It was the sort of sight that turns anglers to jelly and it was happening right in front of Strikezone. A massive patch of birds swirled around like a living tornado, turning the sky black as they swooped and dived. To the uninitiated it could have looked like a sinister scene from a horror movie, but for anglers it was heaven.
Some 55km out to sea in water more than a kilometre deep, the masses of birds meant only one thing - tuna. And judging from the splashes underneath the birds, they were big ones at that.
Before we even reached the action, rods started screaming. It wasn't quite what we had expected and a triple-header of solid albacore was hastily released so we could get into the action again. The first pass produced zeros, as did the second. It was seriously frustrating as we watched huge, jumbo-sized yellowfin roll and boil on the surface right beside the boat, but our Tiagras remained silent.
In a last-ditch effort to hook up, I instructed Tom Eisenhammer to drop one of the Laser Pros right back. It was already 100m out, but he sent it a further 50m so it was right back on its own. Seconds later, the reel screamed.
Loaded up on 80-pound gear, the fish was obviously significant, but it didn't really take off. There was no blistering run or wild headshakes - instead there was just solid weight and, with a bit of persuasion from Tom, it came straight in.