Targetting opah

nicodemus

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 10, 2012
341
467
ALBUQUERQUE
Name
Nicholas Bronson
Boat
themodcatfish

Anyone know if there's a commercial fishery for opah, as the photo in this story indicates? Or would they just be bycatch? Where/how would they target them???
 

nicodemus

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 10, 2012
341
467
ALBUQUERQUE
Name
Nicholas Bronson
Boat
themodcatfish
From what little I know about them, that would make sense.
 

FishRock

Still trying to figure it all out
Mar 27, 2013
1,703
2,299
Alaska
Name
JAM
Boat
Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
Bycatch for the most part. Wish there were a dependable method to target them. Very interesting and unusual fish. (Like the toad ling you are holding in your avatar.)
 

nicodemus

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 10, 2012
341
467
ALBUQUERQUE
Name
Nicholas Bronson
Boat
themodcatfish
I would love to catch an opah one day. I understand they're fabulous table fare - much like that ling! I imagine you must have tangled with a few of those big lingcod being as how you live in AK. On that particular fish, everybody hooked up on one drop (6 of us). A couple came over the rail about he size of the one in my pic. Mine looked to be 30-35 lbs. I told the captain to release it, I wanted a bigger one. He sort of looked at me oddly, but released it. Next drop produced the 50-lber. Which immediately regurgitated a whole pink salmon carcass and a couple rockfish carcasses onto the deck. Should have weighed it before it could, I could claim a 60 lber! Haha.
 

greatbasin

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 22, 2007
396
335
Idaho
Name
Greg
Boat
Knot Yet
I cooked at a upscale restaurant in the late 80's and we had Opah on the fresh menu a few times. It was a pleasure to cook and tasted amazing. It is a bucket list fish for me, heck I've never even seen one caught.
 

mike garrahan

TheSabreGuy
Sep 7, 2007
1,840
1,615
la habra hts
Name
mike garrahan
Boat
23 ft. crestliner
I've been fishing out of San Diego for over 50 years and I have only seen 2 or 3 opah caught on trips that I was on. Usually they are caught by accident when the boat stops on a kelp patty and someone drops a jig or megabait down deep. Sometimes you see them floating on the surface but they almost never bite a bait. At the end of a patty stop I often drop a jig down deep just in case one is lurking around but I have never hooked one.
 

SouthBayKiller

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 27, 2003
6,957
7,082
39
Long Beach, CA
Name
Robert
Boat
none
Deep-set bouy bycatch from swordfish fishing as well.

I’m surprised no one has caught one deep dropping yet, but maybe they are more seasonal locally than swordfish?
 
  • Like
Reactions: woodfish330

nicodemus

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 10, 2012
341
467
ALBUQUERQUE
Name
Nicholas Bronson
Boat
themodcatfish
I've been fishing out of San Diego for over 50 years and I have only seen 2 or 3 opah caught on trips that I was on. Usually they are caught by accident when the boat stops on a kelp patty and someone drops a jig or megabait down deep. Sometimes you see them floating on the surface but they almost never bite a bait. At the end of a patty stop I often drop a jig down deep just in case one is lurking around but I have never hooked one.
That's exactly what I plan to do next trip...whenever that is...if we do a patty stop. You never know...
 

sdrepairman

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 2, 2012
867
1,445
san diego
Name
nick
Boat
n/a
I have read before the commercial Fisherman normally get them as by catch( while fishing for tuna or sword fish).
Still a by catch on the sport boats.
It’s super random
Usually it's the guy that goes deep on a patty with a 6x or like jig and finds the needle in a haystack. Right next to Elvis a dream fish
This is what normally happens
 
  • Like
Reactions: nicodemus

swami 805

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 9, 2016
3,108
3,760
65
805
Name
Bill
Boat
sunk it
One of the best fish I've ever eaten, would love to catch one. I've heard there's 4 or 5 different cuts of meat on them, not sure if that's true, hope to find out one day.
 

ironfish

"Veni,Vidi,Vici"
Aug 13, 2009
112
84
Lake Elsinore,CA,USA
Name
Leonard
Boat
Excel
Was fishing on the Excel with my son, Travis, at the end of July, 2014.
Our Captain, Justin Fleck, stopped the boat on what he thought was a school of yellowtail.
He told eveybody to drop a yo yo jig or a dropper loop down 200'.
We hooked five Opah and lost two close to the boat.
My son on the right, caught the smaller, 121lb. Opah.
Manny on the left caught the 155lb. Opah.
Joe Ludlow, now known as "Opah Joe", caught the official world record Opah at 181lbs.
All the Opah were caught on 40lb mono line with Salas 6xJrs.
Opah Joe caught his fish with a Penn Yellow tail special reel, a single speed.
The Excel crew went crazy and Jason Fleck immediately put the picture up on the internet.
My wife in Lake Elsinore and my son's wife in Seattle turned on their home computers the next morning and saw Yahoo's main feature picture of the the three smiling fisherman, holding some unusual looking fish.
They freaked out when they both recognized my son Travis and read the Yahoo caption naming the lucky fisherman.
The picture on the right, is of the Excel crew that year, having a good time with the Opah.
 

Attachments

FishRock

Still trying to figure it all out
Mar 27, 2013
1,703
2,299
Alaska
Name
JAM
Boat
Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
Next drop produced the 50-lber. Which immediately regurgitated a whole pink salmon carcass and a couple rockfish carcasses onto the deck. Should have weighed it before it could, I could claim a 60 lber! Haha.
Biggest lingcod I have been around was right at 80 lbs.
 
Last edited:
  • Wow
Reactions: nicodemus

fishkilr

on the water
Aug 27, 2012
3,296
4,347
long beach,ca.u.s.a.
Name
alby
Boat
None
Had a buddy tommy (rip) who worked on the drift net sword boat the aurelia..
He Said they mostly fished 3 miles inside Avalon and would throw back sometimes 30 to 40 dead opah per night while drifting swords...
Said their yield is too low to take up room in the hold..
 
  • Like
Reactions: mogambosquid