If you have ever been fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, then you know Yellowfin Tuna fishing is one of the most exciting activities for avid anglers. Imagine being on a boat and fighting a giant fish for over four hours just for it to get off the hook. This is the scenario Steve Hammerschmidt faced as he reeled in the dark with all he had. He would get the fish within about 15 feet of the boat just to feel the snap as the tension released on his line.
Hammerschmidt of Huntington Beach was on a charter fishing boat named Castigo with Captain Sean Sadler. The owner of the boat Larry Jacinto and fishing mate Adam Cargill were also on board. The group got a tip from another boat, the Red Rooster III. They traveled to the reported spot about 30 miles north from Cabo San Lucas (learn more about Cabo San Lucas) to land the approximately 380 pound super cow tuna that got away. After licking their wounds, the group of men would get some rest and head back out the following morning when the sun broke the horizon.
Cargill added another fishing fly to the line and tried again. This time, they would get a hit practically as soon as the line went under the water. Again, the fish would get away. Finally, Cargill added a sardine to the hook and gave the pole to Hammerschmidt to let him try again and the line took off almost as soon as he had it in his hands. The third time would be the charm for Steve as he fought the behemoth for two and a half arduous hours. Finally, the 365-pound fish was in the boat, and the crew was ecstatic.
The massive Yellowfin Tuna would end up being the largest the team had ever caught. It measured 84 inches long and was a whopping 59 inches around. This huge fish is known as a super cow. Tunas are called “cows” when they weigh over 200 pounds. Any reaching 300 pounds are called “super cows”. The largest one ever caught was a humongous 427-pound monster caught on the south side of Cabo San Lucas in 2012.
The Gulf of Mexico is prime fishing real estate with a variety of species to catch, but anglers love the fight the Yellowfin gives. It takes hours to reel in one of these massive football-shaped fish. To catch these monstrous tuna, anglers have to take a charter fishing boat or large vessel out onto deep waters. The deeper the better, and the water has to be between 74 and 82 degrees to find them, most of the time. Tuna like to swim with dolphin and huge schools of fish, so spotting them can be difficult. Finding these fish takes the skill and expertise of a captain and crew who have a network of contacts and the right equipment to get to the prime fishing areas. Hammerschmidt and the crew would take lots of pictures and end up enjoying their fill of fresh ahi with enough to go around after their excursion.