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Old 12-16-2016, 11:45 AM   #1
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Flash Back Friday Halibut

Cleaning out some stuff from my old computer, and I find the Word document of a fish story from 5 years ago. Don't think I ever posted the full story here on BWE. Posting it up for some rainy day entertainment...


Dana Hali 7-2-11

Packed light today. Only 2 rods, One 15lb, one 20. Both rigged up with the Greg Andrew hali-killer rig.

Launched @ 4:45 @ babies. Grease calm, not a hint of wind, zero swell, and great weather. I was sweating from the peddle out of the harbor, wearing trunks, a t-shirt and waders. Summer weather for sure.

Got a scoop of bait, nice 5-7" dines. Only had the hall pass to fish til 9, so I was planning on staying close. Knew the grunion were supposedly running, tide was going up, so I started shallow @ doheney @ stayed there.

With the perfect conditions, I was able to get in as shallow as 3 feet. I could have beached myself if I wanted, there was not a wave around to break on me.

About 6:45 I get the hit. 5 feet of water, with the rig only 10 feet behind me. Like I said, I have a 15lb and a 20lb rig. Of course its on the light rig. I had it in gear with light drag, so he immediately peeled off a crazy amount of line. I looked back, saw a big swirl in the water, which confused me. First I thought I might have hooked a T-shark in shallow water. Then I thought I’d finally found the elusive leopard shark. Then for a second, I thought I got lucky and found a shallow water ghost. No head shakes, just one long steady run. She was still peeling line with the light drag, and had already taken about a hundred feet on me, so I turned the yak and started chasing.

She settled in about 15 feet deep, right into some of the fuzzy rope kelp. I get on top and slowly get her out of the kelp and up. About 5 feet below the yak I see this HUGE brown shape. Water was a little murky, so I first thought Angel shark, then quickly saw it was a friggen Monster halibut.

It was at this point that started to panic.

I gently let her back down to the bottom.

About a million things went through my mind @ that second. I thought of Adi’s post on BWE of how to land a hali. I thought of Greg A’s posts of how to land halibut. I even replayed a few of his youtube vids in my head.

I did a quick inventory of what I had.
1) Shorty 12” gaff.
2) Bad game clip, that popped open on my last good fish. The game clip is secured to a leash by a flimsy 3 year old zip-tie. Not a great asset.
3) No billy club, or anything of weight that could calm down a big pissed off halibut.
4) No rope, tie downs, or anything else that could be helpful.
5) Dull, very small, blunt nose knife.
6) That’s it. (I’m screwed)

Prepare for battle.

I slowly pull her of the bottom again. Get her within gaffing distance, and she decides to take another good run. Chase her down one more time, get on top and start to lift again. This time she doesn’t come up as easy. I am putting the 15 lb to the test.

It’s at this time that I continue to panic, and think that there is no way that fish is going to successfully end up my yak. It looked so f’ing huge. I started making up my fish story of “The fish that was”.

She comes up, I aim for any area below the head, close my eyes and swing with the gaff, and make solid contact. I get the gaff into her gills, where its coming out through the meaty part. I get my shady game clip, slide it slowly up and through, and get it closed. Mind you, it has a habit of opening and is attached by a zip tie.

I panic again.

At this point I want to take a pic, to validate my fish story.

Then the real fight begins. She decides she doesn’t like the gaff & clip & decides to go ballistic. She literally jumps completely out of the water, she clears the surface and lands right in my lap on the yak. This is just the beginning as she goes freaking NUTS for what seemed like an eternity, but was probably more like 30 seconds,

During this time she broke off one of my RAM rodholders (my last one) , slapped me in the face, and bucked herself like 2 feet off the surface of my yak. I tried to subdue her by laying my torso on her. The game clip had opened, my gaff had turned its way towards me.

She calms down. I am oozing with adrenaline. I don’t know what she is going to do next. She just kicked my ass, what a f’ng fish!

I look around one more time for anything to secure her with. Nothing. She bucks one more time and almost flips me in the hobie adventure “skinny mans yak”.

I pull my shorty dull knife. Try 3 stabs in-between the eyes to try to disarm her. Here’s a pic of my tiny knife in her head.

I’m still panicking. The knife is useless. She has still bucked several times, is barely secured, and I’m convinced that I’m still going to lose her. I’m alone. There are a few yaks fishing like ¼ mile away in 40 feet, but they are unaware of what I’ve got going on.

She calms for a few minutes, and I start to paddle in. Lucky I’m not too far from the harbor mouth.

My peddles are covered in fish, I’m nervous as heck, and I have a pissed off hali as wide as my yak in my lap.

I try to paddle in. No room for my feet in the yak, so I drag them over the side too. My peddles are stuck in whatever position they were in when I landed the fish, so they are no help.

I’m almost ready to puke with nervousness. She is still very alive, but calm. I keep paddling in, almost consider pulling in at the boat launch instead of heading to babies , just to end the nervousness. She has a couple more spaz-out sessions as I’m paddling in. I literally lay myself down on her to keep the boat from flipping. Every twitch she makes, I freak out. I am not o.k. with this at all.

After what seems like an eternity, paddle up to the sand @ babies beach. As soon as I hit land, I grab the fish by the gills and run her like 25 yds up the beach. As soon as I lay her down, she goes ape shit, by bucking like 2 feet in the air for like 1 minute. It was only at this point hat I breathed a sigh of relief and knew that I had actually hooked, and landed my PB halibut.

Be as dramatic as you want in this next moment. Shout! Fist Pump! Kiss the sand! I was stoked as you could be, to actually get this beast to shore.

I had one the AA guys take my pic in the sand. I’m still pumped @ this point.

At this point I take a couple of pics.

7:30 now. I’m still pumped. Call the wife, no answer. Call Andy, no answer. Call Frazier, no answer. No one to brag to?!?!?
Get home and its all business. Clean the yak, put away the stuff, and then weight the fish. I was guessing 45 -50, based off of how huge she looked in the water.

Official weight was 41.8 7/8 oz.

Sucks to say I was a little disappointed in the weight, especially based off the length. Maybe I need to land a few more of these to get comfortable with this and @ guestimating the weight. At this point, I think I have landed the most insane fish from my yak so far.

Either way, I am stoked to get a chance @ this caliber of fish @ actually land it. I can think of at least 10 times during this fight that I thought, “No way I will land this, better start making up your fish story (no one will believe it)…

No vid, but here are the limited amount of pics I do have.



Last edited by steveooo; 12-16-2016 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:15 PM   #2
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Monster fish Steve! One option you didn't consider was throwing her into your waders
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:27 PM   #3
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You just got me fired up...40 is on my list, dang it!
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:58 PM   #4
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wow that fish has molars LOL!

that's what keeps me coming back. Thanks for the motivation.
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:01 PM   #5
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:37 PM   #6
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Man that's awesome. I'm so pumped up after reading that. Need to get back out there.
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:41 PM   #7
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Better late than never

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Old 12-16-2016, 01:44 PM   #8
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Thats not a big halibut. Your kid was just real small then.
Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Give a fish a man and he'll eat for a week.
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:52 PM   #9
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Dude...nice fish to add to the bucket. Motivation to keep the grind alive
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:59 PM   #10
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bah, this just got me pumped up, and then i crashed when i realized i cant get out on the water this weekend....
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Old 12-16-2016, 02:14 PM   #11
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Love a good fish story! Classic!
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:43 PM   #12
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I like Mitchell's fish better...
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:46 AM   #13
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Friggin BARN door!
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Old 12-17-2016, 12:20 PM   #14
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Filets for a month! Hope you carry an extra fish holding tool now.
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Old 12-18-2016, 03:55 PM   #15
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Sick pics!
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Old 12-18-2016, 07:37 PM   #16
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Very nice fish sir!!
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:46 PM   #17
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Nice Steve, Thanks for sharing it.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:54 PM   #18
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Great read with pics! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-29-2016, 07:31 AM   #19
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Nice fish and report!
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Old 12-29-2016, 07:45 AM   #20
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That is a beautiful fish and one I've wanted to catch for a good while and I think doing that is gonna be a goal of mine for 2017!
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