Robert Fifield wins Tuna Challenge’s $30K top prize

Wasabi captain caught 725-pound tuna on last day
Sat, 09/10/2022 - 7:00pm

    Captain Robert Fifield docked his Wasabi at Carousel Marina at 10:45 p.m. Sept 8 with his behemoth 725-pound tuna catch. It was the last tuna entered into the 2022 Boothbay Harbor Tuna Challenge. It was also the largest. Fifield won the competition and $30,000 first prize. Fifield was one of 60 entrants who paid the $750 entry fee in the first local tuna tournament in nearly four decades. 

    The top five catches received a cash prize. Joe Pinkham of Five Islands had the second largest catch. On Sept. 4, he arrived at Carousel Marina aboard his My 3 Blondes with a 712.5-pound tuna. He received $15,000. Sept. 8 was the tournament’s last day. Steve Morse of Harpswell caught the third heaviest catch of 669 pounds aboard his Reel Estates. He received a $7,500 prize. On Sept. 4, the fourth heaviest catch, 644.5 pounds, was recorded aboard the Ivy Jean. Fourth prize paid $3,000 to an unidentified boat captain. Brent Olsen of South Bristol caught his 641-pound tuna Sept. 8 aboard the True North. He placed fifth, and received a $1,500 prize. 

    Carousel Marina’s Evan Hepburn reported Sept. 5 and Sept. 8 were the best fishing days due to poor weather on Sept. 6-7. After catches were weighed, captains sold them to fish buyers from Massachusetts and Rhode Island, according to Hepburn. The tournament concluded Sept. 9 with an awards presentation and lobster bake at Carousel Marina.

    Planning for the tournament began in January for the benefit of the Fishermen’s Memorial.

    This spring, the van der Veen family bought Carousel Marina and Whale’s Tale Pub. 

    The tournament limited entrants to 60 and 44 tuna were landed.

    “We’re very happy with the tournament and all the community support. We’re also looking forward to next year’s tournament,” Jax van der Veen said.