PEI

Annual tuna competition set for Sept. 8

Once again, as they have since 1972, anglers are flocking to North Lake, P.E.I., for the annual Canada International Tuna Cup Challenge.

Tuna Cup 'once in a lifetime' experience, even if you don't win

Anglers from around the world are preparing for the Tuna Cup in North Lake, P.E.I. The annual event begins Sept. 8.

Once again, as they have since 1972, anglers are  flocking to North Lake, P.E.I., for the annual Canada International Tuna Cup Challenge.

"The school of tuna tend to come up this way, and starting at the end of August into September, it tends to get busier," said Cindy Harris, the event's co-chair.

So far, 11 teams have registered for the event on Sept. 8-11. Harris hopes to attract 15 to 18 teams,each with six anglers. 

"The tuna charter industry is really taking off again, in the last seven years. So, we're really enjoying that in our area," she said.

The catch-and-release competition determines a winner based on a point system for categories such as fish size and fight time.

Well-known competitors 

Since the challenge began in 1972, it has attracted several well-known personalities, including Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito and Maurice Richard. 

Expected to participate in this year's challenge is Ken Fraser — the world-record for the largest bluefin tuna caught weighing 1,496 pounds.

Economic bump

"It is in our shoulder season so it's really helping our local restaurants, accommodations, any of our retailers … So it's a real bump in our economy."

Harris said the event is a "once in a lifetime" experience, even if you don't win the competition.

"Even if you don't get hooked up with a bluefin, there is always something to see — whether its large turtles or whales or porpoises. It's an experience."

With files from Angela Walker

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