Halibut invasion is talk along O.C. coast

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Halibut invasion is talk along O.C. coast

January 31, 2002

By DAVE STREGE, The Orange County Register


The hot topic among anglers along the Orange County coast, aside from the abundance of squid, is halibut.

Anglers were getting their hooks into quality halibut often in the week before the storm.

Among the halibut highlights:

Dave Leight of Dana Point was tossing a jig off the back end of a Captain Hook Charter boat docked in Dana Point Harbor on Thursday afternoon.

"I saw a huge boil, this big brown flash," Leight said.

He said he has seen halibut boil on bait in 150 feet of water at Catalina. So, though it's rare, Leight didn't rule out that it was a halibut boil.

He made a cast and hooked up immediately, then couldn't budge the big fish on his 10-pound-test line.

"I thought I was at Clarion Island hooked up with a large tuna or something," Leight said.

Eventually, a friend gaffed the fish, which weighed 24 pounds, 7 ounces.

Jeff Pronz of Dana Point, a regular at Dana Wharf Sportfishing, caught a 36-pounder last week and a 42-pounder the week before.

Craig Keeney of Santa Ana and Chris Comiria of Huntington Beach were fishing off Sunset Beach on Saturday, using sardines.

Keeney landed a 30-pounder, Comiria an 18-pounder.

Michael Fair of Laguna Niguel was fishing the kelp beds off Salt Creek in Laguna Beach and used a sardine to catch a 35-pound halibut.

Squid = salmon? Colder water in the north has moved tons of spawning squid to waters off Orange County.

Could this be a sign of things to come?

"It's been about nine years since the squid has been so plentiful down here, and it has to do with the water conditions," said Don Brockman of Davey's Locker. "When it happened the last time, we had a big salmon run off Newport in the spring. This could possibly mean the same thing happening."

Salmon season opens March 30 locally.

Shark attack: Anglers were fishing the Horseshoe Kelp aboard the Southern Cal out of Pierpoint Landing in Long Beach on Sunday when a disturbance in the water caught their attention.

The Southern Cal was anchored about 1 1/2 miles outside the break wall. A half-mile away, something was thrashing the surface.

"We thought it was a whale at first," said Ed Galensky, an angler from Pasadena. "He (the skipper) said, 'That's not a whale.' Then I actually saw the fin. ... We realized it was a shark eating a seal."

They figured it was a great white shark, estimating it to be 12-15 feet long based on what captain Ray Carino saw through the binoculars when the shark rolled on the surface.

"It was pretty incredible," Galensky said of the five-minute show.

Lifetime catch: Dave Pierson of Garden Grove has been fishing the local lakes for 17 years waiting to catch a fish like the one he caught Sunday.

Using green Crave Bait near the boat dock at Santa Ana River Lakes, Pierson hooked into a monster rainbow trout that took three long runs.

"Phil (Hildebrandt of Anaheim) went up to his waist to net it," Pierson said. "He said, 'Hey dude, I got it and you're never going to believe this.' They were all screaming lake record."

A 23.76-pounder is recognized as the lake record. Pierson's fish tipped the scale at 22 pounds, 10 ounces.
 
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