“I didn’t realize what a big deal it was till now,” Yocom, 55, said in a phone interview on Wednesday afternoon. “Because I’ve been getting phone calls from people I haven’t heard from in a while, telling me what a big deal it is.” Tracy Ehrenberg, who runs Pisces Sportfishing in Cabo San Lucas, was first to break the story with in-depth details. She was in touch with Yocom shortly after the 61-foot yacht, El Suertudo (The Lucky One), pulled into port Wednesday morning. The group, with Capt. Greg DiStefano at the helm, had been fishing 180 miles due south of the resort city at Baja California’s tip. Yocom, a contractor who lives in Dana Point, Calif., said his group had caught a few smaller tuna but the spotter in the tower “said there were a few tankers out there, too.” Yocom cast a chunk of tuna among the leaping dolphins and fish and moments later the fight against one of the world’s most powerful game fish was on. But for some reason, an epic battle did not materialize. “The fight only lasted 55 minutes. I’m not sure why,” Yocom said. Guy Yocom and his group of anglers had seen a few large tuna leaping among dolphins, but did not know how large they were until Yocom hooked and landed one Tuesday off Cabo San Lucas.
The behemoth weighed 421 pounds on one certified scale, and 427.5 pounds on another, and both tallies shatter the world record weight of 405 pounds. Additionally, Yocom said he’s registered in a contest that promises to pay $1 million to the angler who sets the first International Game Fish Assn. all-tackle world record before the contest window closes at the end of September. The angler said he’s having the scales delivered to San Diego for calibration to determine an official weight. The current all-tackle world record (no line restrictions), a 405-pound yellowfin caught in 2010 off Magdalena Bay, north of Cabo San Lucas, belongs to Mike Livingston. He was aboard the San Diego-based long-range vessel Vagabond and his record broke a previous record that had stood for 33 years. Yocom, who said his group was after a world record, said everyone followed IGFA regulations to the letter. The angler, who was using 100-pound-test line, said he handled the rod from start to finish and that nobody touched the line until it was reeled to the leader, so he fully expects to become the new record holder. As for the $1 million, if he qualifies, it’s paid over a 50-year period. To be sure, boating the biggest yellowfin tuna ever caught on rod and reel, is the more prestigious honor.