13-year-old Barnstable girl catches 591-pound tuna
Lola Crisp wins Cape Cod's first tuna tournament held since the 1980s.
A 13-year-old Barnstable girl on Sunday reeled in the heaviest catch of the Cape's first commercial tuna tournament in more than 30 years.
Lola Crisp is also the youngest person to ever win the Cape Cod Bay Tuna Tournament, first held by the Cape Cod Tuna Club in 1950.
Crisp's catch weighed in at 591 pounds.
About 75 anglers competed, fishing from 19 commercially permitted boats from Brant Rock Beach in Marshfield to Race Point Beach in Provincetown. Only Crisp and three others caught tuna, which weighed in at 564 pounds, 545 pounds and 468 pounds.
September is the high season for Atlantic bluefin tuna, a sushi staple. Sunday's catch was offloaded at Barnstable Harbor and dispatched on ice to Boston hours later for processing. By Monday the fish will be aboard flights bound for Japan, said Carla Sullivan, a service manager at Millway Marina.
Sullivan worked with the marina's owners to revive the tournament, which hasn't been held since at least 1988.
"The reason we did a commercial tournament is to preserve the resource," Sullivan said. "There's nothing worse than seeing recreational fishermen go out and catch baby bluefin that they think are big but are actually juveniles. So we have a commercial tournament so it's done properly and regulated."
Participants each bought into the tournament for $800. Crisp won $8,500.
Crisp hunts deer, bear and turkey, and has fished for most of her life. Her winning catch on Sunday morning was about half the weight of the Cape's record. Jeanne Wood of Barnstable caught a 1,002-pound tuna on August 3, 1979 — a world record at the time.