Today was the day to try my luck fishing for an Alaska favorite, the halibut. I was successful in as much as I caught my limit of two, but the story is much more involved. I boarded the "CAPTURE" with four Californians from the San Diego area. Three nice people and a blow hard. We motored about 15 miles east, heading in the direction of Mt. Redoubt, which erupted last year and shut down the nearest airport and stopped fishing in Cook Inlet.
The captain opted to fish in this location first because there was a greater chance of catching a large halibut here. The blowhard quickly caught two forty pounders and he was done for the trip. This left him free to harass his friends endlessly and often in poor taste. The other three were his wife and two life long buddies. At this location we continued to catch fish,but most of them were cod and they were quickly unhooked and thrown back. It is also here where I caught the biggest fish of the day. It was the biggest fish, but it was not a halibut, it was not a sport fish, and it was not edible. It was a very long skate, something like a stingray, only longer, more like a cross between a shark and a stingray. It fought so hard that I couldn't even reel it in. The captain and mate had high hopes of a halibut in the 100 pound range as they pulled in the line hand over hand. Their chatter about a HUGE halibut had me all agog. It was all for nothing. The skate has no value as food or anything else, but the captain took exceptional pains to unhook him properly and release him unharmed. I was impressed.
About the fishing conditions. We were using boat rods and were anchored where there was a stiff current. This required a lead weight of 5 pounds. That's FIVE POUNDS, you know?? Like a bag of sugar! The depth was about 200 feet, but with the current we had to let out more than 300 feet of line to hit bottom. Then you had to reel in a 5 pound weight 300 feet against the current to check the bait. My arms will be sore tomorrow.
With no more halibut being caught we moved to an area "Guaranteed" to help us all catch our limit. the four of us still fishing got our limit in about 20 minutes, but these were much smaller than the ones caught earlier. Below is the picture of me in front of much of the catch. The rest is in a fish box. Only the largest get in the picture.
Those are my two on the ends. There are some smaller ones still in the fish box. I had the halibut fishing trip that I wanted and now I'm done. I'll be purchasing halibut like everyone else from now on. 5 pound weights!!!! Gimme a break!!!