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This Could Be the Largest Yellowfin Tuna Caught by Rod and Reel (But It Won't Qualify for the Official Record)


“Our crew members are programmed to keep an angler out of danger."

(Photo: Excel/Facebook)

What could be the largest yellowfin tuna brought in the old-fashioned way -- with a rod, reel and a whole lot of man-power -- might not be able to qualify for the world record.

According to North County Times, John Petruescu caught a tuna so large off the San Diego coast that Excel Longrange Sportfishing at first underreported its weight at 400 pounds so as not to jinx a potential record. In a tape estimate -- one where the length and girth of the fish is measured to estimate the weight -- the fish came in at 459 pounds.

John Petruescu and his heavy-weight catch. (Photo: Excel/Facebook)

Excel held a short contest on its Facebook page for people to guess the tuna's official weight. Turns out the taped weight wasn't too far off. Petruescu's fish officially weighed 445 pounds. To put that into perspective, the second and third place tuna caught that day weighed 302 pounds and 286 pounds, respectively.

Here are the tuna pictured from heaviest (left) to lightest (right). (Photo: Excel/Facebook)

Unfortunately, even with it's official 445-pound weight -- well above the current, official record holder with 405 pounds -- a deckhand touched Petruescu's rod while he was bringing the fish in, which disqualified him for the world record.

“Our crew members are programmed to keep an angler out of danger,” Capt. Justin Fleck told Phil Friedman, according to North County Times. “When a guy goes under the anchor, the crewman has to grab the rod. We do that for insurance purposes. That’s not to take anything away from John, because he fought his butt off on this fish. But it was done to make sure he got the fish.”

A similar incident happened last year with a 427.9-pound tuna caught off the coast of Mexico and a deckhand touched the angler's rod.

(H/T: Pete Thomas Outdoors)

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