‘Ranger 85’ returns home with near record haul

SAN DIEGO — One of the largest tuna catches recorded by the San Diego fleet was recorded at H&M Landing, as Ranger 85 returned to shore the morning of Sept. 20 with a 345-pound bluefin. The cow of a catch was estimated to be a record-breaker at the time it was hauled aboard just one day earlier, but angler Joe Roder will certainly remember his large haul nonetheless.

Roder was aboard Ranger 85’s two-day fishing trip for his birthday when the large bluefin bit on the other end of his line. He battled with the bluefin for 105 minutes before gaining the upper hand and final say.

The tuna was estimated to be 373.5 pounds based on its 83-inches-by-60-inches (length and girth) measure. A weigh in at the docks the morning of Sept. 20 revealed the bluefin weighed 345 pounds – the heaviest catch by the San Diego fleet in 2017 and about 18 pounds shy of the largest catch on the books (363 pounds in 2015).

Ranger 85, helmed by Capt. Robert Gray, was fishing at San Clemente Island at the time of the catch. Roder reportedly targeted the tuna with a kite fishing rig and sardine and used specially rigged gear provided by Ranger 85. The rod-and-reel featured a Seeker OSP 3X Rail rod, Makira 50 reel, 130-pound main line and 300-pound leader.

Roder, seen in the center of the photo, is pictured with Gray and the Ranger 85 crew.

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