OLYMPIA – Sam Ellinger of Ellensburg has set a new state record for the largest Pacific bluefin tuna caught off the coast of Washington, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) confirmed on Tuesday.

The 39.20 pound fish measured 41 inches and was caught 28 miles offshore southwest of Grays Harbor, while bait fishing with anchovies.

Ellinger, a student at Central Washington University, said he began the day early and was fishing, “from the crack of dawn until it got dark.”

“Catching a fish this size was pretty exhausting,” added Ellinger. “We didn’t know what we hooked until we got it on the boat.”

The new record exceeded the previous record Pacific bluefin tuna weight by 2.71 pounds. That record was held by Patrick Fagan on a fish caught 35 miles offshore from Westport in 2012.