slow fishing BUTT rewarded!

PENN

thrasher949

Member
Nov 18, 2010
282
384
San Clemente, CA
Name
Jeff
Boat
Parker 23
Early Season fishing is always tough. The weather is still unpredictable and conditions change rapidly. My first trip of the year was going to be on the Ultra with the usual crew. I was very much looking forward to being on the water after the 7-month winter hibernation. Last years first trip of the year resulted in a 6olb personal best Bluefin on the Tribute, but I wasn’t quite sold on the Tuna action just yet this year (maybe now lol). I was going on the Ultra no matter what! Conditions were looking good early in the week, water temps were warming up and chloro looked good. Then came the weather… rain on Tuesday, wind WED, THURS, and FRIDAY WTF???? Water temps took a tumble to the 50’s and all of the water went green! The Catalina sea bass trip was not looking so hot. Regardless, I was prepared for a boat ride if need be, juicy cheeseburgers and a day on the water is never a bad idea.


For those of you who have never had the pleasure of fishing the Ultra out of 22ndstreet, here’s a few reason to hop on a very rare open party trip… It’s a 50ft boat that only takes 10 people. Its got plenty of bait capacity, did I mention it s a squid boat too? Fish brine for keeping the catch 100% Of all things, the crew is top notch! I have been fishing with Jacob, Mike, JOC, Dom, and Chris for several years and I can personally tell you they bust their ass for you, always go the extra mile, whatever it takes! No drama teamwork! Hard to find on the water these days.


Mike was running the boat this trip and he made sure we had candy (live squid) for the trip to give us the best odds despite weak reports and poor conditions. It was decided to take a shot at San Nicholas Island for the overnight trip. Jeff on the Freedom picked up a few yellows the day before, and the swell was dropping on the buoy that will give us the window we need.


It was a still a rough one, around Osborn I think everyone was awake until we got in the shadow of the island. We arrived at 4am and anchored up inside. We flipped on the under water light to try and make some more squid but every time it look like a school was gonna bundle up the juvenile seals would attack it like kamikazes. We tried to fish dropper loops with squid in the dark but the seals would not back off. They stole baits off the bottom, even ate a flat fall and a lead head! Crazy! Once grey light came around the seals backed off the boat and we started to fish again. 6:30 hit and we hooked 5 or 6 yellows in about 10 min (I got 1), most were 25lb models but 2 were jumbo 35lbs easy. Then silence….. no sonar marks…. Nada for 2 hrs. The wind started picking up and it was decided to do a few drifts to try and pick up the spotty fish.


First 10 min we picked up 1 yellow, and then I got bit again. I had a quick bend, moderate resistance, then heavy line peeled off (maybe a jumbo?) but then went back to weird moderate resistance and line retrieval felt weird with the absence of headshakes. Deep color went from brown to white and it was a halibut!


I have never caught a California Halibut, only a few in Alaska. I never really fished for them either because I’m usually chasing Pelagics, whish is also why I have not caught a WSB.


I stepped back on the deck so Chris Kiser could gaff it. I never got a real good look at it in the water. Chris paused as he lifted it and told Mike to get the camera for a rail shot. He lifted the slab over on the deck and I was surprised of the size… were in California right? Lol. That’s when it sunk it… this is a really big halibut for California….


We took a few pictures, tossed it in the brine and continued fishing. No more yellows found so we finished the day with the rock cod fishing.


The boat didn’t have a scale, Chris and I both thought 50lbs. but.. that was just based on experience. I caught a 44” halibut in Alaska that fit the “slot” that weighed 45lbs That was really my only frame of reference other than my arm scale. Still out of cell phone range we taped the fish out to about 50”, so I thought my estimate wasn’t too far off.


We passed 2 harbors on the way and I picked up enough signal to google the California record information.


http://wrec.igfa.org/WRecDetail.aspx?uid=37613&cn=Halibut, California#.Wt6LkS-ZM8Y


The record fish was 67lbs 5 oz that measured 44.5” with a 39” girth. I was pretty sure mine didn’t weigh over 60lbs but who knows? With a full 5” more length on my fish I was surely puzzled and intrigued at the same time. We contacted the landing and they reported that their scale was inop at the moment. Luckly the boys a Pier Point were kind enough to let me rush over there and hang my meat so to speak.


56.3Lbs! Not bad! Not the record but certainly a fish of a lifetime. The whole drive home from Long Beach to San Clemente I was puzzled…. The tape said 50”?!?! Im so confused….


I laid out the fish on my driveway and started making the cut down the middle and stopped. Im not crazy….. I taped out the fish again…. 50” long, and measured the girth tightly 38" with the fins folding in. My wife was kind enough to help with the photos!


I’m not crazy…. The fish was 5.5” longer, 1” thinner around but weighted 11lbs less than the record?


I guess it would be a fish story then huh?


Great start to the year! I just want to thank the Ultra Family (Mike, Jacob, DOM, JOC, Chris and Kelly for everything! And Tom Mato for always putting together a great group of hardcore fishermen and women! Limits of Fun!


Heres the pics…

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thrasher949

Member
Nov 18, 2010
282
384
San Clemente, CA
Name
Jeff
Boat
Parker 23
Almost forgot the details... try not to laugh....

7' Sabre rod with broken/missing guide ring (purchased at Big 5 years ago), Diawa Saltist 40 Level wind, 60lb spectra with 40lb Seagaur Floro leader, 2/0 hook (bent a little after), using a dropper loop style rig with 10oz weight with live squid, 125' or so of 55 degree green water, south east end of San Nicholas Island on 4/22/18 around 9:30am.
 
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cortezpirasea

Pangero
Feb 23, 2012
2,208
2,256
la mesa, ca
Name
Russell
Boat
21 ft panga Sea Moan/17 ft gregor Pirasea II
:appl:
 
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watersdeep

I CATCH IT. I KILL IT. I CLEAN IT. I DON'T DELIVER
Jan 19, 2016
2,083
1,870
LB
Name
Jed Venture
Boat
the twisted ducker
Nice, you can relax the rest of the season.
 
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Tuna Vic

I Should Upgrade My Account
Mar 17, 2010
2,367
863
Whittier California
Name
Victor
Boat
18ftC/CWellcraft Calico Time II
That’s some accomplishment,you’ve got some good eats for quite a while,nice!
 
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Blackfish

Marble collector.
Sep 20, 2005
6,363
4,803
My Backyard
Name
.
Boat
toy
Back in the day, that would have been front page material. Congrats on a catch of a lifetime.
 
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Cago

Member
Feb 24, 2011
254
184
La Palma, CA USA
Name
Marvin
Boat
“Free Spool”
Nice work! I also got a nice butt on the Ultra in March. Nowhere near your size but took JP. Going out with them boys again Memorial day.
 
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P

Paddyman1

Beautiful fish, Jeff! Congrats on the PB. Looks like some decent seas to work on, too.
Don't let the record keep you up at night. You won.
 
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mhanson59hb

Fear No Fish
  • Apr 22, 2013
    2,269
    3,660
    Huntington Beach
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
    I like big butts and I can not lie!

    Friggin' AWESOME, off the hook (or chain if you prefer) and what ever other platitudes I can think of - congrats!

    :worship:
     
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    Fisha

    skipper
    Aug 3, 2006
    693
    129
    Orange
    Name
    Dave
    Boat
    24' sea ray flybridge, 12' w/outboard
    Record or not, that's a beauty! Well done!
     
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