Reeling in Tradition: The Northeast Bluefin Showdown

Post by - Published on 03/27/24 16:00 PM

Captain Jim Mize, a seasoned deep-sea fisherman and Newburyport local, plays a pivotal role in the anticipated Northeast Bluefin Showdown. His story below weaves through the vibrant fabric of competition, science, and community spirit that anchors the annual event. Dive deeper into the behind-the-scenes action, and consider this your personal invitation to get involved!

Reeling in Tradition: The Northeast Bluefin Showdown
By Captain Jim Mize

Nestled alongside the Merrimack River, the seashore town of Newburyport, MA is rich in maritime and fishing history. In its beginning, Newburyport was the leader in the construction of sailing schooners for fishing, whaling and trading. While whaling and sailing trade ships are now gone, the area is known for its world class fishing, in this case giant bluefin tuna fishing. 

The Northeast Bluefin Showdown is a non-profit that organizes a giant bluefin fishing tournament headquartered in Newburyport. 

Our anglers will fish for three full days with the hope of catching the heaviest tuna which determines the winner of the event. In 2022 and 2023 the winning team's effort was worth $50,000.00. All fish caught and weighed for the tournament scales are then brought to market via fish brokers with some even finding their way to Japan!  

Bluefin tuna are highly migratory and through science and research, we know that they can and do make transatlantic crossings!  We have collaborated with the University of Maine Pelagic Fisheries Lab to continue these studies. Fisheries biologists and PHD students are on hand during the tournament collecting tissue samples that help them understand their age, diet, sex, and migratory habits. 

In our first two years we are proud to have donated $48,000.00 to charity and have paid out a total $170,000 in winning prize money. 

As a community event, we also sponsor a kids day. In 2023 the “Captain's Lady” a Plum Island based deep sea party boat took area kids ( accompanied by an adult) for a half day of deep sea fishing. Upon returning they enjoyed lunch catered by Wing Itz restaurant. Activities in the afternoon included learning the traditional Japanese art of gyotaku fish printing hosted by Joe Higgins of Joe's Fresh Fish Prints, a presentation about tuna biology and behavior put on by PHD students of the UMaine’s Pelagic Fisheries Lab, face painting and much more.


So what could make 2024 even better? How about a new sponsor charity, more competitive teams, and new tournament dates that are sure to attract anglers from all over the Northeast. Get ready for some fierce competition...event dates are June 26-30 and we’ll be featuring three weigh-in locations; Newburyport, MA, Marshfield, MA and Portland, ME, which is sure to be appealing to more teams that choose to weigh in locally. 

Our exciting, new sponsor charity for 2024 will be the Light Foundation. Founded by 3x Superbowl champion with the New England Patriots Matt Light and his wife Susie. The mission of the Light Foundation is “ to take young people out of their everyday environments and provide them with unique opportunities to ignite their passion, purpose and motivation to succeed.” To learn more about the Light Foundation and all they do, visit their website here.

This event would not be possible without our hardworking tournament committee, our generous sponsors, donors and volunteers. 

The Northeast Bluefin Showdown is a 501 C3 non-profit organization. To learn more about the event, you can find us online at or visit our Facebook or Instagram accounts with the links below.


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