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Size really does matter for many peninsula anglers

Posted: Monday, April 05, 2004

Size isn't everything, but it's a large part of what makes fishing exciting.

The average yelloweye rockfish, sometimes erroneously called red snapper, is seldom targeted, even though it is fine eating.

It's usually caught by anglers who are fishing for halibut and lingcod. The average one brought to the docks isn't very large.

A 20-pounder is considered a real catch. But an exceptional fish occasionally comes along and redefines "big."

In 2001, while fishing in Prince William Sound, Rose-mary Roberts caught a yelloweye rockfish that now holds the state record: 38 pounds, 11 ounces.

You just never know what is down there, nibbling at your bait.

Not many king salmon weigh more than 50 pounds, but a few reach twice that weight.

Not many king salmon weigh more than 50 pounds, but a few reach twice that weight.

Knowing those giants exist is what keeps some anglers on the water after everyone else has gone home.

On May 17, 1985, Soldotna resident Les Anderson caught a king that did something that's not been duplicated since.

His king still holds the International Game Fish Asso-ciation (IGFA) world record in the "all tackle" class.

Anderson and his brother-in-law, Bud Lofstedt, were fishing the lower Kenai River at The Pillars. They were drifting downstream when Anderson hooked a king.

Anderson and Lofstedt followed the fish for about an hour and a half and made three tries at netting it.

Since this method wasn't working, they finally towed it to a gravel bar and landed the huge fish.

Having fished in Cook Inlet commercially, Anderson and Lofstedt didn't get too excited about this fish at first.

But when they finally got around to hanging it from a scale, it weighed 97 pounds, 4 ounces.

During the next 24 hours, that king salmon was in the news all over the world.

Anderson often said he hoped someone would beat his record, but he didn't live to see it happen. He died last August at the age of 84.

The average halibut most anglers take home from a charter outing will weigh between 10 and 20 pounds. But some grow to more than 400 pounds.

In 1996, Fairbanksan Jack Tragis set a new IGFA all-tackle world record for halibut by catching a 459-pounder while fishing off Dutch Harbor, Unalaska Island, in the Aleut-ians.

Even bigger behemoths are no doubt out there, somewhere.

Size isn't everything, but it's a large part of what makes fishing exciting.

The average yelloweye rockfish, sometimes erroneously called red snapper, is seldom targeted, even though it is fine eating.

It's usually caught by anglers who are fishing for halibut and lingcod. The average one brought to the docks isn't very large.

A 20-pounder is considered a real catch. But an exceptional fish occasionally comes along and redefines "big."

In 2001, while fishing in Prince William Sound, Rose-mary Roberts caught a yelloweye rockfish that now holds the state record: 38 pounds, 11 ounces.

You just never know what is down there, nibbling at your bait.

Not many king salmon weigh more than 50 pounds, but a few reach twice that weight.

Knowing those giants exist is what keeps some anglers on the water after everyone else has gone home.

On May 17, 1985, Soldotna resident Les Anderson caught a king that did something that's not been duplicated since.

His king still holds the International Game Fish Asso-ciation (IGFA) world record in the "all tackle" class.

Anderson and his brother-in-law, Bud Lofstedt, were fishing the lower Kenai River at The Pillars. They were drifting downstream when Anderson hooked a king.

Anderson and Lofstedt followed the fish for about an hour and a half and made three tries at netting it.

Since this method wasn't working, they finally towed it to a gravel bar and landed the huge fish.

Having fished in Cook Inlet commercially, Anderson and Lofstedt didn't get too excited about this fish at first.

But when they finally got around to hanging it from a scale, it weighed 97 pounds, 4 ounces.

During the next 24 hours, that king salmon was in the news all over the world.

Anderson often said he hoped someone would beat his record, but he didn't live to see it happen. He died last August at the age of 84.

The average halibut most anglers take home from a charter outing will weigh between 10 and 20 pounds. But some grow to more than 400 pounds.

In 1996, Fairbanksan Jack Tragis set a new IGFA all-tackle world record for halibut by catching a 459-pounder while fishing off Dutch Harbor, Unalaska Island, in the Aleut-ians.

Even bigger behemoths are no doubt out there, somewhere.



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