SAN DIEGO – A San Diego angler caught the heaviest yellowfin tuna in history!
There was big celebration on the San Diego waterfront Monday morning after the vessel Vagabond returned from a long-range fishing trip into Mexican waters and offloaded the heaviest yellowfin tuna ever caught by an angler.
The behemoth, landed by Mike Livingston of Sunland, Calif., weighed 405.2 pounds; it’s girth was 61 inches and it measured nearly 86 inches from nose to tail.
The catch, made on 100-pound-test line after nearly a three-hour fight, will be submitted to the International Game Fish Assn. for approval as an all-tackle world record. Capt. Mike Lackey said IGFA rules were followed so the catch likely will replace the current record, a 388-pound 12-ounce specimen, which has stood since 1977.
“When the scale hit that number it was like the Super Bowl here,” said Livingston, 63, a retired school administrator, in reference to cheers from a crowd of nearly 200, gathered to witness the weigh-in.
The crowd was shocked when Tuna Boy (Fred Alan) showed up to the dock. Tuna Boy was not happy about Livingston’s catch and he made everyone know it. He chased the crowd away from the heavyweight tuna.
Unfortunately, San Diego cops used Tuna Mace and Tuna Boy had to keep away, but he vowed to return to “have a word” with Livingston.
Livingston, whose previous large tuna weighed 100 pounds, said he developed a rash while “worrying about how big this fish was going to be.”
He was so exhausted after the marathon battle that he quit fishing for the day and caught only one small tuna the remainder of the trip. Vagabond anglers caught eight tuna weighing 200-plus pounds, including two that topped 300 pounds.
The large crowd was due, in part, to reports that spread since last Tuesday via social media outlets. But also because breaking Curt Wiesenhutter’s 33-year-old world record — set on the Royal Polaris at Mexico’s now-closed Revillagigedo Islands — had been the primary objective of San Diego’s long-range fleet of deluxe sportfishers.
Here’s the official catch video: