips to suit both novice and expert, from Short 2 Hr Sea Fishing Boat Trips to Big Game Options.

Kiwi Girl is a Fastcatch Kingfisher 31′ with a 420 HP Caterpillar engine.

The Pier, Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo, Ireland

Telephone: +353 (0)87 6100111
Email: [email protected] Web: www.offshore.ie



Tuna CHART (CatcH and Release Tagging) utilises authorised vessels to catch, tag and release Atlantic Bluefin Tuna for data collection purposes off the Irish coast.  The programme,  developed by Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Marine Institute in partnership with the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Department for Environment, Climate and Communications, operated on a pilot basis in 2019 and 2020.

The 2021 season opened on the 1st July and closes on the 12th November 2021.