La Mesan Lands Gigantic 445 Pound Yellowfin Tuna Off Coast of Mexico

John Petruescu, a local electrician, caught the behemoth fish on Dec. 3. It was weighed at Fisherman's Landing in Point Loma on Sunday morning.

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.

Ralph Seda December 11, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Now that's a fish story!!!
Dave Solmen December 11, 2012 at 04:46 PM
First to Chuck, 445# IS a gigantic YELLOWFIN, You are likely talking about BLUEFIN Tuna. To Deena, Yes, a spectacular fish but after an epic battle, the survival rate would have been 0% if a release was attempted. This is a rare catch and not likely to actually damage the population because more youthful fish will move up to take its place.
Henslayer December 11, 2012 at 04:46 PM
These GIANT Bluefin Tuna are indeed becoming rare and their stocks are strained to the limit because of decades of overfishing for commercial use. These fish are prized in Japan as they offer their coveted Sashimi grade Tuna... They and WE will continue to pursue them to the ends of all oceans until the very last specimen is captured and sliced thinly into Sushi. AND... I'm an avid fishermen but I respect the resource. CATCH & RELEASE... It'll grow on you.!
tina December 11, 2012 at 05:00 PM
wow , I can see alot of can tuna Yummy
robert December 11, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I hate when people use the word epic its so high school
Tigerboy December 11, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Exactly right! The oceans have been disastrously overfished. (Especially these really large fish.) Tuna of this size are all but gone! With world human population over 7 billion, and other species going extinct, more and more all the time, is killing one of the few remaining huge tunas something to celebrate? We need to leave the other animals alone.
Batman December 11, 2012 at 05:36 PM
"Tina Tuna"
Tigerboy December 11, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Youthful fish don't get the opportunity to "move up and take its place." Huge tunas are very rare, anymore. We are stripping the life out of our oceans. Soon, there won't be any left.
Mark Rusin December 11, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Would have been nice to mention what they planned on doing with the tuna.
brad December 11, 2012 at 05:53 PM
hey deena while, thats the circle of life. get over it. things get killed and eaten. you ever watch the lion king. circle of life baby!
Batman December 11, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Batman December 11, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Clark Gertner December 11, 2012 at 06:07 PM
The HufPo headline said it was an "epic tuna". The two most mis-used words in the English language are "diva" and "epic". HufPo and Patch should get dictionaries. I am grateful that they didn't call the fish a diva, however.
Franklin Porter December 11, 2012 at 06:46 PM
There is always a few "weirdos" out there who would find something wrong with catching any thing we eat for food, tuna happens to be one of them, "big deal. Maybe we should stop killing cattle, chickens or whatever so the weirdos can't complain and we shall become a vegetarian culture...but then, they will find something wrong with picking tomatoes.
Star C December 11, 2012 at 06:51 PM
This fish also takes so long to get to breeding age & size. This was one of the (now fewer) to help restock the population. What a shame!
Anthony DiGiulian December 11, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Recreational & sport fishing enthusiasts are the first line of defence for our oceans health. We are very conservation minded and fight very hard for the overall well being of our oceans. Check out the Billfish Foundation & what they do, as an example. Rod & reel fishing is a very sustainable method of fishing & our industry does far more good than bad. We keep an eye on the bad guys out there.
Star C December 11, 2012 at 06:56 PM
I don't see that happening any time soon - I mean, with the over fishing from large net trawlers & the like. NOTHING has a chance of surviving when you put that high a dollar amount on it. - Just sayin'.
Dell Davis December 11, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Deena, I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU! SHOULD HAVE BEEN PHOTOGRAPHED & RELEASED!! IT'S A TERRIBLE SHAME. My bro is a catch and release fisherman. I can't send him these stories any more. It kills him (and me, as an animal lover).
Deena While December 11, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Franklin Porter, I voiced my opinion. I have attacked no one. You, on the other hand don't even know me, how can you call me a weirdo? Next time just state your opinion without attacking others, ok?
Kevin George December 11, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Tigerboy, yellowfin tuna can reproduce at two years of age just like most large fish. I think you heard about the giant Atlantic Bluefin "crisis", panicked, and now think all tuna are the same.
Jimmy Sanders December 11, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Yellow fin tuna are anything but rare. Except in Sushi or Cevechi! MMMMM! Good eatin! http://www.fishwatch.gov/seafood_profiles/species/tuna/species_pages/pacific_yellowfin_tuna.htm
chetoc acosta December 11, 2012 at 10:39 PM
yeah deena and i'm a vampire crossed with zombie thererefore i propose we save the tuna and eat you instead you large marge////tasty dommer
Jason Van Norman December 12, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Well said Tony!
Thomas E Hendershot December 12, 2012 at 10:41 AM
People eat tuna, amusment......?
Deena While December 12, 2012 at 04:45 PM
It turned amusment when it was such a large fish. To me it's not about whether they are eating it or not. I never said people should only eat plants. My point was when you come across something so rare and beautiful, it should be honored and released. I doubt there are thousands of 445 pound tunas swimming around -- if there was then this wouldn't have been such a big story. That's all I'm saying.
CosasChaparitas December 12, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Deena- consider the source... Obviously these guys troll The Patch and comment on everything. 99% of what they say is negative ----> don't sweat it, you're not the weirdo, they are!
Dave S. December 12, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Reguarding the word Epic. Look it up. Grand, Ambitious, Impressive, Marathon, Heroic. Seems to me the word epic completely describes a battle between a 445# fish and a 175# +/- man. And since some choose to believe this YELLOWFIN tuna was murdered :) I will add that EPIC is precisly the word that the "other" tuna fish would use.
Jerome December 12, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Job well done. Line up the wasabi and dig in. Haters obviously don't buy fishing licenses like I do. Obviously don't catch & release juvenile fish like I do. Obviously don't dive in the ocean regularly to actually observe what lives there like I do. Haters are obviously ignorant of the difference between Yellowfin and Bluefin tuna.
chezron January 06, 2013 at 11:03 PM
It made me sick to see such a magnificent animal killed for sport fishing. Can't they just take a picture with a ruler and a scale and let it go? If not, they need to change the rules. What about conservation and catch and release?
Things I Learned January 06, 2013 at 11:18 PM
chezron 10:29 am on Saturday, March 3, 2012 "Too bad almost all the rolls at Banbu use FAKE KRAB as their main ingredient." http://lamesa.patch.com/articles/which-sushi-place-is-the-most-super-introducing-the-best-of-la-mesa#comment_2639039 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsTO57M3KgA


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