World Record Yellowtail Caught from Shore!

biggest yellowtail
The Story of a Lifetime

So something crazy just happened. That sentence right there really sums it up, because words can’t describe what just happened. A recent client, Jim Boehmer, accompanied by his son Cameron, caught a yellowtail from the beach during his guided session.

Before I tell you the weight and length, here’s the story.

The Story of the Session

We met at a convenient spot for the both of us and began our session. I give a run down of the session, explain our tactics and plan for the day and we begin fishing. Only 5-minutes in, Cameron hooks into a tanker of a fish on his light tackle set up. After a good fight, he beached his personal best spotfin at 17-inches in length.

From that point on, the expectations were high, but the bite was slow. An hour-and-a-half later, only one more fish; a small corbina. As the crowds dissipated and the sun was close to dipping over the water, it was time.

The first hour goes by in disappointment. The next was to be remembered for years to come. We’d been getting nibbles here and there on our light setups, but nothing notable. It was time for some sharking!

I rig up the second shark rod and we continue light-tackle. We find a spot that’s producing constant action and I tell Jim, “I’m gunna go grab Cam to fish this spot next to you, but I feel like I need to be closer to the shark rods right now, it’s getting close to that time”.

Yellowtail from the Beach

At this point, we’re 40-yards apart and it’s a good thing too. I cast my line out once more in hopes of another spotty, but before I’m able to get settled, Kyle, my buddy from across the way, yells, “Nick!!!!!”. Shark rod number one is in full bend!

Typically, when a shark hits, you see a quick couple of thumps and then a solid bend on the rod with sporadic motion. This was different. The way Kyle put it, “a couple more seconds Nick, your rod was in the water… It went from no bend to full bend. No warning”. And this is what happened next:

Right away, I yell to Jim and Cameron (some 50-yards down the beach now) and I run to pick up the rod. Line is peeling off the reel as the drag ticker screams. For the entire time I have the pleasure of feeling the initial run (some 30-45 seconds), line is flying off the reel. I make sure the hook is set and hand off the rod to Jim.

“Get in the Water!”

By now, a typical leopard shark or even a soupfin would have finished its initial run… this thing did NOT stop. I tell Jim, “You need to go towards it, you’re running out of line.” Jim kind of stands there, not completely understanding the seriousness of my assertion. Now, I see the line capacity down to less than 1/5 remaining. I slightly yell, “You need to get into the water Jim!”. Luckily, the fish darts left, so Jim is able to walk-jog down the beach to gain some line back… without having to get in the water.

This is where it gets a little “dodgy”. The line is now between 9 and 10 o’clock in terms of direction and it’s just about in the same direction as two people swimming in the water. The people… clueless. I’m thinking, “Oh man, there’s a really big shark swimming right next to these people now”, but right then, the line goes slack, we’ve lost it.

Jim reels in the slack and just as I’m mentally preparing to put another bait on, the slack turns into another run. We’re still on! The fish must have completed its initial run in a round-about manner because it looped towards the shoreline. Luckily, it swam back in the direction it came from as it broke the surface about 25-30-yards from shore.

Is that a shark?

My first thought, “Jim, you’ve got a huge soupfin”. But things didn’t line up right. As it breaks the surface, we see what appears to be a dorsal fin and a shark-looking tail. But, for the class of fight, it looks too small to make sense. It looks almost like a small leopard as the tail and dorsal fin are fairly close together.

Before we get a really good look at it, it darts off once more. For the next 10-minutes, just a slow steady pull. So now, I’m lost. This thing is showing the tell-tale signs of soupfin and now it’s fighting like a bat ray, but it looks like neither. Keep in mind, this is all from my eyes and I’m not fighting the fish, Jim is. So I can’t feel everything he’s feeling, but usually, I know what it is by now regardless of who’s fighting it.

Finally, we hear the knot go through the rungs. We’re on mono now which means the fish is close. we see it again, and again, I’m confused, it looks like a shark. I get a better look and see what appears to be a yellow dorsal fin and tail. The first thing I do is freak out a little bit. I’m now thinking yellowtail or striped bass. But, before I can process any of it, I’m in the water with the tail in my hand, dragging it ashore. It’s a flippin’ yellowtail!

Yellowtail caught from shore
World Record Yellowtail

Yellowtail Weight and Measurements:

It registered at 51.5-inches fork length, 56-inches full length (no tail pinch), 57-inches full length (tail pinched), and a whopping 53.5-pounds. As far as I know, this 53.5-pound fish could be the largest yellowtail ever caught from the beach. With that, congratulations to Jim Boehmer on the fish of a lifetime, and maybe even the fish of an era.

world record yellowtail from the beach
53.5 lb Yellowtail: Jim Boehmer | World Record?

If your curious what gear and tackle I use, here’s my exact set up for both light tackle and shark fishing. By shopping through the links on this website, you help fund the great content. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog/reports page below.

Also, if anyone has official evidence that the specs of this fish are not a world record (from the surf), please comment below and I will make proper corrections.

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