Epic Dana Halibut 01-18-17

PENN

Yutaka

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Nov 16, 2003
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396
The Darkside
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Yutaka
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XXX
It’s been a long time since Seahunter Eric and I did a dedicated Halibut trip. But we heard there was a good bite going on around Dana Point, so we played hooky on a Wednesday and got out before the storms. We launched around 7:00 AM to a fairly empty parking lot at the ramp. Picked up a scoop of very cured Sardines, and set off with high hopes.


Sunrise4.jpg



We started our drifts in 110 feet of water, and saw quite a bit of bait in that depth range. Fairly quickly, Eric picks up a short flatty, so we knew we were in the right area. Shortly thereafter, we get a double hookup on the right kind. Eric’s fish turns out to be a dandy at 34 inches. (Unfortunately the battery in my scale was kaput.) Mine was a respectable 26 inches.


Eric_17_lb.jpg



We reset and proceeded to slam one fish after another. At one point, I hooked a very large fish which took quite a while to bring up. When we saw her, she was a good 30 pounds. My biggest Halibut to date. Got her to the surface, and Eric was ready with the net. And just then…plink…the line parts. She chewed thru the leader just 3 feet out of reach. Aaaaargh!

It was a heartbreak, but the fishing was still awesome. We continued to hook fish, and Eric had the hot hand. He already had two fish over 15 pounds, and then lands another one at 35 inches. Right around 20 pounds, according to the weight charts.


Eric_20_lb.jpg



It was just epic. We kept 6 fish, with the smallest being 26 inches, and the largest, that 35 incher. We released about the same number of shorts, including a 23 inch fish. We wrapped it up around 1:30 to beat the traffic. Just a stellar day.


All_6.jpg



After I got home, I thought about the big one I lost. It was most certainly a breeder female, so maybe it was for the best that she swam away. I would have taken it, but now I’m thinking this was the better outcome. It was an awesome day even without that big one. Couldn’t have asked for a better day of playing hooky.
 
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charliecat

on a fishin' mission
Jun 2, 2015
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charlie cat
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14' -50' , bunch of boats
nice work! cool to see them both left and right eyed. such cool fish
 
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HoxFish

Family Crest - My Lure is True
Jan 17, 2007
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A daydream about fish
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Aaron
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Moo
That is some GOOD eating right there. Fried, sauteed, baked, grilled ... so many options! I hurt for you on that big one. I've been there. Your outlook is better than mine. I still smart over that fatty every once in a while. LOL
 
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Choonaguy

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Nov 17, 2010
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Long Beach
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Joe Kane
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Plus the loss of the big one is what truly keeps some of us coming back, that what if factor. Any cast or drop could potentially be that fish of a lifetime
 
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FloMar

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Apr 28, 2004
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John Collar
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Stellar, just plain Stellar! Great write-up too Yutaka!
 
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fujirose

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Jan 17, 2009
677
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Roseville, CA
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Jim Fujitani
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21' Seaswirl
You never forget losing a big California halibut, just out of gaff range, due to the leader being chewed though. I remember when I lost a good one over 15 years ago, like it happened yesterday.

But it is karma, and big halibut are typically females that can contribute more eggs to the population than smaller females.
 
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Tifoso

Chinook,halibut,lings,bottom fish&everything else
  • Jul 25, 2016
    709
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    norCal (central valley)
    Name
    Lou
    Boat
    🚤
    It’s been a long time since Seahunter Eric and I did a dedicated Halibut trip. But we heard there was a good bite going on around Dana Point, so we played hooky on a Wednesday and got out before the storms. We launched around 7:00 AM to a fairly empty parking lot at the ramp. Picked up a scoop of very cured Sardines, and set off with high hopes.




    We started our drifts in 110 feet of water, and saw quite a bit of bait in that depth range. Fairly quickly, Eric picks up a short flatty, so we knew we were in the right area. Shortly thereafter, we get a double hookup on the right kind. Eric’s fish turns out to be a dandy at 34 inches. (Unfortunately the battery in my scale was kaput.) Mine was a respectable 26 inches.




    We reset and proceeded to slam one fish after another. At one point, I hooked a very large fish which took quite a while to bring up. When we saw her, she was a good 30 pounds. My biggest Halibut to date. Got her to the surface, and Eric was ready with the net. And just then…plink…the line parts. She chewed thru the leader just 3 feet out of reach. Aaaaargh!

    It was a heartbreak, but the fishing was still awesome. We continued to hook fish, and Eric had the hot hand. He already had two fish over 15 pounds, and then lands another one at 35 inches. Right around 20 pounds, according to the weight charts.




    It was just epic. We kept 6 fish, with the smallest being 26 inches, and the largest, that 35 incher. We released about the same number of shorts, including a 23 inch fish. We wrapped it up around 1:30 to beat the traffic. Just a stellar day.




    After I got home, I thought about the big one I lost. It was most certainly a breeder female, so maybe it was for the best that she swam away. I would have taken it, but now I’m thinking this was the better outcome. It was an awesome day even without that big one. Couldn’t have asked for a better day of playing hooky.

    Nice fish! I'm jealous.
     
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    Bwood

    Member
    Jan 24, 2006
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    Laguna Niguel
    Name
    Brett
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    17' Whaler
    Great report. Wonder why the smaller fish have red tails. Must have to do with the spawn. If that is what they are doing
     
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