The Largest Tuna Ever Caught off Florida Coast

© DAPA Images/ via

Written by Nina Phillips

Published: May 8, 2024

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Last month, a group of six men caught the largest tuna ever off of the Florida Coast. Though it won’t go on record as the largest Atlantic bluefin tuna, it’s still an impressive fish that deserves to be mentioned, as well as the dedicated team that caught it.

The Team That Took on This Giant Fish

View from a fishing boat at sea

All you need is a simple fishing boat to catch a massive tuna.

©Alex Stemmers/

A boat called Flat Dangerous fought against the largest tuna ever caught off of the coast of Florida. It’s a 90-foot Viking owned by a man from Alabama known as Warren Williamson. The caption was George Gill and this was the first fishing trip for the boat.

There were a total of six people on the boat. There were three crew members besides the captain and the owner: Dennis Bennett, Eddy Griffith, and John Balters. Williamson also brought along his friend, Kole Melancon.

The Trip

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One day, just for fun, the group decided to go fishing. They were about 68 miles outside of Destin and had only four bait left when they saw a huge school of tuna passing by.

The group realized that they couldn’t let the opportunity pass. They caught three other tuna beforehand, but the first two broke the hook, while the third spit it.

The fourth though, held onto the hook. They fought with the large tuna for an hour. Then, they realized the fish had died and was wrapped by the tail. No longer fighting with the animal, they took their time hauling up the fish. It took a total of four hours, and a total of two hours to get it back to shore to be weighed.

The Tuna in Question

Bluefin tuna get pretty big, but the one caught off of Florida was still large.


It made a big hole in the water … it looked like a Russian submarine was attacking

Eddy Griffith, one of the crew on board

If you think the size of this tuna was an exaggeration, think again. This Atlantic bluefin tuna weighed an impressive 888 pounds and was 110 inches long. For an animal that often weighs between 500 and 550 pounds, 888 pounds is a bit hefty, though not entirely unexpected.

How Big Do Bluefin Tuna Get?

Atlantic Bluefin tuna can reach up to 1,000 pounds, and one tuna of approximately 1,500 pounds has been recorded. But with an abundance of fishing and a high demand for tuna, finding large ones like the one caught on the 24th of April off of the coast of Florida is growing more and more rare.

Unfortunately, due to regulations on how many people can work together to catch a bluefin tuna, this one won’t go down in the record books.

After weighing it, a lot of the tune went to a local oyster house. What they didn’t give away to restaurants and people they donated to a food bank.

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Population: How Many Are Left in the World?

It’s thought that there are well over a million Atlantic bluefin tuna left in the world. For a while, they were considered endangered, but in 2021, they were moved from that ranking on the IUCN Red List to threatened instead.

Where Do Bluefin Tuna Live?

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna prefers to live in areas with temperate waters. They can go up to the surface but prefer depths of 1,640 to 3,270 feet below the surface of the ocean. This species also migrates quite a lot. Atlantic bluefin tuna travel throughout the entirety of the ocean and travel thousands of miles.

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About the Author

Nina is a writer at A-Z Animals, FIDIS Travel, and Giant Freakin Robot. Her focus is on wildlife, national parks, and the environment. She has been writing about animals for over three years. Nina holds a Bachelor's in Conservation Biology, which she uses when talking about animals and their natural habitats. In her free time, Nina also enjoys working on writing her novels and short stories. As a resident of Colorado, Nina enjoys getting out in nature, traveling, and watching snow hit the mountains from her enclosed porch.

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