A California fishing guide’s Facebook page is one long photo album of its customers pulling out “massive cows” from the ocean. One of the luckiest customers, John Petruescu of La Mesa, pulled out an at least 400-pound yellowfin tuna that may be considered for a world record. It was purported to weigh about 400 pounds when measured on the boat, but its scale weight won’t be known until the crew arrives back in port this Saturday or Sunday.
Petruescu’s fish is up to beat the International Game Fish Association’s (IGFA) official world record of 405 pounds, which was caught by Mike Livingston on November 30, 2010 in Magdalena Bay, Baja Sur, Mexico.
Not only does it have to go through the official certification process with the IGFA, but it must beat another 400-plus-pound yellowfin tuna caught from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico by Guy Yocom of Dana Point in September. Yocom’s fish weighed 427 pounds and may gain the lucky angler a million dollars if certified as a world record (Yocom was participating in Mustad’s Hook-a-Million contest). His claim is still pending.
Petruescu caught his fish at Hurricane Bank off the coast of Mexico with the crew of Excel Long Range Sportfishing based out of San Diego, California. The latest spat of world-record tuna fish have been caught from this area to the excitement of anglers and charter captains.
“It’s amazing that this area continues to produce such large yellowfin,” Jack Vitek, IGFA World Records Coordinator, wrote in an email. “It will be interesting to see how that fish weighs in.”
While Excel’s Director of Operations, Jason Gross, doesn’t know the exact details of the catch since the crew are still at sea, he knows Petruescu caught it on a skipjack, possibly with a Shimano Tiagra reel. The fish was caught sometime earlier this week.
“The fishing down there has just been so good recently,” said Gross. “There are big fish showing up more and more. It’s encouraging for passengers anytime they get a snag on the line that this could be a world record.”
Petruescu won’t find out exactly how much his fish weighs for a few more days, but it’s possible it will have lost some weight by that time. The crew has tried to tape up its gaff wounds so it won’t lose any more blood, but some mass has been lost.
The crew estimated its weight of 400 pounds by tape-measuring its girth and length then using an equation to get an estimate of its weight.