John's Journal...

Fighting Big Tuna with Captain Rimmer Covington of the Isle of Capri Resort

Catching a Big One Right after the Other

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Last week, I was fishing out of the Isle of Capri resort in Biloxi, Mississippi, with Captain Rimmer Covington of Pass Christian, Mississippi, on the charter boat, the “Peace Keeper.” We left the Isle of Capri at 7:00 am, and by 9:00 am, we were fishing for tuna in 1500 feet of water. Covington is one of the new breed of charter-boat captains along the Mississippi Gulf Coast – young, strong and fast. Covington’s the owner of the strike-force fleet of sleek, fast, open-boat-style charter boats that run 60- to 100-miles offshore to the Continental Shelf. His boat has a sound system that will rival any concert auditorium and a Sirius satellite radio with over 200 stations plus weather sonar. This boat and captain are as fast and as modern as you can get when you want to charter a boat for fishing. Covington has two undergraduate degrees in finance and also a master’s degree in accounting. He walked away from a higClick to enlargeh-paying job in the securities business to live the life of his dreams. He’s used his education to build a modern-day charter-fishing business for today’s anglers and for the anglers well into the future. Having paid his way through college as a deckhand and a charter-boat fisherman, Covington is constantly learning, finding fish and growing his fleet of fast boats and young, strong captains. When we finally slowed-down, turned down the radio and moved close into a rig, we could see yellowfin tuna chasing bait on the surface. Not 20-minutes later, we ran a blue runner out the side of the boat to the kite and almost instantly, a huge tuna exploded on the bait. Mississippi’s Mike Jones was next on the rod. After getting strapped into the stand-up tackle, Jones took the rod and the big tuna began to run. The fish took out more than 400 yards of line before it stopped its run.

“Anytime we have a fish run that far, it usually will weigh 150 pounds or more,” Covington says. As the fish stopped its run, and Jones stClick to enlargearted to reel the fish in, he looked like he’d been hit with a bucket of water. Sweat dripped off him, and occasionally, he’d get a cool drink of water. I asked, “What’s hurting, Mike?” Jones replied, “Back, feet, hands, shoulders and every other part of my body.” This was only after he’d been on the rod for about 25 minutes. “How long is the longest you’ve seen a tuna fight last?” I asked Covington. “About four hours,” he answered. Jones grimaced at the prospect of having to fight this huge tuna for another 2-1/2 hours. Jones’ tuna took a barjack, commonly called a disco, that would have weighed about 1- to 1-1/2-pounds. Barjacks and blue runners are two of the favorite baits of many tuna fishermen.

As I watched, Covington coached Jones. “Reel, reel, reel,” Covington barked. “I want you to keep the rod loaded up. One mistake a lot of people make is that they spend their money on the boat and the gas to get out here to catch tuna, and they try and save money by using inexpensive tackle. That’s like taking a knife to a gun fight. When you go tuna fishing, you want the best line, roClick to enlarged and reel, hooks and equipment you can take with you. Luckily, we’ve got the best. This tuna is definitely what we call the stud class, a 150 pounder or better, so you need good tackle. I feel confident that Mike can get this big tuna to the boat and we can get the fish in the boat.” I asked Jones how he was doing about one hour into the fight. He groaned, “Alright.” “Landing a big tuna is not a sprint; it’s a marathon,” Covington said. “You really have to pace yourself so that you can stay in the fight and get the fish into the boat.” Finally, after about 2-1/2 hours of hard work, Jones brought the big tuna alongside and Covington and Manton were able to gaff and bring the 175-pound tuna on board.

For more information about offshore fishing in the Biloxi area, contact Captain Rimmer Covington, (601) 951-3981,,

Call Bobby Carter, the manager of the Isle of Capri, at (228) 436-7928, or visit the website at You won’t find better food or nicer, more-spacious accommodations anywhere else than on the Isle of Capri.

Go to, or call 1-866-See-Miss (733-6477) for more information about Mississippi’s Gulf Coast.

Tomorrow: Big Snapper and Grouper

Check back each day this week for more about "Fighting Big Tuna with Captain Rimmer Covington of the Isle of Capri Resort"

Day 1: Finding the Tuna
Day 2: The Boat with Everything
Day 3: Catching a Big One
Day 4: Catching a Big One Right after the Other
Day 5: Big Snapper and Grouper



Entry 415, Day 4