Good respect for the meat. I did the same thing when we got a 48lb white sea bass without ice off LJ. We fished for an hour before I got concerned about the meat degrading. It was sunny and getting warm.
AWESOME! Great fish! Agree on wet towel or just head down in bait tank. YT keep well in 54 degree water for sure. Seems like they are always there when the weather cooperates. That scenario with birds sitting and some dolphins kicking around is common but not had much luck with that. Good to know. For me usually it's some birds terns trailing/chasing bait and boils moving my way- right before sun down. You never know. I fish sans electronics on my zodiak- so my nose, eyes on birds, gut, and a trolled rapala are my finders. YT are always there.
I remember that morning. Not sure what the moon was doing but took a ride to the beach off tamarack that morniing in the cool fog and talked to a guy who caught and released 2 white sharks- 6 ft and 8 ft that night- and thought to myself...I bet bait stacking up nice at the nw corner of lj about now!!! But- im always thinking that. Was thinking same last night w tide going high at 8p