An ordinary day of halibut fishing turned extaordinary on May 20, 2010. With three very respectable halibut in the boat, the weather began deteriorating offshore. Seas were ranging from six to eight feet with wind continuing to build on top of it. A decision was made to keep the next halibut to the boat when Jim Pederson of Enumclaw, WA hooked a fish on the stern. Nothing about the bite indicated the fish was overly large, but only a few minutes into the battle it was apparent that there was something very heavy on the other end. For the next forty-five minutes it would be a back and forth struggle between angler and fish, with Jim gaining two feet for every one foot the fish took back. Five hundred feet later, Capt. Phil Carlson and Deckhand Tyler Dahlheimer got their first look at the monster. While Captain and angler were discussing what the fate of fish, the halibut made one powerful run across the surface for about thirty feet. The decision was made to land the once in a lifetime catch if at all possible. Tyler grabbed the leader and slowly pulled the halibut’s head out of the water. With shotgun ready, Capt. Phil pulled the trigger and the shot found its mark. Tyler immediately sunk one gaff into the stomach. Capt. Phil set down the gun and put a second and third gaff into the giant. As the boat fell into a trough and the swell came along side the boat, both Phil and Tyler heaved the fish up and over the gunnel. With the fish finally landed, it was measured from the lower jaw to the tip of its tail at ninety-one and a half inches. According to the length to weight conversion chart, the fish was estimated to weigh in at 430 pounds. Jim Pederson had just proved that monsters do exist and still roam the waters near Sitka.
Check out the article from the Anchorage Daily News (under the section “Giant Halibut”) and the YouTube video link of bringing in the big halibut: http://www.adn.com/2010/06/16/1327254/dr-jekyll-mr-hyde-fishing-season.html