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Land of the giants

"Six … seven … eight … nine hundred — sixteen!" Alex Petrucci barked. "Yeah … yeah … what a fish." 

While most of New England was bemoaning the Yankees five-game roll over the Red Sox, Rhode Island fishermen gathered at dock scales and listened to crackling radios in awe as the crew of the Duck Soup out of Point Judith took off on an even more astounding hot streak — a tuna roll (pun intended) — going two for four on giant bluefin weighing 740 and 916 pounds. But you should have seen the one they lost.

"My biggest giant ever weighed 1,114 pounds," says skipper Alex Petrucci. "The fish we had on was 1,200- to 1,300-pounds — no doubt. We had it on for 6½ hours, but he just broke the line. A day later, we boated a 740."

But last Saturday's battle was perhaps best of all.

"There were four- to six-foot seas out there," Petrucci says. "Not very many boats out, but we left the dock around noon, anchored up in this little spot we like and started chumming with cut up whiting.

"We're hooked up … we're hooked up," Petrucci could be heard over the radio late in the afternoon. "It's a good fish."

Actually, there were two fish. Petrucci and crew comprised of Alex Jr., Chris Parente, Lou Cuddy and Bosco the bulldog, enticed two giants to the hook.

"We saw the fish come up for a high bait right behind the boat," Cuddy says. "It missed the bait, but we sent the baits deep and they swallowed it."

With two fish hooked up, the crew had to act fast. They cut the smaller bluefin loose to take on the bigger tuna with the big-game reel loaded with 175-pound mono.

Almost three hours later, Parente whipped the giant.

The radio crackled again: "We're on the way in," Petrucci said. "It looks like a 600- or 700-pound fish."

The crowd assembled at the Snug Harbor, R.I., pier was astounded as the Duck Soup pirouetted into position to offload the fish.

Petrucci ticked off the poundage as the hoist lifted the tuna from the deck: "Six … seven … eight … nine hundred — sixteen!" Petrucci barked. "Yeah … yeah … what a fish."

What a fish, indeed.

But wait 'til next week because the Duck Soup isn't done, just yet.

To see more photos and dramatic video of the weigh-in, go to www.saltwatersportsman.com.