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Giant Yellowfin Tamed With Accurate Valiant

When commercial fishermen from Agua Verde lost a cow-sized tuna at Isla Santa Catalan near Loreto in the Gulf of California and spotted others crashing at dusk on Jan. 5, they shared the knowledge – resulting in a valiant angling effort and a pending IGFA record.

giant yellowfin
The largest tuna weighed 424.6 pounds, topping the current IGFA record of 385-pounds, 12 ounces by a click less than 40 pounds flanked by Tony Winkler and angler Jorge Lazo.

Robert Ross, an American off-road racer and resident of nearby Playa San Cosme, with sons-in-law, Jorge Lazo, Tijuana, and Jay Yadon, owner of Outpost Charters in Loreto, joined by deckhand Tony Winkler responded to the news.

They set course on Jan. 6 in Ross’s 37 Boston Whaler Rampage for the often-fertile waters not far from the Marina Puerto Escondido where they had previously landed a 400-plus pounder, setting the stage for their three-day tuna-chasing marathon that would include six hookups with four landed.

The two largest were caught by Lazo on an Accurate Valiant BV2-800 reel loaded with 50# P-Line, 100# Hi-Seas fluorocarbon leader with a Mustad 6/0 hook on a Seeker rod. The largest tuna weighed 424.6-pounds, topping the current IGFA record of 385-pounds, 12 ounces by a click less than 40-pounds.  Lazo’s second tuna weighed 319-pounds — a two-day fish total for both the angler and his Accurate Valiant BV2-800 of 743.6-pounds.

“I’ve never caught two fish that large, that quickly, back-to-back,” Lazo confessed. “The reel’s compact size and unfailing consistent drag system was a ‘game changer’ for me catching those two monsters.”

accurate valiant
Lazo’s second tuna weighed 319 pounds — a two-day fish total for both the angler and his Accurate Valiant BV2-800 of 743.6-pounds.

In addition, two other yellowfin were landed – one at 242-pounds taken by Ross and the other by Yadon rounding out the three-day catch at 212.5-pounds.

Underscoring the entire adventure was Ross’s success on Sat. – the day before their Sunday-thru-Tuesday’s valiant effort – when he had landed, by himself, a respectable 267-pound tuna plus two amberjack, each weighing in excess of 70-pounds.

The ultimate small reel big fish story for sure. Not one but two fish of a lifetime back to back days.

Photo Credit: Jay Yadon, Outpost Charters

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Gary Graham, the BD Outdoors Baja Editor, has more than five decades fishing experience off of Southern California and the Baja Peninsula. From light tackle and fly up to offshore marlin fishing, Gary has experienced all facets of this fishery. He's set several fly-fishing world records and in his first year as a member of the Tuna Club of Avalon, he received more angling awards than any other first-year member in the club's 109-year history. He's been involved with many California angling clubs and is the Baja California Representative for the International Game Fish Association. 
Gary's a conservationist as well as a writer and photographer. In addition to two books on saltwater fly-fishing, hundreds of his articles and photographs have appeared in publications around the world. Graham has devoted his life to finding new fisheries and developing new techniques — all of which he shares through his guiding, speaking, photography and writing.