In 2017, four saltwater anglers and three spear fishermen became new state record holders after hauling in some exceptional fish.
On April 1, 2017 on a San Luis Obispo County beach, Jeffrey Yuan reeled in a 1 lb. 14 oz. calico surfperch (Amphistichus koelzi) that tied the state angling record for this species. Almost exactly one year before, Kirk Lombard captured the state angling record for this species with a calico surfperch of exactly the same weight.
The monkeyface prickleback (Cebidichthyes violaceus) state angling record was captured by Robert Spinale on July 26, 2017. The 6 lb. 6 oz. fish, caught off of Princeton, edged out the previous state record fish by 5 oz.
Off Oceanside in Southern California, Bo Scanlon hooked a 265 lb. 0 oz. yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) to set a new state angling record on September 26, 2017. This new record beat the previous record by a solid 26 lb.
On October 29, 2017 Kevin Cheeseman hooked a 38 lb. 4 oz. soupfin shark (tope) (Galeorhinus galeus) off Torrey Pines to establish the very first state angling record for this species!
Not to be outdone, spear fishermen also established a state diving record for a new species, and broke several more records.
While spearfishing off Carmel on November 19, 2017, Daniel Silveira speared a 4 lb. 9 oz. bocaccio (Sebastes paucispinis) that became the first state diving record for this species.
A 4 lb. 7 oz. blue rockfish (Sebastes mystinus) speared by Woody Venard on August 30, 2017 secured the state diving record for this species. The fish, taken in Humboldt Bay, beat the previous record by 1 lb. 1 oz.
And finally, on June 16, 2017 Yu Fukushima speared a 484 lb. 4 oz. shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) off San Diego to smash that species’ state diving record. This new record beat the previous record by 58 lb. 1 oz.!
Congratulations go out to all our new 2017 state record holders! The California Department of Fish and Wildlife saltwater angling and diving record programs recognize exceptional saltwater finfish and shellfish taken in California by sport anglers and divers. The program has given biologists the opportunity to examine trophy-sized catches since the 1950s. For more information about state recreational fishing and diving records, see the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Fishing and Diving Records web page.
post by Mary Patyten, CDFW Research Writer