The Tuna Wharf in Lower Wedgeport was filled with spectators on Saturday, Aug. 25 for the 15th annual Wedgeport Tuna Tournament & Festival weigh-in. A total of 37 tunas were landed during the tournament by the 16 vessels that participated.
Winning the Milton J. LeBlanc Memorial Cup for heaviest bluefin tuna was Keepin’ Busy, captained by Cory Nickerson, with a 680-pound catch. Taking top honour for heaviest bluefin from the Hell Hole (360 pounds) was the Jasmine et Lexie, captained by Andre Cottreau. The Blake & Jorgia, captained by John Malone, recorded the heaviest overall weight for the tournament (1,086 pounds) landing one bluefin and six bigeye tunas.
In total, there were 16 bluefin, twenty bigeye and one albacore landed during the tournament. Each year, the South West Nova Tuna Association allocates 3,200 pounds of bluefin tuna quota from the commercial fishery for the tournament. Since it’s revival in 2004, the biggest bluefin landed in the tournament was caught in 2014 by the Atlantic Angler, weighing in at 796 pounds.
The festival also included a week filled with activities and events in the community, with hundreds of volunteers and sponsors helping make it possible.