Rare ‘super cow’ tuna caught off Cabo San Lucas


After hooking two enormous yellowfin tuna and losing both – one after a 4-hour fight – a group of anglers out of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, boated the fish of a lifetime.

Steve Hammerschmidt, of Huntington Beach, landed the 365-pound ‘super cow’ after a battle of 2-plus hours last Tuesday in the Pacific, 30 miles north of the resort city on Baja California’s tip.

Veteran anglers often refer to yellowfin tuna topping 200 pounds as “cows.” Tuna topping 300 pounds are “super cows,” and catches of these giants are quite rare.

However, even larger yellowfin tuna exist within their range in the eastern Pacific. The world record yellowfin – caught south of Cabo San Lucas in 2012 – stands at 427 pounds.

Hammerschmidt was fishing aboard Castigo with owner Larry Jacinto, Capt. Sean Sadler, and mate Adam Cargill.

According to Rebecca Ehrenberg of Pisces Sportfishing, which posted about the catch on Facebook, the anglers had received information about the presence of large tuna from the crew of the San Diego-based Red Rooster III.

After arriving at the spot, they hooked a tuna estimated to weigh 380 pounds and lost that fish after 4-1/2 hours, in the darkness, just 15 feet from the boat.

Cargill told Ehrenberg: “We were devastated after we lost this fish, but we were ready to get right back on it first thing in the morning. The next day I rigged the line with a natural flying fish I had, and immediately had an explosion on it. Again, huge fish, but we missed it.”

Cargill then baited a line with a fresh sardine, handed the rod to Hammerschmidt, and the hookup was nearly instantaneous.  After 2 1/2  hours the fish was safely on board and the veteran anglers celebrated their largest catch to date.

The tuna measured 84 inches and had a cow-like girth of 59 inches, leaving the group with enough fresh ahi to feed a small community.

–Images are courtesy of Sean Sadler and Pisces Sportfishing

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