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Reader Reports

Reader Reports: Opah caught on a Jet Ski!!!

Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Sep 16, 2014



Reader Report by Alan Ogata, Diamond Bar



First ever Opah caught on Sept. 9, 2014 on a Jet Ski! This rare tropical species of fish was caught off the So Cal coast. I was an ecstatic participant in the landing of this monster from the deep! We launched out of the Dana Point Harbor and baited up on some average sized sardines with a mix of big mackerel in the 10" variety. When we finally reached the 267 there no paddies in sight 1 CB and a handful of PBr's. Ben suggested that we setup for trolling, heading in a southward direction in search of tuna. Nothing was going off including my FF... So I started off in the course of hitting up some old paddy spots that I had marked on previous tuna trips. Then, along my course toward the second marked spot, my FF went berserk and I chunked in a Big Mac! Ben came over and started to meter fish 60 - 100' down and flopped in the same bait. He stated that his bait was acting skittish b-lining toward the bottom. All at once Ben was hooked to what looked to be a big-one which took him on an ocean tour between depth diving. 45 min to an hour later, Ben called out "get the gaff ready, it's starting to death roll". His first thought was that it was a huge tuna, then color and it was Opah, OMG OPAH!!! I raced over gaff in hand and nailed this over 100# monster just behind the head. Suddenly, hold on was my last thought when he started to take off, trying to thrash and tail dance away from me! After holding on to this beast and 3 attempts to pull me in with him, I was spent and called over to Ben who was recovering from the fight. "Come over now" I wailed and when his Jet Ski was next to mine I said "here, take the gaff"! Ben had gotten his second wind by then and it was a good thing because that Opah wasn't ready to give up and began to thrash around Ben's sled! Ben asked "how do we kill this thing". "I don't know" I responded but I have my wahoo killer. I came over and perf'd the Opah's head 7 - 8 times which seemed to subdue him enough for Ben to slip in a sport clip which I was barely visible in its huge mouth I was almost unable to clasp. We later came to realize that the sport clip would not be strong enough to hold a fish of this mass and removed it. Now what Ben asked, how do we get the fish back? I suggested tail wrapping, which took several attempts to complete. Not an easy task on the ocean and on Jet Ski's made things almost impossible. We were able to get it tied onto the back of Ben's Jet Ski for the long ride back to the launch. The Opah stirred up quite a commotion at the dock and jet wash, he weighed in at 147 pounds! Only 16 pounds shy of the DFG record set back in 1998! Epic day, to coin a phrase from Ben, YES IT WAS!!!

Reader Report by Doug Wynn


Grandfather Stan “S” Malin, of Northridge and Grandson Alex Wynn of Panorama City, on their first hunt together. They bagged a pair in North Carolina, during their Cross Bow Hunt. Stan has been a reader for 40+ years and has a subscription for the next 40 I think….he renews for the special at the Fred Hall show yearly.

Reader Report by Cathy Needleman


Minnow Madness on the Island Tak

Fishing on the Island Tak with Captain Steve Kelly and Jonny Ellis has always been fruitful, fun and full of adventure. Every trip is different and I always come off the Tak smiling. It was one of those days where it was over 100 degrees in the Valley and we were looking forward to the ocean breeze and cooler temperatures in Oxnard. We had frozen squid and beautiful anchovies to use as bait. The water was 75 degrees and clear. We were catching some calicos on the squid but the birds got to all of our fin bait. This year I have found the birds hungrier than ever because of lack of bait in the water. What to do with all these conditions? Captain Steve says “Give ’em what they want.” We tried plastics, got a few calicos on that but the killer was the SP Minnow.” Can you imagine six fisherman on the Minnow at the same time. Even Steve was using the artificial bait. This madness went on for a couple of hours and every cast caught breeder size calicos, which were released. We ended the trip a little earlier than scheduled. We caught and released enough fish, the air temperature was starting to rise and we wanted to beat the traffic home. Thank you Steve Kelly and Jonny Ellis and thank you Bob Sands for recommending this years “ killer “ artificial the SP MINNOW!

Reader Report by Gaylen & Kelly Corbett


Casey Corbett, 14, was proud to catch his first limit of yellowfin tuna aboard the Prowler.

Reader Report by Bill Allison, Garden Grove


I landed two nice rainbows near the boat dock at Rock Creek Lake. One just short of 4 pounds and the other just over 2 pounds. Both were caught on a frog needlefish from the shore.

Reader Report by Krisna Permaul, Citrus Heights


On Sept. 4, I hunted over a grape vineyard and olive orchard near the deep water channel in Clarksburg. Dove came in to the mojo well, and I managed to kill 10. I passed on many that busted from the trees headed for the channel, as the strip of ethically shootable land was very narrow, allowing for only crossing shots.

Reader Report by Jeff Clark, Wildomar


I have been a subscriber to Western Outdoor News for over 25 years, I finally feel that I have caught a fish that is worthy of being published in your weekly publication. I went on the Trokar/Eagle Claw Open on the Shogun on Aug. 29 thru Sept. 6 with the Aaron Barnhill as our Captain. It was a trip I will always remember. I will have many memories from this trip. The best was catching a 120 pound bluefin I feel it was a catch of my lifetime. I have been a fisherman for over 40 years and nothing compared to the rush I felt when I landed this fish. It will be something I will never forget. I just wanted to share a picture and my experience of a lifetime.

Reader Report by Donovan Smith, Ventura


On Sept. 11 I landed this 25-pound dorado on the Aloha Spirit out of Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard. Donovan Smith (left) Captain Shawn Steward (right).

Reader Report by John Estrada, Eureka


What a surprise! As soon as my B2 hit the water, bang. What a fight. This spunky Silver put on an ariel show before it was quickly photo'd and released unharmed. Catching a Coho from the jetty was a first for me. I was dropshotting a 3-inch blue flake B2 squid I picked up the evening before. Thanks Kelly! You never know what you're gonna hook up with in Humboldt. Heres a glimpse at a recent rockfish score from the same section of jetty.