7th Annual International Yellow Tail Derby

Fishing Vessel Outer Limits out of Mission Bay, San Diego

By Captain Paul Fischer.

As spring approaches, a recently resurrected San Diego tradition is once again gaining popularity. This is the 7th Annual International Yellowtail Derby. San Diego’s original Yellowtail Derby ran for 28 years, from 1946 to 1973. It was sponsored and produced by the Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees). The Jaycees has served San Diego since 1934.  The Yellowtail Derby was a multi-month event with qualifying periods and finals. Prizes ranged from cash to cars, trailers, trips and fishing gear. In the past, up to 10,000 anglers competed every year. Many winners were from LA, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.


After lying dormant for the last 36 years, Stephen Cushman, Chairman of San Diego’s Board of Port Commissioners urged John Campbell to try and resurrect the Yellowtail Derby. John Campbell’s extensive experience in the fishing community made him an ideal candidate to reestablish the tradition of the Derby, including being the International Game Fish Association, (IGFA) Representative for California for 7 years.


I had the pleasure of meeting John Campbell and Tierra Hanes, Miss Yellowtail 2015, last month at the San Diego Rod and Reel Club’s monthly meeting. There are some great events planned for the tournament this year, such as fish with Miss Yellowtail and a bonus prize where you have the opportunity to win your weight in Ballast Point beer, one of the tournament sponsors. It’s not just a yellowtail tournament, but has prizes for heaviest seabass and halibut caught, as well. These are the three main gamefish species we encounter off our coast and offshore islands.

The best part about this tournament is anyone can enter and fishing can be done on both private boats, kayaks and the sportfishing fleet.  The entry fee is $70 for adults and $40 for juniors. You will have 36 days to fish from May 2nd –June 7th. The single heaviest fish from 3 categories being the overall winner.


The fishing area will be designated from as far as 80 miles south to 80 miles west of Point Loma Light and North to the Orange County Line. Once entered into the tournament, you are allowed to submit the largest of each of the three species per day. That’s what makes this tournament so awesome, you have the chance to catch the biggest fish, whether you go out all 36 days or just one day. There are Junior and Adult Special Prizes for the largest fish caught each week as well. The weigh in stations and other details can be found on the official website www.yellowtailderby.comFor an entry form, visit www.yellowtailderby.com/entryform-online.html

Let’s keep a San Diego tradition alive and sign up for the International Yellowtail Derby and win our weight in Ballast Point beer.

For more information on Outer Limits Sportfishing visit us at www.OuterLimit.net or call us at (619) 757-7940

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