Exclusive Story from Brandon Wahlers who is no stranger to World Records and shooting big fish. Brandon has been on the hunt for a 300+lb Yellowfin Tuna for the past 5 years and has finally put the pieces together and made it happen. Brandon has from the beginning of his Spearfishing career been an in your face, hilarious, outgoing, Great White Riding, chick pulling, partying, Swordfish climbing, truck wrecking, fish stealing, Nationals Winning, tournament dominating, photo credit snatching, and company angering diver.
I’ve had enough of the Enya soundtracks on Spearfishing videos, Brandon is the shot of Red Bull we need in the sport. He’s the nicest guy in the world but can sure piss some people off. I say embrace it.
Brandon is living the life we can only dream of. For now we’ll just be jealous…
Here’s the story. Enjoy Cameron

From Brandon Wahlers
“For the past 3 years Ive been putting a lot of effort and research into putting a trip together to this spot, and this year I was able to finally set it all up and get out to these few spots where I have heard of monster tuna being taken.
I managed to get out there twice before, and both trips were good, with fish up to 250lbs, but no chances at anything in the 300lb range.
This trip it was just Justin Allen and I on the panga diving, so I was stoked to have half the pressure on the fish as we had on the last two trips.
As soon as we made it out to the spot late that afternoon, we could see action all around: birds diving, bait popping, and nice tunas jumping. We tried dropping a marker buoy, but there was so much current that even with plenty of line we couldn’t get the marker to hold. Scrapping that Idea I quickly made the decision to start our drift about a mile up current of the spot, just in front of where the birds were working.
On my first dive to 50ft, I found the vis to be only about 15-20 ft, but I was immediately schooled by tuna from 80-200lbs that followed me up to the surface. The next dive I made was a to 60, and I saw some bigger fish in the 200lb range. Things were looking good, and I knew we had a chance for a monster.
Justin was still getting his rig ready in the boat and I told him what I saw. Him and the Pangero both hinted that I shoot one quickly so we would at least have some fish to cook on the grill that night since we were camping.
The next dive I saw mostly 80-100lb fish, and I lined up on one 5ft away, ready to get a brainshot. I ended up missing the brain by less than and inch, but fought him up to the surface quickly and clipped the buoy off to my shooting line. I went down to brain the fish, and saw my slip tip toggled perfectly. Struggling and spinning around a few times trying to dispatch the fish with my knife, the slip tip somehow pulled back out and stabbed me in the palm, opening up a fairly deep wound.

I got back in the boat completely confused and in pain, telling Justin I was done diving for the day, and he should take my big gun in and look for a monster. After his first dive he yelled that he was seeing big fish everywhere. I checked the sounder and it was lit up with tuna from 30ft all the way to 150. With my hand bleeding like crazy and nothing on the panga to fix it, I grabbed Justins 140 euro gun and got in the water. I made 3 dives in a row getting schooled by 80-200 lb tuna each time, with some fish coming within 3 ft of my face. This was as wide open as I’d ever seen tuna while diving.
The next dive, I was again schooled by fish in the 150lb range. I sank down to 67ft trying to see if there were bigger fish deeper, when looking up I saw a super long bottom sickle fin behind 5 fish in front of me. That being the sign of a monster, I had to almost push the 150 lb tunas in front of me out of the way, and I finally got a full view of this MONSTER tuna. Its sickle fins almost made it back to its tail, and it was an incredibly tall and fat fish, not swimming how the other fish were at all, rather it was waddling. As soon as it saw me, it started to move off pretty quickly, so I lined up and shot it just as it was going out of visibility from about 14ft away.
The fish took off like a freight train and towed me over 3 miles in over an hour. I was using Justin’s rig with 50ft of hard floatline and 50ft of bungee, and the clip on his buoy was not holding the bungee very well. For the life of me I couldn’t get the fish above 80ft, so all my dives trying to second shoot the fish were to at least that depth. The first 4 times I tried to get a second shot the fish would see me from 10ft away just as I was about to shoot and take off for another 5 minutes. I finally got a second shaft into the fish and it started to bleed a lot, really slowing him down. Soon enough I had the buoy clipped off at the shooting line and took my trusty Riffe 130 Euro down to shoot him in the brain.

Only once I got my hands in this fishes gills did I realize that he was WAY over 300lbs, an absolute toad!!
It took 3 of us to get him in the boat, and he ended up 77inches long, with a 61 inch girth.
Using the girth squared X length, divided by 800 formula the fish came out to 358lbs, truly the fish of a lifetime! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a certified scale within 100 miles to weigh him on, but Im still on cloud 9 after shooting this monster!!”


For more on Brandon Wahlers check out Team Riffe at: http://www.speargun.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=74&Itemid=37

18 Responses to “358lb Yellowfin Tuna potential World Record, Brandon Wahlers”

  1. Well done Brandon.

  2. Jamie Ridgewell says:

    Absolutely Sik!

  3. Grigor Azatian says:

    That’s insane Brandon! Congrats!

  4. Turyturbo says:

    Go Brandon! Some day I will walk in your path! *Two Thumbs Up*

  5. Mike McCallister says:

    WOW!!! That’s a hell of a fish. Sounds like you worked your ass off for it. CONGRATS!

  6. Brandon Wahlers has replied to some of the comments on the catch and the obvious flack he’s caught for not having a certified scale with him. I talked to him this morning and he went to a few different marinas and long range boats who all claimed to not have a scale either so its too bad that he didn’t have one with him. I’ve been in that same boat before and it sucks to have shot a Record sized fish and not be able to prove it but I can promise it doesn’t take anything away from the elation of landing the fish of a lifetime. Congrats again. You’ll have to go shoot another one and weigh it. How hard can it be? Cameron

    Here’s what Brandon Wahlers wrote: “Thanks for all the congrats guys!

    Actually all of us on the boat figure that fish really close to 400, realistically it felt a lot like somewhere close to 385ish. We shot some 280lbers as well, and this fish looked and felt every bit 100lbs bigger than those.
    Apparently with extra girthy fish like the one I speared, the formula is more accurate if you add 10% to the weight. So 358 + 36 = 394. I didnt get to weigh it so I dont want to go throwing out ridiculous numbers, thats why I just stuck with the formula at 358 in my estimate. Im just stoked to have had the opportunity to see such an awesome fish and have a chance at it, especially using a euro gun with a single flopper!

    And for the reason I didnt have a certified scale with me, its simple.

    I dont have that many hands.

    I do a lot of traveling alone, and I have to be able to carry all my bags at once if I need to. Leaving bags behind in foreign counties because you cant carry them leaves them wide open to being stolen. I have my dive gear and clothes in one bag, my guns and spears in another, and all my camera equipment in another. The Dive gear bag and camera case roll, and the gun bag goes over my shoulder, with my back back on my back. Another 15lb peilcan case for me is impossible to travel with.
    Ive been living out of these same bags traveling since last July, and Ive minimized everything. Soon enough I need to find a scale that can fit in my camera case with my 3 other cameras.
    Any Ideas on a ~500lb scale that is approx 3″x 4″??”

  7. Cousin Blake says:

    Brandon,

    Nice fish! Why do they call you the “Queen” of spearfishing?

  8. Janice Linton says:

    Brandon,

    You make a mommy proud!

  9. That’s Awesome I hope you get the World record :)

  10. Dane Goddard says:

    Congrats Brando, you are the man!!

  11. gregorio says:

    bravo

  12. Nice going Brandon, What a MONSTA FISH ! I’m really happy for you
    Aloha,
    Bobby

  13. Jeremy Skinner says:

    AMAZING! Great write up Brandon.

  14. WOW, 300lb fish with a 130 Riffe euro, awesome!

  15. Where was this fish caught? Nice hunt and take down!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. If the mountain won’t come to me… « Fishing and Spearfishing in Knysna - [...] here is a very interesting link and post to check out: http://www.spearblog.com/2011/04/17/358lb-yellowfin-tuna-potential-world-record-brandon-wahlers/ GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other");…

Leave a Reply