Saltwater My Daughter sets New Record!


Dec 5, 2015
Lake Stevens/Ocean Shores
22' Defiance "Interdictor"
I have been fishing out of Greys Harbor for years and I almost always take my son (9) and daughter (10) with me on our many trips into the ocean.

This year we have been working on a different angle, being salmon is only a 5 day a week thing. That leaves me Friday and Saturday open to fish something else.

We discovered this fishery by accident one day after a bottom fish trip where we had some extra bait. We dropped to the bottom and hooked a few large fish which kept breaking us off. We finally landed a large shark, which was not a dog fish. I snapped a few photos and came home to figure out what we had caught. After some internet research I discovered our shark was a Soupfin Shark (Tope shark). We went out two more times and quickly discovered we were undergunned on tackle selection as we had fish clearing us of line, I mean the entire spool just gone. We did manage to land two fish that day.

I made some phone calls to WDFW to see if this fish was avaliable for a record. They looked at the photos and verified I had correctly ID the sharks, and told me the slot was open. I made a few more calls and arranged for WestPort Seafood to weigh a fish for me if we decided to kill one as we had been releasing all the fish so far. They told me they would weight it on their certified scale for me.

On July 24, I loaded up heavy rods and bait onto the boat. I informed the kids if we caught one today we were going to kill it and try for a record. I slid the boat out of my slip and made the run to my spot. I put the anchor down and rigged up my kids rods with a heavy slide sinker, a bead to large swivel, then 100lb leader and an 8/0 hook. I gave each kid a piece of salmon belly and told then good luck. During our first 3 hours we caught nothing but crabs and they managed to eat every thing we dropped to the bottom. I even drifted baits on balloons for one take down, which did not stick. I move the boat three times to escape crabs as they were rapidly eating my all my bait.

Finally as we were thinking about getting ready to leave I see my daughters rod get a bite. I tell Isabella to get ready, just then the rod goes off and Bella is hooked up! She is using an Avet and a short stand up style rod, but the fish promptly dumps the spool and little Bella can hardly hold the rod. I have her follow her fish around the boat as I clear the rest of the gear. She is working the fish over as I coach her along and she does a wonderful job getting the fish boat side. I reach down and grab the tail with both hands and tell the kids to clear the deck! In one motion I lift the shark out of the water and drop him on the deck. I take a quick measurement of 69 inches and ask Bella if she wents to take this shark for the record, she smiles and nods at me. I pull the anchor and make the run to Westport. WestPort seafoods weighs the fish for Bella at 41lbs. I contact WDFW and let them know I have a record fish and I would like to drop it off.

The next day I take the fish with has been packed on ice to WDFW for record verification. They also asked me if they could have the fish for research purposes, which I agreed to.

Isabella is a happy little girl and now she has something to talk about as she enters into 6th grade. Now we are working on setting the world record with my son, which just needs to be over 73lbs.

Isabella has recieved quite a bit of media attention, and she is scheduled to do a piece for King 5 this week.

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Bobber down!
Jul 18, 2010
Mt Vernon
20’ Glasply
Bravo! What a cool story! I was always hunting for that illusive "record fish" when I was their age!

Way to go dad.
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So Fishy
Aug 24, 2017
San Diego, CA
Pay to Play
Awesome story, thanks for sharing. She looks so happy. Also, I really like the name you picked for her. Nice work all around.
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Once you go Cat, you never go back
Sep 15, 2008
Olympia, WA
2021 Allied WildCat 30
I’ve never caught a fish bigger than me!!! Congrats to you all and hats off for the awesome teamwork as a family.
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Captain Caaveman!
Mar 2, 2011
Poulsbo wa usa
World CAT 266 SC "The Big Butt"
This is a great story, its very exciting seeing how the WDFW biologists get soo excited to have a chance to see and investigate these animals. My trip to olympia was amazing. The folks there really seem to love it when they get to check out these amazing Creatures, Great Job, and a great tribute to SHARK WEEK!!!! :)
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  • Apr 6, 2012
    .Grady Gulfstream 232 "Herd of Turtles"
    That's just a kickass story. . .great job pops!

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    I only wishes to catch some fishes...
    May 14, 2009
    San Diego/Tacoma USA
    Limited load cattle car
    Every now and then you get a post on BD that makes you think: "This is just one of many reasons why we love our sport". Thanks for learning them young and instilling a desire that will keep the next generation grounded as she gets older. You did all your homework so that "pending" record I expect to see become official. I admit that I'm a little jealous but happy for her. I'm still secretly chasing the WA sate record for that Red Tail surf perch (4.05 lbs.) AND the red-eye rockfish/freshwater rock bass aka "goggle eye" at (1.38 lbs.). Well done, you have memories for life!
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    Team Sency

    Fish!! Or be Fished!!!
    Jan 6, 2012
    Black Diamond
    What an adventure!!

    So you fling it in the boat with kiddos all clear.....what was the danger factor of this bugger?? doubt you had under control. I have not caught one of these and was curious how fiesty ?
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    I Should Upgrade My Account
    May 19, 2010
    Lake Tapps, Washington
    COHOHO - 23 ft Wooldridge Super Sport Offshore - SOLD
    Excellent job Dad! That is a great memory she'll have forever! I got memories like that with my oldest son that are so cool and he still sometimes brings it up at 25... Good job on ID'ing that shark, crazy how many different types we actually have in our waters...
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