A Near-World Record Dolphin

The first time is the dorado fishing charm for an Oregon couple vacationing in Cabo San Lucas.

Randy Romero with giant dolphin
Randy Romero’s giant dolphin. Courtesy Randy Romero

It was a first-time trip tapping Mexico’s famed Cabo San Lucas offshore fishing for Randy Romero and his wife Araceli. From a Cabo resort they booked a last-minute half-day charter on Aug. 17 through Pacific Time Sports Fishing. And on Aug. 18 they headed offshore with Capt. Jose Gonzalez and his mating son Juan on their boat the La Patrona.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” said Romero, age 30, from Milton-Freewater, Oregon, located east of Portland. “I’d never been there previously, and Araceli had never even been on a boat.”

But off they went, trolling for dolphin and billfish about 10 miles offshore. Late in trip they were heading back to the marina when they spotted a dolphin jump out of the water.

“We headed that way, and when we got to where we saw the fish leaped we had a strike from a big dolphin,” says Romero. “The fish started jumping, and running, and I started cranking on my reel.”

The more it jumped the more excited the boat crew got as they realized it was a giant of a dolphin, or dorado.

“They started calling it a dinosaur fish,” he added. “They called other boats on the radio, and they all started chiming in about the dinosaur fish we had on. It was wild and incredibly exciting.”

Romero fought the fish nearly 30 minutes, with the dolphin jumping repeatedly. Finally, they got close to their prize, and Juan gaffed it and brought it aboard.

“We all started high-fiving and jumping up and down,” he continued. “Capt. Jose said it’s biggest dorado he’s seen in 8 years chartering at Cabo – a real dinosaur catch, he said.”

The fishing fleet and marina were well aware of their catch, and a cluster of boats followed the La Patrona back to the marina to witness the weighing and congratulate the anglers and boat crew.

At the dock the fish measured 68-inches long, and weighed just a few ounces shy of 81-pounds. Randy’s fish is in a rare category of dolphin weighing over 80-pounds, with only a few IGFA fish recorded at better than 80-pounds.

The IGFA All-Tackle World Record dolphin is 87-pounds, caught in Costa Rica in 1976 by angler Manuel Salazar. That fish measured 69.50 inches in length. It’s less than two inches longer than Randy’s 68-inch dolphin from Cabo.

Only four other dolphin weighing over 80 pounds are in the IGFA records book. So Randy’s catch is in rare company.

To top off their Cabo fishing day, Araceli Romero delighted in battling a striped marlin, but losing it right at the boat.

“We had a great day with a beautiful sunrise, fun captain and crew,” said Randy. “When we first started fishing that day Araceli was getting seasick. Then we caught the dolphin and she forgot all about it. Then she fought her marlin, and never mentioned being ill again.

“We can’t wait to go fishing again, and Araceli is ready to go.”

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