The boat was fishing in 190 feet of water near San Martin Island when angler Joe Ludlow hooked and boated a massive 181 lb opah.
This big fish is 18 pounds heavier than the existing world record. The IGFA (International Game Fish Association) lists as the all-tackle world record a 163-pound opah caught in October 1998 off San Luis Obispo in Central California.
The Excel captain Justin Fleck, (www.excelsportfishing.com) said Ludlow was one of five anglers that hooked an opah at about the same time, soon after the boat had stopped over a school of yellowtail.
Most fishermen on board were fishing near the surface with bait but the five or six anglers dropped heavy lures into deeper waters, and suddenly all five were hooked into large fish that fought much differently than yellowtail.
When the first opah was spotted and identified, many customers stopped fishing and started following the five anglers around the boat.
Ludlow’s fish was the first to be brought over the rail, after a 35 minute fight.
The IGFA can take several weeks to approve or deny world-record applications.
See more opah pics at: Big Fishes of the World web site.