Holy Tuna! - NBC 7 San Diego

Holy Tuna!

When a fisherman reels in a triple 300-Pound jackpot, it's like winning the Superbowl of sports fishing



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    Charlie Iwashita (far left) caught three yellow fin tuna, over 300-lbs each. He generoualy handed over one of them to Bob Gott (third from right).

    Talk about whoppers. When Captain Brian Kiyohara took his boat full of 19 passengers out to sea, little did they know about the adventure they were all about to experience. "We take people sportfishing from 4 to 14 days. They come out for a vacation and everybody looks forward to catching fish, having it processed and sharing it with their friends, " says Kiyohara.

    "People plan all year and it costs them thousands of dollars each," adds Lori Patella who's husband owns American Angler Sportfishing at Point Loma with Kiyohara. On board this 14 and a half day long  trip was one of the regulars as well as one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet says Kiyohara.

    Charlie Iwashita of Imperial Beach. Let's just say Charlie knows tuna.  The dream is to catch the "perfect " yellowfin tuna. And Charlie fulfilled that dream three times over.

    First it was the 322-pounder. Yikes, that's after he caught a 210-pounder earlier in the day. Hooking a 300 pound fish itself is like hitting 50 home runs or winning the Superbowl says Kiyohara. 

    But here's the cool part. Charlie also boated an incredible 311-pound yellowfin and  then amazingly handed it off to fellow fisherman Bobby Gott, who was having a tough time of it. Gott's knees were hurting. The choppy weather was hard on him and he hadn't had the same luck as the rest in landing any big fish.

    Good deeds don't go unrewarded. said Kiyohara.  Charlie then caught another whopper but this time it was quite a battle. " This was a mean one," says Patella. It fought them for two hours.They even had to pull in a skiff to haul the giant yellowfin in.  It took them 2 hours to hook this one, which weighed 319 pounds. 

    It's illegal to sell fish caught on sport fishing expeditions. But just to give you an idea. In Japan recently a 513 pound blue fin was auctioned at a wholesale fish market for $177,000.

    In his 25 years in the sport fishing industry, Kiyohara says he's never seen such generosity like the kind displayed by Charlie toward Bobby Gott.  Not to mention Charlie's unheard of catch--the three 300 -pound plus whoppers.  "The site of it all on the landing was enough to bring tears to the eyes of all the macho men on board," said Kiyohara.

    By the way all 19 passengers caught fish that weighed either over 100 or 200 pounds. That's a lot of sashimi.