Reel Deal: Unofficial record halibut caught off coast of Alaska

Adam Spencer, The Triplicate

Rye Phillips, a Brookings-based charter boat captain, helped a client catch a 482-pound halibut last week in Alaska, where Phillips guides in the summer. The halibut would count as a world record with the International Game Fish Association had it not been shot and harpooned.

Meanwhile, much smaller but equally fun-to-catch salmon, rockfish and lingcod are being caught on the North Coast.

World record fish tale

Phillips was guiding clients on his boat the Icy Rose out of Gustavus, 45 miles west of Juneau, when Jack McGuire,77 of Anaheim, hooked into a 95-inch, 482-pound halibut for a 30-minute plus fight.

"It was giant," Phillips said in a press release about the catch. "We knew right away it was over 76 inches, but we didn't know it was going to be bigger than the world record."

Like he does with all big halibut that anglers decide to keep, Phillips subdued the fish with a .410 shotgun, and then harpooned it because of how dangerous giant halibut can be if they are flopping on the deck.

Crescent City ocean

Capt. Keith Richcreek of Pacific West Coast Ocean Fishing Guide Service said that salmon fishing out of Crescent City isn't "on fire" like the beginning of the season, but his clients are still catching fish.

"We're not getting skunked but we gotta work for them," he said.

Tally Ho II Sportfishing said the rockcod and lingcod fishing is good as usual out of Crescent City as long as the weather holds up.

Brookings ocean fishing

Conditions have been getting rough in the afternoon, but Brookings anglers are getting salmon 3.5-4 miles out of port on a 270-degree heading, 40 feet down to the bottom, according to folks at the Chetco Outdoor Store.Bottom fishing has been great as well.

Fishing contacts:

Tally Ho II Sportfishing at 707-464-1236 and;Pacific West Coast Ocean Fishing Guide Service at 707-218-5573 and; Chetco Outdoor Store 541-469-9151.

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Friday October 21, 2016

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