Suprise on the 14 - Saltwater Fishing Discussion Board Including Inshore Fishing, Offshore Fishing, Saltwater Fly Fishing and Kayak Fishing
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Suprise on the 14

The "local" dorado bite has been driving me nuts so I decided to play hooky from work today and see if I could find one. After a quick stop at Nacho's for some nice dines, I made my way out out to platform Eureka and then down to the 14. The water was 72-73* on the way but I didn't see a single kelp. As I approached the 14, I could see an armada of boats tight together just west of the high spot. Once I was close enough, I could see the car sized paddy. I stopped about 100yds outside and started chunking and put 2 dines in the water. I set my meter to show the surface down to about 200ft and I noticed a few marks below 100ft. I dropped a dart down and made a few rips to the surface. On the 5th or 6th sink the dart stopped its decent and I pulled it tight, it felt like a snag at first then sounded hard. The 50lb PowerPro was melting off of my MXL and line was exposed that had yet to see the light of day. The runs diminished after a few minutes and I started to gain line. The fish must have seen the boat and rocked me again. The dart ( thanks again freddie ) had stock hooks and my leader was 30lb Seaguar Red Label so I trusted my uni and slowed the fish with a few more pounds of drag. As fish yielded I turned it toward the boat. About this time one of the dines goes off. I ignore it as I'm busy keeping the fish away form the boat and other anglers near the paddy. Low gear is my friend at this time as my back and arms are asking for a rod belt. As the fish slowly rises I am completely stumped. What could it be? In last 50 yards the fish starts to circle, I'm excited with thoughts of big BFT and I see a flash of color. Not the color I was hoping for but I knew right away what it was: Opah! 99.1 lbs at the fuel dock! Now the really tough part starts. The fish have a bony plate that protects them from marlin spears and my gaff. The gaff finds flesh and the fish goes ballistic. My arms and back are toast at this point and it takes everything I have to pull the big lump into the boat. The fish goes nuts on deck like a barn door butt so I give it some room before cutting a few gill rakers. Without a place to put the fish, I ke it in the shade covered with wet towels. I made a few more drifts for nada and headed for home. Lots of free jumpers on the way home, some near the very end of the Newport pipe Steve

This post edited by Tuner 09/01/2012
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default re: Suprise on the 14

Tuner, WOW WOW WOW !!!!! congrats...Loved your report and story. Please let me know how it cooked up ! I ordered Opah at Dukes in HB and it was outstanding...Once again Great job. Tim
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thats awesome !! Almost too pretty to kill. I can taste it already !!! WTG-once in a lifetime !!!
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default re: Suprise on the 14

Thats just freakin' AWESOME Steve....!!!,

Great report,story & catch...
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default re: Suprise on the 14

Love it!!!

How cool is that.

Congrats.

Bill
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default re: Suprise on the 14

That is freakin fantastic....!!!!!

Congrats.........
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default re: Suprise on the 14

Steve,

I am so friggin thrilled for you. Not only did you hook it, you landed it -SOLO!!! And you hunted it by going after the marks with the right ammo. A catch of lifetime, maybe never to be repeated.

I haven't been around here lately, all for bad reasons. Saw your post referenced as a bullet on Tempbreak, so came here and glad I did.

When I was kid reading every fishing article I could, I dreamed of 3 fish to catch: A local, homeguard tail over 50#; a giant Nile Perch; and an Opah. The Nile Perch is out, but even though I get out now so infrequently and can't pick my tide/weather days anymore, there is still a chance for the 50#+ tail (I've come **** close) and you have revived my hope for an Opah. Glad it was you. But I'm not spooled up with braid, hmmm, old discussion, seems you needed it for that fish.

Freddie
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default re: Suprise on the 14

Thanks guys! As you can imagine, I am still over the moon on this one. Your replies are awesome.



Freddie:

Thank you for sharing the dart and showing how effective it can be.

I'm thrilled that you noticed my comment and that I utilized some of the great information that you provided.

I don't know if braid is a requirment, but I sure am glad that I had over 500yds to work with. If I had hooked it on my SX I would have been spooled for sure. The fish must have sounded over 300yds!

I sure hope you catch the 50lb homeguard and the opah to boot!

Researcher Owyn Snodgrass contacted me and may collect the carcass for study. It might be that the Opah is more common here than previously thought:

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/aug/19/opah-seen-more-often-off-southern-california/?print&page=all


Steve
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default re: Suprise on the 14

Thats a catch you won't soon forget. Good job!
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default re: Suprise on the 14

Truly Epic,and by yourself at that!I bet you were shouting regardless,WTG!

Cya Tuna Vic
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