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Old 05-20-2006, 12:11 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: El Cajon, CA
Posts: 4
Default OPAH caught while fishing for T-Sharks? YES!

So, I have never caught a thresher........and I had been buggin Greg to put me on one.
I took a "rare for me" day off work cause the larger models of Threshers have been taken lately, as you all know.....

Met up with Greg and Jim at Dana, got the "unreel" launched, and grabbed a half scoop of bait, mostly beautiful dines with a couple of macks.
Weather was beautiful, flat, no wind.......we motored up off of Pacific beach to make a few mackies, and you should have seen all the sardines in the water, the meter was solid red at some points there in 17-20 feet of water, the bait boat was setting its net right off of mission beach.......birds working everywhere, WAY fishy!

Anyway, we picked a few and headed up to some #'s where Greg got a shark last week, and some others have been taken. Something about the 500 foot contour line.....anyway we get there and Greg shows me how the Bait-O-Matics work.......remember I am a rookie at this T-shark game......

(when I hear the name "bait-o-matic", I cant help but think of the "Bass-O-Matic" from Saturday Night Live years ago.....Dan Akroyd, etc...)

So we get BOM's in the water and begin the trolling game. Up the canyon, down the canyon, across the canyon, inside the canyon, outside the canyon, over the river and thru the woods, back up the canyon...........por nada.

Greg had told me a while back that while catching a thresher is pretty exciting, getting "there" can be pretty boring. I was begining to understand.......however, it could not have been a nicer day! Radio chatter was depressing, as nobody had hooked up. No knock-downs......nuttin.

about 3 PM we start hearing of knock-downs, a couple of other guys fighting fish, etc. We decided to stick it out until dark. Lots of others had called it a day and the herd was definately thinning out at this point. All we had to show for a full day of trolling was a knock-down by a 4 foot blue shark, and a couple of pelicans that "clothes-lined" themselves on our trolling rigs........

Heard a guy on the radio about 6.15 saying he was hooked up and was bit on a second rig.....great problem to have.......we pulled 'um in and ran about 3 or 4 miles out to where this guy in a skippy was backing down on something big.

I was standing there with one of our big guns ready to drop it in, so when Greg throttled back, I just dropped it in. (Bleeding Mackeral BOM w/ a small greenie on the rear hook).

Im in free spool and just letting the sliding boat carry the BOM out and down, 10 seconds later I feel a bump, then a big bump, so I thumb the spool a bit harder, the line comes tight......I'm BIT!!!!!!
I pull the rod upright as I put the AVET 50W in gear, expecting a big bend in the rod any second, but it didnt. By now, Greg has the boat stopped, and he is trying to attach my smittys belt. Im thinking "short-bite", Greg says put it in free spool, maybe it will come back and eat it.
I put it in free spool, and a couple of second later, line is peeling off the reel.

It didnt take long to figure out that this wasnt what we were after. Greg had managed to get the belt on me, He probably got in a couple of dry humps too, but I was too excited to notice....

Excellent teamwork by Ambusher and Mots had the deck clear of trollers by then, so I was free to fight the fish. I backed down the drag quite a bit, not quite confident in the hookset, and although it wasnt taking much line, there was the possibility that it COULD be a thresher that didnt even know it was hooked.....didnt fight too long, I gained pretty steadily on it, and when the Mono top-shot came aboard we were kinda wondering what to do if it WAS a big ol thresher, cause it would sure be GREEN......

Well, when the swivel came up I could see a big, uh, something down there......Greg asks if was a MOLA! It did kind of look like one at first, but when Jim started hand-lining the leader we could see the orange fins.....

So, its laying on the surface, barely hooked......Greg gets a gaff in it, but when he started to lift it the gaff started to rip out. He expertly laid it back in the water, we grabbed another gaff, and pulled it up into the boat. It was MUCH heavier than either of us expected........WHOO HOOOO!

For those of you who have not fished with Greg, he gets, uh, well, kind of EXCITED when we put a good fish on the boat.

Those of you that HAVE fished with Greg......well, you havent seen him get REALLY excited! After all the high-fives, and excited radio calls, and phone calls, we settled down to try to put a thresher aboard.......after all we had an hour of sun left, and our mission wasnt quite acomplished.
So, what to do with the opah? Wont fit in any fish holds, didnt have a big kill bag.....(I have to get me one of those)....cant leave it laying back there to dance around if we do hook Mr. we just pulled it up near the cuddy between the helm seats.
Anyway we gave it another 30 minutes or so, but didnt get any knockdowns so we pulled the plug and ran in.

We just happened to see the Dominator tied up at the bait barge, so we pulled up and showed off our catch to the boatload of BD'ers heading out on the 2 day........we all gave each other the salute, and headed for the ramp.
Pulled in to Dana fuel dock to weigh this thing....
Greeted by Misuse, Nancerator and Babu....thanks for coming over and helping out. Jason actually filleted it, great job Jason!
Wierd, weird, weird.......from where and how it was caught to the anatomy of that fish......just weird!

Bitchin day, though, one I wont soon forget!

THANK-ey THANK-ey THANK-ey to Greg and Jim.......great guys to fish with!

Thanks Jason for the excellent knife work! Pat, thanks for letting us borrow the cutting board and sharpener....

Unknown fisherman (Mike) came down and got some photos........good to see you again Mike.

What a day!

Gonna have Oprah for dinner......I mean OPAH!
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Old 05-20-2006, 02:00 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Paramount
Posts: 1,980

Welcome to MOF
Congrats on a rare catch in these waters.
Some pics would be nice. How much do you think it weighed?
Thanks for the report
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Old 05-21-2006, 09:10 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: San Fernando Valley
Posts: 2,663

Sweet! Thanks for the report!!!!
'Nana says "spike the box!"

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Old 05-22-2006, 12:11 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Downey,Ca
Posts: 5,137

Welcome to MOF

You got to tell us how those Opah taste

I heard they were xint to eat.

Can't wait to see the pics

Thanks for the report
Dive Deep and Fish Hard!

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Old 05-22-2006, 12:47 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Downey,Ca
Posts: 5,137

Wow Mike nice fish!!
Dive Deep and Fish Hard!

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Old 05-24-2006, 01:23 PM   #6
Join Date: May 2006
Location: California
Posts: 151

wtg mikey

fish of a life time
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