The story of multiple enormous yellowfin tuna taken off the Mexican coast this year took yet another turn Tuesday, Sept. 18 – and this time, it might be worth a million dollars.
California angler Guy Yocom caught a 400-plus-pound tuna some 200 miles south of Cabo San Lucas, according to a story in the San Diego Union-Tribune. But the fish’s exact weight is still unknown – for now, at least.
The big tuna was weighed twice, according to the Tribune and Pisces Sportfishing, registering 427 pounds and 421.5 pounds on two different scales at the docks in Cabo. The current all-tackle record yellowfin is a 405-pounder taken in 2010 by Mike Livingston.
What makes this catch most intriguing, however, is that Yocom, who owns the boat from which the fish was caught (appropriately named El Suertudo, or "the lucky one"), took the big yellowfin on a chunk bait with a Mustad Demon Perfect Circle hook, making it eligible for Mustad’s "Hook A Million" world-record contest.
Jeff Pierce, sales manager for Mustad, told Sport Fishing that Yocom was indeed registered in the contest and, therefore, eligible for the million-dollar prize.
So now, the million-dollar question becomes – will the catch be certified by the IGFA?
That, of course, will take some time. Pending records typically require several weeks by the IGFA to either confirm or reject.
Yocom's big tuna was filleted shortly after being weighed, and he told the Tribune he was having both scales certified, which is in accordance with IGFA rules.
“An angler can have a scale certified after the weighing,” Jack Vitek, IGFA’s world records coordinator, told Sport Fishing. “The re-certification is supposed to happen ASAP.” Vitek also told Sport Fishing that a certificate of calibration is required for all record entries.
The fish was caught on a Shimano Tiagra loaded with 100-pound-test line, according to the Tribune, and Yocom said he landed the fish in just 55 minutes.
“We’ve been out looking for big fish for quite a while, and this time I was fortunate to land one,” he said.
But this is not the first gigantic yellowfin caught in this part of the world. Two other record-caliber fish were taken earlier this year -- and neither was certified as an official record.
In January, Ron Tegland took an estimated 432-pounder aboard his boat, Tenacious, off Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Three months later, Robert Pedigo, also fishing out of Puerto Vallarta aboard his Journeyman, landed a 427.9-pound fish. But it was never submitted for certification for several reasons.
Time will tell whether this latest big fish proves to be a new all-tackle record yellowfin – and a million-dollar fish, to boot.