Few world-fishing records have been as elusive as the yellowfin tuna, standing since 1977 – until now. Fishing on December 6th, Mike Livingston of Sunland, Calif., never thought it possible to hoist up a yellowfin that would potentially topple the previous 33-year old world record of 388 pounds, 12 ounces. However, Livingston caught a giant 405.2-pound giant yellowfin tuna, making good use of the PENN International 30SW, and threatening the 33-year old record.
“I got him on a sardine,” said Livingston, “and a 9/0 Owner Super Mutu hook. I used my PENN reel, which was a gift from a buddy and was blueprinted by Cal Sheets. I custom-wrapped the rod myself. It’s a five and a half-footer, a no-name. After all those years, since 1974, I’ve been out fishing on many boats, and I get this one on a no-name rod! My best yellowfin before was about a 100-pounder.”
“When he struck I had 26 pounds of drag pressure on the reel. I’ve never had a big one hooked before, so I listened when (crewman) Timmy DePhilippis said to put the lever all the way up to full drag. Boy, that took me to my toes! I used all that the reel had and my fingers.”
If the fish is accepted by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) as an official record, it will be the all-time, all-tackle tuna for the yellowfin species. The International Game Fish Association approved the application for the record. Because it was caught in Mexico, the organization's records coordinator says it will take at least 90 days to proclaim it as a record.