Posted by: socalsalty | July 8, 2011

Trip Report: I Like Big ‘Buts!

Shout out to old school Seattle rapper Sir Mixalot 😉

Last week, Channel Islands Sportfishing posted an amazing picture of a 67.2 lb California Halibut (aka ‘But, Flattie, Barn Door) on my Facebook page that was caught on the Mirage.  The fish is a pending IGFA world record!  All week I was excited about going down to San Diego to get in on the bluefin tuna bite.  Considering my Top 10 though and the fact that it was a WORLD RECORD, I changed plans and went north.

Lucky for him, Tony's a CPR angler

I met up with a bunch of the regulars from MDR…Leroy, Ryo, Jose, Tony, and Timmy.  The boat loaded up and was off around 10pm Sunday night.  After getting on the boat, I learned that a 59 lb-er was caught the previous day, so I was very excited about not only the possibility of scratching my ‘but off the Top 10 for the year, but also that there might be the chance to catch a real trophy fish.

After loading up and getting going, I went below deck and tried to get a few winks.  I woke up at 3am to the sound of the anchor dropping.  I tried to stay below for awhile and get a little more sleep, but everyone was headed up and I couldn’t stand it so joined them.  Very slow…we had live squid which was encouraging, but no one was getting bit.  At 4, I went back down and managed to get another hour.  Came back and still nothing.  This was a halibut and seabass targeted trip.  We were on top of the squid spawning grounds just off Santa Rosa Island.  When you go on these species specific trips, a lot of times it goes like this…slow.  But when things heat up, they get real exciting and that’s why you’re there.

Jose (on R) with his big flattie

Around 10am, Jose got on the board and pulled in a nice one…guessing around 40.  That got everyone perked up, but nothing else happened at that stop.  It went that way for awhile, stop, 1 or 2, couple rays in the mix and nothing else.  We’d gotten past lunch and everyone was feeling the clock.  Not sure what happened, but things started to pick up, highlighted by Matt, with a rent rod, bringing in a monster over the rail.  When he brought it up, it didn’t seem like it was much longer than Jose’s, but it was obviously thicker…much thicker…maybe 6 inches thick.  We picked off a couple white seabass to end the trip, but it was clear what the big fish was, Matt’s barn door flattie.

Matt: someone's knockin that door

I didn’t hang around to find out how much it weighed when we got back, but the landing later emailed me to let me know it was 59.8.  Wow!  It was a fish that would’ve been a record just a few days prior.  They grow ’em big up there and there’s still a small opening in the window.  Get out and get one.  It could be a record.  Tight lines!

Leroy representing for MDR with a nice WSB


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