The IGFA has officially approved the record application for the 193.68 kg (427 lb) yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) caught by Guy Yocom on September 28, 2012 while fishing aboard his boat, El Suertudo (“The Lucky One”). The boat was captained by Greg DiStefano, who put Yocom on the fish approximately 100 miles off the coast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Yocom and another angler were chunking to a school of yellowfin, taking turns with the rod and reel, and Yocom just happened to be “the lucky one” who fed the record fish. Fifty minutes later – a relatively short fight for a yellowfin of that size – Yocom had reeled in what would be the world’s next All-Tackle yellowfin tuna record.
“We started hearing about the catch almost as soon as it was back at the docks,” IGFA World Records Coordinator Jack Vitek said. At the docks in Cabo, Yocom’s fish was weighed on an IWS Scale Master II digital scale that was successfully re-certified in San Diego just a few days after the weighing, confirming the accurate reading of 193.68 kg (427 lb).
“Yocom and his crew knew they had a shot at the record and they made sure all their gear and techniques were compliant months before the catch was made,” Vitek continued. “So once the weight was confirmed, Yocom immediately got to work on submitting the application and all the other requirements.” With the scale certified, line samples and photos submitted and the application completed, all aboard El Suertudo have been eagerly waiting to hear whether their efforts would result in an approved record.
Over the past 90 days, the IGFA’s World Record Review Committee has thoroughly reviewed Yocom’s record submission including the tackle used, the supporting photographs, and witness testimonies, and has determined that all IGFA rules were followed. Yocom’s fish has earned him both the new All-Tackle record and men’s 60 kg (130 lb) line class record, which previously belonged to Mike Livingston who broke the record less than two years ago with a 183.7 kg (405 lb) yellowfin he caught off Magdalena Bay, Mexico.
“Breaking the All-Tackle yellowfin tuna record within two years of Mike Livingston is really remarkable,” added Vitek. “Prior to Livingston’s catch in November of 2010, that record had stood for 33 years. Many people thought we’d never see a yellowfin tuna over 400 pounds, and in the past few years we’ve had two 400+ lb fish submitted for records and even more reported.”
IGFA representatives will present Yocom with his World Record certificate at the upcoming Fred Hall Show in Long Beach, California which takes place March 6-10, 2013.