SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CA -- Now that's a fish tale.
A La Mesa man caught what is believed to be the largest yellowfin tuna ever landed on a rod-and-reel.
John Petruescu, a local electrician, caught the behemoth fish on Dec. 3 at Hurricane Bank off the coast of Baja, Mexico. It was weighed at Fisherman's Landing in Point Loma on Monday morning. He was aboard the Excel, captained by Justin Fleck.
According to a report in U-T San Diego, the fish weighed in at 445 lbs.
Petruescu, 33, is not eligible for an official world-record from the International Game Fish Association for landing the tuna, since Fleck handled the rod two times in an attempt to help with the catch.
But the record matter not to Petruescu's brother David, who told the paper, "Are you kidding. Look at that fish. I’m so proud of my little brother. I told him how important this was to the industry and what it says about the possibility of big fish at the Hurricane Bank. And the other thing was, putting my brother out there on this fish as a novice angler. Here he is, 33 years old, on just his second long-range trip, first at 16 days, and he catches this monster. Not disappointed at all because the record means nothing to us."
The fish measured in at 84 inches and 67 inches at its widest girth.
The official all-tackle record for a yellowfin tuna is held by Mike Livingston of Sunland for a yellowfin caught two years ago that weighed in at 405 pounds.
According to the paper, Petruescu and his entire family, including nine brothers, four sisters and parents, escaped the war-torn country of Romania in the 1990s.
Photos courtesy Excel Sportfishing Facebook page.