Catch of Note: Potential Record Yellowtail

March 2004

Passengers on the long-range sportfisher Qualifier 105 were taking a lunch break near Guadalupe Island, some 220 miles south of San Diego off the Baja California coast, when crewman Tom Lambert, 40, grabbed a heavy rig, pinned a sardine on a dropper hook and sent the offering toward the bottom with a pound of weight. The bait quickly met its fate, and just eight hard-fought minutes later Lambert muscled a 91.6-pound California yellowtail over the rail. Lambert, a licensed captain, had borrowed another crewman’s rig: a heavy-duty Calstar 660XXH tuna stick and a Penn 50T reel spooled with 80-pound-test Trilene Big Game mono. If approved by the IGFA, Lambert’s trophy will break the current all-tackle world record for California yellowtail, which stands at 88 pounds, three ounces, a fish caught in 2000 by the late Ronald Fujii while fishing at Alijos Rocks (farther south off the Baja coast) aboard the long-range sportfisher Shogun.