As the rod was twitching Captain Mike Keating of Big Blue Charters informed me I was getting hit and that I should end my fifteen second break and tend to my rod.
I shot Mike
a look like I used to give my dad when he
asked me take out the trash.Come on, give me a break.Mike
figured out my stare and informed me that he
was not going to bring the fish in and to get my butt in gear and reel in this fish.
This one was a 60 pounder.Just as Mike
had informed us, the longer you stay in a spot the larger the fish become.The small ones hit first.These 10 to 20 pound halibut are considered chickens.They are way to small to keep.I think Mike
would rather lose his
arm than have a customer have to settle for a bunch of 20 pound halibut.
This 90lb. halibut was caught on a 42" Whopper Stopper rod.Then the 30 pounders are caught.Then 50 to 80 pounders.Every year fish up to 300 pounds are caught.One hundred fifty pounders are common.
It is culture shock when you catch your first 10-20 pound halibut in Sitka.In southern California this size is a prize.You could win one of the popular halibut tourneys with a 20 pound fish.In Sitka though they laugh at your little fish, and release it.
As excited as I get knowing that I am going to Sitka to fish, Mike Keating
gets similarly apprehensive knowing I am coming to town.Sitka could have three weeks of sunny skies and calm seas but once I arrive it changes.Always.The movie The Perfect Storm comes to mind.A day or two after I leave it becomes beautiful again.
This trip was no exception.
In fact after we caught our limits of halibut Mike
wanted to go try for salmon.But the other passengers said no mas.And I can't blame them.If you have never been sea sick consider yourself lucky.It is hard to imagine a worst feeling.Take it from someone who knows.Don't risk it.