The 124-foot Excel made it back to San Diego this past weekend and officially weighed in the beast of a yellowfin tuna that John Petruescu caught while fishing the Hurricane Bank.
The catch began making headlines around the sportfishing world last week when the crew posted a photo of the huge fish on its Facebook page. However, they posted the photo from the boat, which was some 900 miles away from San Diego.
The captain of the Excel, Justin Fleck, said the yellowfin taped out at 459 pounds on the boat based on a formula using the fish’s length and girth measurements, but they did not have an official weight until this past weekend, when they returned to port.
With a large crowd of onlookers standing by, the Excel backed into its slip and began the offloading process. Everyone was waiting for Petruescu’s big fish to hit the scale.
When the fish was finally hoisted up, the scale read 445 pounds, making this fish the largest yellowfin tuna ever caught on rod and reel.
The fish also leapfrogged the 427.5 pound yellowfin that Guy Yocom caught off Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, back in September. Yokom’s fish is currently awaiting approval from the IGFA as an official world record.
Some early reports are saying that Petruescu’s fish would not qualify as a world record because a deckhand briefly touched the rod as the angler was struggling around the anchor.
Petruescu hooked the giant yellowfin on a live skipjack tuna and fought the fish for some two hours.
Stay tuned for more about this amazing catch as we track down the angler and the captain for interviews.
Rod: Seeker 6460 XH
Reel: Shimano Tiagra 50-wide
Line: 130-pound Jerry Brown Spectra
Leader: Wind-On by Basil with 130-pound Momoi
Hook: 12/0 Mustad 7691
Bait: Live Skipjack
Read Captain Justin Fleck’s story by clicking HERE.
* Photos used courtesy of Excel Sportfishing and Mike Reese