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You’ll never believe what happened ...

Posted: June 2, 2011 - 10:51am

On an Aug. 26-Sept. 4, 2005 trip to Juneau, our party of fishermen left the harbor in Juneau and headed south to the peninsula of Admiralty Island. We pulled into a bay inside of the peninsula and anchored for the night.

The next morning when the engine started (the alarm clock) at 6 a.m. we got going for the morning. I got up and went to the stern of the boat through the 2 leaf doors and baited up my halibut rig. I had 80-pound Dacron line on the 50w Shimano 2 speed reel, on a 50-pound rod and 16-ought circle hook. I lobbed the offering out the port/stern of the boat and put it in the rod holder and was going to clear up the birds-nest in another reel when Alec came through the back doors which I thought slammed against the bulk head.

I looked at him and he said to me Jim “your rod.” I looked back to where the rod was and the rod and rod holder were gone. The loud noise was the rod holder breaking off the mount. I guess the fish won that one. Any way, Alex had come to announce breakfast was ready — one thing for sure, we ate well on the entire trip.

After breakfast Steve, the friend that took us, said he felt real bad at loosing the rod and asked of we had had any snagging 7/o or 8/o leaded hooks. He was going to drag the bottom to see if he could find the rod. He got into the dingy and we mused about “What if he really found it?” and “Wouldn’t that be hilarious?” About an hour had passed since the rod went overboard.

Steve was about 150 feet away from the boat when he yelled “I found it.” I couldn’t believe it. There he was holding the rod in the air in the dingy. I jokingly said to him, “Is the fish still on it?”

He reeled up a little and yelled back, “Yes it is, I’ll come over and pick you up.”

I got into the dingy and we motored back away from the boat and I began to wind down on the rod. At that the fish bolted and took about 100-feet of line. After that there wasn’t much of a struggle, probably because the fish had been fighting the rod for the hour or so that we were eating breakfast. Be that as it may, the fish came up beside the dingy. Steve said to bring the head to the top of the water, and he shot the fish in the head with a 30-cal. rifle. No more struggle.

Steve put a gaff in the fish’s mouth and attempted to pull it onboard. The gaff pulled through the fish’s gill plate/lip and the fish went back into the water. It took both of us to pull the fish over the side rail into the dingy. We had to take it ashore to fillet it. It measured 72-plus inches long and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has a chart that shows the fish at about 200 pounds.

When we returned to the boat I asked Steve what the name of the place where we caught the fish was called and (without hesitation) he said “Liars bay.”

Ha! Ha!

Steve Hamilton lives in Juneau Alaska year round and was a wonderful host for the trip. We all had a great time and brought back ice chests full of halibut.

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