Thursday, October 23, 2014

Is This A TUNICORN? Veteran Fisherman Catches Bizarre Tuna With A Horn Protruding From Its Head - But The Fish Is Tragically Eaten By A Shark As Soon As It's Released

  • Experienced fisherman Kim Haskell, his brother Jamie and their nephew Christopher were on a family fishing trip in a remote part of the Osprey Reef in Queensland
  • Christopher reeled in a whopping 40kg dogtooth tuna with a large spike sticking out of it's head
  • The trio removed the spike, and believe it had been there for possibly a year after the fish was speared by a sailfish
  • The bleeding tuna was released but attracted sharks and was soon eaten
  • The veteran angler still has the spike to remember the day by

Veteran fisherman Kim Haskell has been fishing all his life, but had never seen anything like the catch he and his family snagged while out fishing past the Great Barrier Reef.

Kim, 64, a fruit grower from Bloomfield, Queensland was on a fishing trip with his brother Jamie and nephew Christopher near Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea, off the Queensland coast.

The trio rose early and had already caught several tuna off the side of the 18 meter boat when Christopher reeled in an enormous dogtooth tuna.

However, it was not that the tuna weighed in at a whopping 40 kilograms that drew the keen anglers' attention, but the fact that the fish had a giant horn sticking straight out from its head.

Dubbed by social media users as a 'tunicorn', the bizarre sight of the horn stopped Kim and Jamie, both experienced fishermen, in their tracks.

The Bloomfield resident said that he could see that something was different about the fish as they were reeling it in, but it wasn't until it was in the boat that he and his family could get a closer look.

'We got it up, and it had a spike sticking straight out,' Kim told Daily Mail Australia.
'We brought it on deck and carefully removed the bill in the dinghy and revived it.'

Kim said that he was almost certain it was the elongated bill from a sailfish, similar to a swordfish or marlin, which had become embedded in the dogfish tuna's head.

'It looked to me like the only way it could have gotten there is that there was a feeding frenzy. My guess is there was a bait ball, and the sailfish must have speared the tuna by mistake, and the bill snapped off.'

The trio extracted the bill, and released the tuna back in the water with a raw wound leeking from it's head. As a result of where they were fishing, the bleeding tuna quickly attracted sharks and was killed soon after.

'We've been fishing all our lives, and it looked so strange,' said Kim.

'The area around the bill was well healed, which makes me think that it had been sticking out of the tuna's head for months or maybe years.'

'It's incredible that the bill missed major blood vessels and brain tissue and that the tuna was still able to operate.'

Kim said that the area they were fishing in is an amazing piece of nature, and that he always feels lucky to head out to the reef.

The area he and his family were fishing in is quite a remote area, approximately 100 kilometers past the Great Barrier Reef.

'You'd go all night, and because you're so far out you have to clip yourself on to the boat. If you fall off, it's unlikely you'll be found again because it's so remote.'

'I've seen some amazing things out there. Every time I've been there I'm reminded that it's one of the best places I've gone too,' said Kim.

'The water is so clear and everything is so big that you always feel incredibly lucky every second you're in the water.'

'The visibility is unbelievable, and you can see distance underwater.'

Kim said that he still has the spike to remind him of the strange day. It's not the only odd thing he's seen out on the water though.

A few weeks ago, he was out on the inner reef of the Osprey when he speared a coral trout. After climbing back into the dinghy he cut the trout to bleed it, and a small cod, about 10 centimeters, fell out of the fish's severed stomach.

The cod was alive, and spewed out a 5cm bait fish which was dead. Kim put the cod over the side and it swam away.

'The trout must have just swallowed the cod just before I speared it,' said Kim.
'How lucky can you be?'


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