Chris has currently submitted 15 world records including a few for his favorite target species, Grouper and has helped several other people with world records of their own. Practically a walking fish encyclopedia, he regularly is sent pictures of odd catches from people looking to identify their catch.
About Chris Wheaton
Chris started fishing at a very young age and had his first introduction to big game fishing in 1973 at the age of 4. His grandfather had a house in a small village called Bahia De Los Angeles on the Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico and Chris was fortunate enough to go on the trips each summer when he was out of school. For 15 years Chris got to see some amazing things on those trips and that fueled his passion for fishing and everything related to it. He always had a fish book nearby and was constantly studying fish whether it was in a book or in the water with a mask and snorkel. His passion for fishing and the ocean lured him onto a path of becoming a marine biologist until one day, doing research for a report on Tuna led him to talk with a marine biologist from Scripps Institute in La Jolla, California. He stated that very few marine biologists actually made much money at it and to be prepared for that. That advice stuck, and Chris went on to get a degree from USC and then into business.
After getting a business established he started getting back to his roots and his love of fishing. In the late 90’s, Chris bought an old 1973 32’ Luhrs and pulled it out of the water to do a small restoration on it. That turned into a much larger project and ended up lasting 5 years with almost a complete restoration of every component on the boat. Also, in the late 90’s, Chris was invited on a trip to Loreto, Baja California and that would change his life forever. The fishing there was amazing and reminded him of his childhood days fishing in Bay of LA with his grandfather and with international flights available to Loreto it made it very accessible for quick weekend trips.
Tournaments & TV Shows
Over the years, Chris’s competitive nature has seen him compete in many fishing tournaments with many top 3 finishes as well as several wins. Loreto, who some call the Dorado capital of the world, hosted a charity Dorado tournament called Fishin for the Mission that started around 1990. Each year the tournament prizes were donated by photographer and now Fishing TV host Bill Boyce while all of the proceeds were donated to the Mission and town of Loreto. Chris would continue to fish in Loreto several times a year including most of the Fishin for the Mission tournaments as a way to help out and give back to the community.
In 2015, Chris was elected to take over as the director of the tournament and has been running it successfully for the last few years while generating about $10,000 per year for the needy in Loreto. In 2013 Chris was asked to be a local guide for Bill Boyce for his TV series Bill Boyce’s Baja. In 2015, he was on TV with Bill Boyce again in Loreto for Destination Baja Sur season 1 talking about the Fishing for the Mission tournament. Most recently Chris appeared in 3 episodes of Destination Baja Sur Season 2 as they traveled from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas with a couple of 25’ boats loaded on a 160’ mothership fishing and filming the whole way down. Both Season 1 and 2 of Destination Baja Sur are available for free on Amazon Prime and both shows were sponsored by Mojo Sportswear.
Records & Certifications
Along the journey and with his passion for studying fish as well as catching them, Chris started looking at world records and how big the fish he was catching actually got to. Studying world records and how to get one led to a great deal of research. Once it was all compiled, Chris wrote an article for a local fishing and hunting publication and sent it off to the IGFA to be fact checked. The IGFA was so impressed with it that they asked him to re write the article for their publication, International Angler and soon after they asked him to be an IGFA Representative to help promote ethical angling practices and help others who were interested in catching and documenting world record catches. For a while now, Chris has been taking pictures of his catches, researching information about each species and posting it all on an Instagram page @fishids to help other people in identifying fish and learning about the different species, sizes, and ranges. He has also spoken at several fishing clubs as an IGFA Rep and is also an IGFA Certified Observer. Chris has currently submitted 15 world records including a few for his favorite target species, Grouper and has helped several other people with world records of their own. Practically a walking fish encyclopedia, he regularly is sent pictures of odd catches from people looking to identify their catch.
You can follow his adventures on his personal Instagram page @Reel_Time which is the name of his Luhrs and for more information about Fishin for the Mission, there is a Facebook Group you can join at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1574199182874541/