Written by Alan Ogata on September 9th, 2014.
So, Ben and I planned to make another run at the Point for tuna before the dwindling bite shut down all together. We baited up at the carrier with smallish sized sardis and "Big Macs" of up to the 10" variety! The wave conditions were a little choppy and settled into some 2' rollers with the occasional 3' stacked wave with chop.
The water temp was upwards of 75 degrees when we reached the 267 FB and not a single paddy in site, none, nada, zippo... We saw only 1 CB and only a handful of PBr's on the ocean with only small chatter on the VHF, without signs of the tuna frenzy that we hoped for. Ben wanted to head further South in search of paddies and we started off in that direction. Still nuthin, I decided to hit some paddy's that I had marked in prior trips. Ben radioed me over to a 2 by 4 with bait under it, but that was all. I resumed my route, no paddies in site, when my FF that hadn't worked for the majority if the trip went off and I chunked in a big mac, Ben soon joined me and was able to mark fish 60 - 80' down. Before I knew it Ben was hooked up on a "big un" that took 45 min to an hr to surface, it was a huge Opah, OMG! I raced over, gaff in hand and nailed em just behind the head, it was like trying to hold on to a freight train! It tried to tail dance away 3 times and I was as spent as Ben, trying to hold on to this monster!
We had no idea how to subdue this monster, the first thing that came to my mind was to hand off the gaff as it continued to thrash, here Ben take the gaff, my arms were like rubber by then... How do we kill it, Ben asked. I have my wahoo killer which I used to perf it's head and seemed to subdue him a bit. It was enough to where Ben was able to slip in a sport clip with the end barely visible outside it's mouth. I managed to clip it on the second attempt, but no way was it going to hold the over a hundred pound beast... The next great idea was to tail wrap him, not an easy task for sure, but managed to do so after several attempts. Ben managed to hoist and tie him off to the tow bar and "that's all she wrote". Ben being the considerate feller that he is, asked if I wanted to fish sum more? I said "I don't think so, I thought we got enough fish right here and we headed back to the launch "over the rail and in the pail".
The Opah weighed in at 147 lbs at the fuel dock, only 16 lbs shy of the DFG record set back in 1998! Ben caught this behemoth on 30lb izorline XXX smoke, shimano trini 20, and his calstar scs 12-30 lb stick. He stirred up quite a commotion at the dock and at the jet wash. Epic Day, to coin a phrase from Ben, YES IT WAS! BTW Thanks For The Fish!!!