Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Big Momma


With help from my daughter Camille, I was able to transfer this picture onto the blog. I wish I knew the exact weight or at least the length of this gal. In the back of the tide books there is a table wich gives an estimated weight for halibut, depending on their length.  All the large halibut are females. They grow faster and get larger than their male counterparts. I'm not sure why that is, just God's plan I guess. I was reading some research on halibut which stated that in some circumstances female  halibut can actually change sex to fertilize eggs. It has something to do with ocean conditions- not enough males around to get the job done I think. These fish are unusual anyhow. When they're born they have an eye on each side of their head, but within a short time the left eye migrates to the right side, so both eyes are on the same side.As that happens, the brown coloration that is on both sides gradually fades and one side becomes white as they settle on the bottom. Pacific halibut are long lived, with a life span of 55 years if they can avoid capture by anglers or predators like sea lions. I don't know if Killer Whales eat them or not, but I imagine they would if the opportunity presented itself. Years ago I saw an article in an Outdoor Life magazine in their This Happened to Me column. It was written by a young man who lived here. He said he watched two moose swim from the Pt. Adolphus area across Icy Strait towards Pleasant Island, when a pod of Orcas attacked one of the moose and ate it. He saw the second one later in the day caught up in the kelp near the can bouy on the reef, drowned. That's too bad. Must not have been any sealions around to munch on that day. Anyway, the world record (sport caught) Pacific halibut is 459 pounds, caught in Unalaska Bay in 1996. Supposedly there was a 94 inch,466 pound halibut caught  in 2010 and another in 2011. One was caught by a fellow fishing out of a lodge in Gustavus and one fishing out of a lodge in Pelican. The problem is that unless they were caught out in the Pacific Ocean in area 3A, they were illegal for the anglers to keep. I'd be intested in knowing whatever comes of that. In both cases there wasn't a scale big enough to weigh the fish, although there are commercial scales in Pelican and one in Hoonah which is pretty close to Gustavus if they really wanted to know the true weight, which leads me to believe the fishermen wanted the bragging rights without the law knowing about the fish. The article mentioned that the lodge in Pelican,where one of the fishermen was staying, charges $3400.00 for three days and four nights. I guess for that kind of money you would feel like you could bend the law.

6 comments:

  1. That thing is HUGE! Looks like you and Mark? Who else?

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  2. I second that Autumn...great story Tom, I enjoyed reading it :)

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  3. Hi Autumn- yeah it was a big one. That was me when I was young and strong. Then there was Mark, who is over six feet tall, so you can get some idea of how big it is. Also, Sam Sellick. He was Married to Mary Lou Lail for awhile. Now he's married to Wendy Platts. Her husband was one of the three men from the farm killed in the boating accident.

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  4. Hi Tushyne, how nice to hear from you! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. If you get a chance would you contact me either on the phone or via email? We need to get some mail to Brian and what I sent came back. My email addressis tbotts52@yahoo.com Thanks gal.

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  5. wow! That fish is huge. I am reminded of the book, "the old man and the sea." I am glad it didnt end up like the fish in the book. I couldnt even imagine getting that fish in the boat without losing it.

    I still read ur columns quite frequently. The front porch musings post was good. I liked closing comments about tommorrow being either good or bad, and taking time to appreciate and enjoy what you have.

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  6. Hi David, thanks for commenting. Yeah, it was a big fish. When they're that big you want to shoot them first and then stick a shark hook into them that's attatched to a heavy line. You don't want to give them a chance to shake the hook. There's a lot of money at stake.
    I'm pleased that you read the blog posts. Of course they're all over the place depending on what happens to cross my path or my mind any particular day. Anyway, thanks again for commenting. It's nice to get feed back from folks.

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