Spotfin Croaker 7 Pounds, 26 Inches-12# test Shimano Corsair Reel, Abu Garcia Rod
Jerry Giberti- Alhambra, California- July 4th, 2004
“….a full blown Dana Point (California) Fourth of July was underway. The bite (in the harbor) was unrelenting! A combination of small barracuda and herring…..On the next drop, the pole suddenly turned into a ninety degree bendo, and I put my feet back in the yak. this fish began to haul my yak around the harbor, with spectators looking on as the battle continued…..After about fifteen minutes I finally got the fish high enough to see….. then down he went again. About ten minutes later,I finally netted my fish. It barely fit in the net. I found out it was a spotfin (croaker).”
“TANDEM RECORD CALIFORNIA HALIBUT-MONTY MOCK, KEITH JOHNSON” 53.8 LBS
JULY 5TH 2002 – “CAMPING AT SAN ELIJO STATE BEACH CALIFORNIA, NEAR CARDIFF REEF, MY FRIEND KEITH JOHNSON AND I (MONTY MOCK-CYPRUS,CALIFORNIA) WENT FISHING JUST BEYOND THE KELP AT HIGH TIDE. I DROPPED A 12″ LIVE MACKEREL TO THE BOTTOM WITH MY 700XL CALSTAR GRAPHITER ROD WITH 25LB ANDE LINE ON A PENN JIGMASTER. IN A COUPLE MINUTES MY LINE GOT VERY HEAVY. AFTER A COUPLE SHORT RUNS I GOT THE FISH UP AND IT QUICKLY RETURNED TO THE BOTTOM. AFTER A FEW MORE MINUTES I GOT IT BACK UP. I OPENED THE HATCH AND HANDED KEITH A LITTLE HOME MADE GAFF. I GUIDED THE FISH TO KEITH IN FRONT OF THE KAYAK. HE HOOKED THE FISH IN THE MOUTH WITH ONE SHOT AND LIFTED IT UP WRAPPING HIS OTHER ARM AROUND THE HUGE FISH. EVEN AFTER THAT THE HALIBUT WAS STILL HALFWAY IN THE WATER GOING NUTS. THEN KEITH STUCK HIS HAND UNDER THE FISH’S GILL PLATE AND OUT ITS MOUTH. KEITH TOOK MY KNIFE AND BLED IT, THAT SLOWED HIM DOWN. IT TOOK ALOT OF STUFFING TO FIT THAT BEAST THROUGH THE HATCH. ONCE WE GOT IN WE TOOK IT TO BLUE WATER TACKLE IN SOLANO BEACH AND IT WEIGHED IN AT 53.8 LBS AND MEASURED 50″.”
Dave Robinson-Sarasotta Florida, Estimated 130#Tarpon
“The fish in the above picture was caught with my “back up” rig and took quite a bit longer. This rig was really just one I use on the flats here and consisted of a St. Croix med action 10-20 lb rod with a Shimano Calcutta 250 reel spooled with 30 lb. Power Pro with an 80lb leader and baitbuster. This fish took 1 hour and forty minutes to bring yakside. Our best guess is that it weighed somewhere around 130lbs. We take great pains in resusitating the fish we catch and she swam off just fine after a bit of work. That is the last time I brought the light outfit out for Tarpon as it’s no good for fish or fisherman. Tarpon are a gift from above and should be treated with the utmost care and consideration. My thanks to Jeff Gaston for taking the picture.”
29# Baqueta- Also called “gulf coney” and “red grouper”. October 2004 launching off the beach, guided by Spike on the Sea of Cortez.
Fishing deep for tuna, “Anacapa Bob” Kirk from Newbury Park, California landed this rare catch he hooked at about 200′ on a Megabait iron. As big as they get at 29#, these fish don’t come shallow and are not targeted by sport anglers. It didn’t take long for commercial and recreational take to effect the viability of all the world’s groupers. We strongly recommend anglers adopt a no-take policy on severly impacted species and release all you can. Follow this link for an easy release tool (bottom of page) to increase the mortality rate of fish with bladders.
Derwin Chang of San Diego landed this 65.5# WSB w/ 15# P-Line on May 16. 2009. Thanks to Sonny Carig for the submission.
“I was fishing the Barber Poles about a mile and a half outside of the Dana Point harbor with my fishing buddy Mike Graham Wwe were in 90′-100′ of water catching our share of nice size calico and sand bass. I was using my bass rod with 15# test P-Line, fishing the bottom, with a 6″ gulp grub on a 3/4oz. head, when all of a sudden the rod went big time bendo. The battle lasted for 45 min. and only after it took me for the ride of me life. When I was done landing the fish I managed to tow it back into the harbor were we weighed it at the fuel dock. It tipped the scale at 65.5 lbs., was 57″ in length and had a 32″ girth. I consider myself very fortunate to have caught such a fish and it just goes to show that you never know when you’re going to be in that right place at that right time.” Derwin Chang
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Dennis Spike with a kayak fishing record 75# white sea bass landed in early May 2000. The big croaker was 2″ shy of 5 feet with a 32″ girth and taken a few hundred yards off the first point on the south end of Broad Beach in Malibu. “Falcon and I were following the squid, looking for white sea bass. I threw a small Krocodile and was busted off on a 12 pound test outfit. Today, I use a heavier outfit than that for making bait! Flylining a giant live sardine on a 20 pound leader with 25 pound line, I got picked up, hooked up and pulled about 1000 yards in 3 magnificent runs. The fish was exhausted at the end and easily landed, lifted with a gaff hook under the lower jaw. Following me on the initial run, Falcon got hooked up trolling a swimbait and eventually boated a 59 pounder. The last thing I heard was a fading “You’re on your own” as he was pulled in another direction. We’ve shared many epic days since. We used the Tournament scale that isn’t licensed but is dead accurate. Falcon’s fish was exactly 59#, one pound shy of the scale limit. My fish was cut into 3 pieces with the belly contents bagged and weighed and scale recalculated and checked many times. There was virtually no fluid loss in the process. It is notable that the egg sack weighed 10#, was delicious and shared by many!”
Spike & Falcon near the end of an epic day on the water. Brian “Falcon” Campbell (on the left) of Newbury Park, California landed his 59 pounder.
Landed by: Arne Rovell of Escondido, California
I launched at around 4:45 am so I could make bait at Scripps Pier and then head back across the canyon. I picked up a handful of greenbacks at the pier and paddled back towards the point. Just before sun up I dropped a greenie down on a 3-way swivel with an 8 oz. torpedo and a 2/0 ringed gorilla hook on 40# mono. I didn’t have to wait long before my bait got hit hard. I let it run for a few seconds, set the hook, and I was on for a ride. The SE wind was up and the wind chop was already pretty hectic, so the sideways ride in the choppy slop made it even more fun. The fish made a couple sideways runs and then it was all up and down. I finally got the fish up about 25 minutes later and had a big and chunky YT on deck. I was thinking 30#-35# and was pretty ecstatic at this point. I distributed some bait to a couple other yakkers out there and sent one of my last two greenies out. I started paddling back to “the spot” when my bait took a massive hit. This fish hammered my bait and spun me around taking line at an amazing pace. I finally started getting some line back when the fish decided to head for one of the many lobster buoys out there. Luckily, it didn’t want to sit and circle around the buoy rope, so I was able to clear the rope and continue the sleigh ride. At this point I thought something was wrong with the drag setting on my Shimano TLD 15. Even with the drag buttoned down I couldn’t horse her in. My arms and back were tired from the first fish so I had to break a few times from the tug-of-war. About 20 minutes later I got her to color and was amazed at the size of the fish circling underneath me. With the one fish on my lap it made the gaff a little difficult, but both the fish and I were tired by this point so there wasn’t much of a fuss. I finally got her to gaff and threw her on top of the other fish that lay bleeding on deck. After securing her with my other fish I bled her as well and thought this one could be pushing forty+. With its head hanging over to my left, its tail was hanging in the water much like the 43#er I caught in January – so I was stoked and ready to paddle in.
I was all alone on the beach upon landing – no one to share my prize with and no one to take pictures. When I stuck the tape on the “smaller” one it measured 44 inches from nose to fork. I got pretty excited about then since the other was a tad bigger. I stuck the tape on her and I was shocked to see it top out at just over 52 inches – and fat, too, with a 27 inch girth.
I didn’t bother weighing them on my handheld – I went straight to the bait/tackle shop by my office for an official, certified weight. When I asked if their scale was up and running he said yes, and could I bring the fish into the shop in a bucket – a bucket I said?
The first one hit the scale at a whopping 39 lbs. 14 oz.
The second one floored me ….
Date: August 4, 2006
Landed by: Hal Kirman, Seal Beach California.
In Hal’s words…”It was our second day of kayak fishing the East Cape of Cabo. I was reflecting over our first day, catching dorado and the great yellowfin tuna my son (David) caught, when my rod bent in two and my kayak took off. From there, it was a forty minute battle of give and take. Mostly take which ultimately resulted in a 42# kayak record amberjack. (Landed) on 30# test, this fish was the thrill of a lifetime.”
Date – Saturday, May 17, 2008
Angler – Gareth Uyeda
Rod – Ugly Stik
Reel – Penn 9500ss
Main Line – 40# Power Pro Spectra
Leader – 90# American Fishing Wire Surflon
“My brother (Gareth) and I (Kevin) aka The Uyeda Brothers in Hawaii are tandem kayak fishermen. We call wahoo “ono” in Hawaii.
The day started with BEAUTIFUL conditions for paddling, but NO real strikes for about 4 hours. Then, when we least expected it…big strike! The battle was on. At first he swam straight down and held, then a blistering run! After a long battle, we saw it…it was a huge ono. Our personal best was 41.65 lbs caught only two months before this one. We took him to Haleiwa Fishing Supply to weigh him and he tipped the scales a 58.5 lbs.”
The Uyeda Brothers
Kevin & Gareth
42.6# Tombo-Hawaiian Albacore
Date: Landed December 17, 2008 by Matt Reed
“Been living in Hawaii since 1996. Fish was caught on rod and reel with 65# test line at ten in the morning off the Kona Coast of the Big Island. The fight lasted around 15 minutes.”