Masaharu Tsuida this week caught a 58-pound yellowtail while on on the New Seaforth, a half-day boat out of San Diego.
That's an impressive catch for anyone, but Tsuida is 90. And yellowtail are prized not only for their flesh, but for their fight.
But the story gets better.
After I posted a photo of Tsuida and his catch on Facebook on Monday, it was shown to Linda Canada of the the Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego.
She recognized the name and told me that Masaharu "Fatty" Tsuida was serving as a cook as part of the U.S. occupation forces in Germany in 1946. He received a Soldier's medal for exemplary service as a non-combatant, and a letter from Harry Truman.
A stove had exploded in the mess tent and Tsuida was severely burned while carrying the flaming appliance outside the tent to prevent a major fire.
"He picked it up and threw it outside, saving a lot of people from serious burns--although he himself was severely hurt," Canada said.
In San Diego, Tsuida and his family lived on Pacific Highway in fish camp-style housing built by canneries for their workers.
His father was a boat captain for Westgate Cannery and Canada said the president of Westgate, Wade Ambrose, helped Tsuida's father and other Japanese investors in building the tuna boat, Westgate.
So fishing was in Tsuida's blood and, apparently, 90 years of living has not changed that.
--Photo: Masaharu Tsuida (center) posed with 58-pound yellowtail. Credit: Seaforth Sportfishing