WHITTIER ALASKA 19 JULY 2008
It was 19 July 2008, This day will be remembered in my fishing experience history forever. It was a day of "first times" for some things, and for Scott, it will be his "last" Halibut caught (for the time being). This was the first time out in the new boat (Hewescraft - Wild Occupation) and we decided (Scott, AJ and myself) that we would give the boat a true test, and take her out further then we have ever been before. We headed to Smith Island, in PWS, about 65 miles SE from the Port of Whittier, in search of Halibut. The boat ran perfect, the weather was decent, and we picked up a few chickens out near Smith Island. We decided to hit a few new spots on the way back to port. I have bought some NOAA Nav maps, and I am trying to learn how to read bottom structure for Halibut habitat areas. I had identified a few possible locations located on the way back to Whittier. One place I found, I nicknamed "the pinnacles", it is a steep rock formation with peaks at about 100ft and a valley in-between them about a mile long at 300ft. We dropped our lines down and picked up a 40+ pound butt right away. I reset the pole and gave it to AJ to hold while I was setting another pole. Two minutes later, she got a hit and yelled to me for help, the pole was bent hard and it was stripping line. I knew we had a decent fish hooked up! I fought it for 5 minutes and felt like I got it up off the bottom a little, for logistic reasons I knew it would be best for Scott to take over, so he did. This gave me a chance to get out the harpoon, the gun, and create a plan for the landing. Scott surfaced the fish, and we got a good look, and knew it was over 100 pounds. The fish made a few more good runs before it was tired out (and so was Scott). I got a good harpoon in it, then we got two gaffs hooked in it and wrenched it on board. Scott and I pretty much expended all our energy boating this fish, but of course, that's why we are out there. The fish measured out at 62 inches, and according to the chart, it weighed 121 pounds. First fish on my own boat over 100, First time out in the new boat, First time I ever used a harpoon, First time trying a spot that "looked" good on the map.
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