A Yellowtail World Record

IGFA 12-pound line class woman’s record held for 34 years is smashed by a 36-pound, 10-ounce giant of a California yellowtail.
Record yellowtail
The new women’s world record yellowtail. IGFA photo

IGFA has just announced that Lisa Kitagawa’s massive 36-pound, 10-ounce California yellowtail caught on July 19, 2022 is the new official world woman’s 12-pound line record for the hard-fighting and coveted Pacific Coast gamefish.

Kitagawa fought the massive yellowtail for nearly a half-hour using 12-pound test line while fishing aboard the boat “Peruz” with Capt. Daron Muratyan. The yellowtail was caught off San Clemente Island, located in the Pacific Ocean about 80 miles west of San Diego.

Kitagawa’s fish measured 41-inches long, with a 25-inch girth and hit a live sardine bait. It betters the previous 12-pound woman’s IGFA record for the species weighing 29-pounds, 4-ounces, caught in Aug. 1988 by Julie Yates, also near San Clemente Island.

“Finally!  After being ‘Pepe LePew’ (a cartoon character) for far too long, I caught a world record yellowtail near a kelp paddy,” Kitagawa posted on her Facebook page.

“My love of fishing is in my Japanese DNA. I was surprised as I had not seen such a big yellowtail before, they usually kick my oshiri (butt) and break line. 

“I hooked, but lost, several other yellowtails on a variety of IGFA line. The ‘Loch Ness Monster yellowtail’ is still out there, as I hooked a giant yellowtail on 20-pound line, which pulled twice as hard as the 36-pounder but broke off. I will keep fishing offshore in pursuit!”

California yellowtails indeed grow huge, with the IGFA All-Tackle record being a 109-pound, 2-ouncer, caught in 2009 off Japan by Masakazu Taniwaki

With her most recent 36-pound, 10-ounce yellowtail line class record, Kitagawa holds a total of four IGFA world records, including an All-Tackle parrot sand bass from Costa Rica weighing 4-pounds. Additionally, she holds pair of woman’s line class records for Pacific bluefin tuna: 10-pounds, 9-ounces on 6-pound test, and 19-pounds, 14-ounces on 8-pound test.

“Fishing is truly an ‘essential activity,’ which brings so much joy,” says Kitagawa.  “I am so thrilled, excited and hopeful!”