The NE wind blew steady all night so we figured we would play it safe a little closer to home until the wind died down in the afternoon. I hunkered up on top of a pinnacle to try and limit the boat out with some black bass and hopefully a big halibut. We sat all morning anticipating a halibut bite but no one was home. We did, however, catch a load of larger than usual black bass (black rockfish). By mid morning we inched our way to the halibut grounds stopping at a few good halibut spots and pulling up a some nice halibut. By 2pm the wind died down enough to not pound straight into an easterly chop.
We tried another pinnacle close to the halibut ground that I had not fished for a good 3-4 years. I wasn’t sure if there would be any fish on the numbers considering the lack of fish a few years ago, but to my surprise we immediately hooked up with the biggest lingcod of the season and shortly after came the largest Yelloweye of my career here in Seward. This yellow eye was huge and had to be at least 100 years old. It’s always a shame to kill one of these big rockfish considering their age and the amount of eggs the large females carry. Though often times when these fish are caught at such depth, the pressure produces the swim bladder to inflate and eyes to bulge, resulting in a very high mortality rate when released. Luckily I know this one is going to a good home. The yelloweye rockfish are non-pelagic, meaning they do not migrate unlike the black bass, and stay in an area of water their entire life span. The oldest yelloweye recorded was 148 years old. Scientist are able to determine the age by counting the number of rings on the otolith inside the fish’ ear, the same way you would for a tree. There’s a few fun facts for you! In any case, great fishing, got to try a few new spots, and limited the boat out with halibut and a bunch of rockfish.
Great time guys, thanks for choosing us! The crew and I look forward to seeing you again.