It’s not often that the same fishing record is broken twice in the same day, but when conditions are REALLY HOT then we occasionally see these things happen. Such was the case over the 4th of July weekend in Hawaii when two kayak anglers both broke the existing kayak fishing world record for Yellowfin Tuna (the #7 fish on my list of the 25 Best Tasting Fish in the World). Unfortunately for the second kayak angler to break the existing record the yellowfin tuna caught earlier that day was larger than his, so he’ll miss out on laying claim to a kayak fishing world record.
Interestingly, both of the anglers who broke the Yellowfin Tuna kayak fishing record on July 6th were paddling in the exact same kayak, the Hobie Mirage Revolution 13, and both kayaks were fitted with the Hobie Sidekick Ama Kit, an outrigger system built to work with Hobie’s best-in-class fishing kayaks.
So who holds the kayak fishing world record for Yellowfin Tuna now? That honor goes to angler Nick Wakida of Haiku, Hawaii after landing a Yellowfin (Ahi) Tuna that tipped the scales at 187.6-pounds, more than I’ve ever weighed in my entire life. The other record-setting Ahi tuna caught that day weighed in at 176.5-pounds, and was captured off of Kona.
Rich Holland of KayakFishingMag.com reports on Nick Wakida’s record setting fish:
“I took the bait to the 300 Mark, some ledges and some pinnacles and drug it around an hour almost,” he notes, “It still had a lot of life, the bait was real strong. The day was moving along and I decided to jig the pinnacles.
“I was jigging, jigging, jigging when out of the corner of my eye I saw a splass on the bait I was dragging behind me,” Wakida adds. “I thought it was mahi or it was getting messed around with by an aha (needlefish).
“I gave it a few seconds to eat the bait then all of a sudded the rod bend and the reel started screaming. There was no jump, so I figured it wasn’t a marlin or a mahi. Right away in the back of my head I start thinking it’s a shark.”
Whatever was on the line, when Nick looked down there was only a quarter-spool of line left on the reel!
“I tightened down the drags and then it was a battle where I would get two inches, he would take an inch, he would take three inches, I would get a couple back, so it was inch by inch,” recalls Wakida. “The fish would just pull slow, steady and hard, exactly like a shark.
“Kayak fishing you pull the kayak to the fish and it was taking me super far and super deep. I tried to turn its head — I had to go to work! — and when I tried to lift the pole and turn him the pole snaps. Miraculously the fish was still on.”
So not only did the fishing pole SNAP IN HALF but this bro managed to hang on, hand line the record-setting Ahi Tuna to his kayak, and land the fish of a lifetime. Now that’s easier said than done, according to Nick Wakida’s account of catching this tuna it sounds like hell on earth, and an accomplishment he can be proud of for the rest of his life:
A lot of work was left before Nick would ever get a chance to see what was on the end of the line.
“I had to see what it was, my biggest fish before this (besides a shark) was a 30-pound mahi and some small shibi,” Wakida admits. “The line was dangling down where it would not get cut off, but when I tried to use the rod I had no leverage. So I decide I have to hand line the fish in and throw on the gloves.”
Explaining that the fish was so heavy and pulling so hard that he couldn’t even get a single wrap, Wakida says he pulled the fish up 70 feet hand over hand only to get tangled with his “bonus” line: a dead bait dangling on a jig.
“I still though it could be the white underbelly of a shark. It was unreal, there I am hand lining with lines from two reels all over my lap,” says Wakida. “I had to make sure nothing wrapped around my limbs or toes or in one second I could lose a toe or another limb.
“Eventually I could see the yellow of the yellow fin and I started to get really excited!” he adds. “I realize I need to get my kagi to spear it, but it’s covered in the fishing line, so I had to scramble and pull the kagi out of the web of line. Luckily I made a perfect hit to the head, but there was lots of blood and right away two sharks started circling my boat.”
“Now all I am thinking is how do I get this fish back to the beach safely, and that no one is going to believe my story if my fish gets eaten by sharks,” says Wakida “I got the fish to the boat and tied up as best I could and called my dad. He called Maui Sporting goods, they called the nearest lifeguards and they came out on the Jet Skis to assist me. The ahi dragged me a couple miles out and a few mile up the coast. It’s a really dangerous areas where winds and currents are very strong. The wind was picking up, so I had to make the call.”
That’s one hell of a fish story. And you can read about the amazing feat in full by clicking on over to KayakFishingMag.com. And to learn more about the gear used to catch the two record breaking as well as the OTHER RECORD BREAKING YELLOWFIN TUNA caught that same day in Hawaii you can CLICK HERE to head on over to Hobie’s website!
RELATED VIDEO: Shark Slams Into Kayak Fisherman
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