March 2000

The first picture is of Al's Butt, ….I mean Halibut, he caught on his boat when we were fishing out of Oceanside. We drifted in 80-100 feet of water with a live sardine. We use a treble hook as a 'trap' hook in the tail because the Halibut ambush from the back of the bait.....

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Al Kelly with a legal Halibut


We were fishing for Yellowtail off the North Coronado Island. We were using what we call 'iron', a metal bar, about 6 inches long with a treble hook on the end. We let it drop and it flutters as it falls through the water. After it hits the bottom, we crank it up a little bit then 'yo-yo' it and crank, yo-yo and crank. We were in 200' of water and about half way up, Al felt a hit. So he quit cranking and just jerked the jig up and down and got a second hit. He continued the procedure and finally got 'bit'. And it started pulling line. He was using a Shimano TLD-15 with 15 pound test. He works the fish for about 20 minutes in a give and take struggle. I figured it was probably a 30# Yellowtail. So I get a gaff and stand by. Finally I see 'color'. Holy cow....it's a shark....a thresher shark....They have that long tail to whack bait and fisherman, so I went for a longer gaff, but that gaff has a small hook. So down in the cuddy cabin which doubles as a tackle box :-), I go for a 5" flying gaff on the end of a 6' pole. .....That worked great.....Turns out the 'jig' was wrapped around the base of the tail and he was dragging the fish backwards. We estimate it was about 50 pounds....

Many Threshers are caught with downriggers where the downrigger cable wraps their tail....Threshers have a very small mouth and they feed on the stunned fish that slowly fall after it has whacked them with it's tail.

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Al Kelly with a 50# Thresher Shark


This picture is of the rock fish on Marks boat. We were fishing off the North Coronado Island again looking for signs of yellowtail, but none to be found, so we headed south to fish the bottom. Anywhere from 400-700 feet. We catch the bigger fish in the 600-700 depths. We attach a 3 or 4 pound lead sinker so we can get to the bottom through the current and drift where we have metered fish. Mark uses and electric reel and I use an 'armstrong'. I consider it practice for the real bad boys ....Tuna.

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Mark with the biggest Fish

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Rockcod taken South of the Coronados