A 427.9-pound yellowfin tuna was weighed on a certified scale Sunday in the Mexican resort town of Puerto Vallarta, making it the heaviest known yellowfin to have been captured on rod and reel.
But with this tale there’s a monumental catch: A crewman on the yacht admitted to touching the rod while Robert Pedigo was battling the tuna, which means it’s an “assisted catch” and cannot qualify as an International Game Fish Assn. world record.
“Yes, this fish is not going to be a world record because I touched the rod while Robert fought the fish,” Danny Osuna, who was serving as deckhand, told Phil Friedman Outdoors. “We never thought this fish was going to go over 400-pounds.”
Pedigo, who used line with a breaking strength of 130 pounds, fought the fish for 30 minutes, and though the catch will not be recognized by the IGFA it will become part of tuna-fishing lore as sort of the world record that got away.
To put Pedigo’s catch into perspective, it comes less than two years after Mike Livingston reeled in a 405-pound yellowfin to shatter an all-tackle world record (388 pounds, 12 ounces) that had stood since 1977.
Livingston became a celebrity in tuna-fishing circles because landing a fish topping 400 pounds had been considered the holy grail among those who pursue monster tuna at offshore banks in Mexican waters.
Pedigo was on an eight-day adventure aboard the Journeyman and made the catch last Thursday at an area known simply as the Lower Banks. The trip is being described as epic because the group also landed two tuna topping 200 pounds and two topping 300.
Pedigo could not be reached for comment but Osuna offered assurance that the angler and other members of the crew are not upset about not being able to submit the catch for record consideration.
“We are fine with it,” he said. “The best feeling we have is that we caught the biggest yellowfin ever on rod and reel.”
– Photo showing Robert Pedigo (left) and Danny Osuna is courtesy of Osuna
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