• Local teen reels in 700 pound tuna over the course of 10 hours

    By: Malini Basu

    Updated:

    A Hamilton teenager reeled in a 700-pound fish on Friday – it's a catch that could pay big.

    It was the catch of a lifetime for Devin Zelck, who caught 700-pound tuna.

    "I was shocked! It was huge," she said. "We saw it come up onto the surface and we were like, 'oh my goodness.'"

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    It was one catch that Zelck waited 18 years to make. 

    "My dad caught his first tuna at 13, so it’s kind of been a competition between me and my brother," Zelck said. 

    On Friday her first bluefin tuna took the bait, but it wasn’t an easy catch. 

    It took Devin 10 hours to reel in the fish. To put that into perspective for you, the average time to reel in a bluefin tuna is about two and a half hours.

    "Every 45 minutes we were switching off," she said. "Dad would cramp up, and he would tell me that I had to be on the rod next."

    Finally, after dragging the boat eight miles from its anchor, the massive fish gave up its fight.

    "It was just so exciting," Zelck said. "Like you have to be there, like you have to catch it yourself to know how exciting it is."

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    The catch is enough to make any dad proud, but for Steve Zelck, who's a commercial fisherman, it's a moment he prayed his daughter would have.

    "She was just instrumental in the whole fight," he said.

    Bluefin tuna sells anywhere between $6 to $12 per pound. Devin doesn't know how much it sold for yet, but says she plans to use that money towards her college education. 

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