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The Big Fish Story - On A Not So Big Rod


In southeastern Alaska, there's a good place to fish for halibut - Ketchikan.  And the scenery ‘is to die for’ – just really nice.  Sally and John Balch live in Ketchikan.  Their favorite halibut fishing spot is nearby but, it's a secret spot, so don't ask where it is, we don’t know either.

The Balches were fishing one Sunday and had been having good luck landing cod and halibut; so they decided to stop around before it was noon.  Sally started pulling in her gear, but then felt a tug on the line.  Sally thought she had snagged the bottom on something.  She then reeled in the line with all her strength, tired, and burned out – she gave the rod and reel  to John.

John and Sally fought the halibut over the next hour. They reeled it to the surface three times, but each time the halibut regained it’s strength and swam back down to the bottom of the ocean.

After more than an hour, they were successful in catching the ‘The Big Fish’, and after another hour were able to bring the halibut into the boat.

Back in Ketchikan the Balches towed their boat over to the local lumber yard where John works and used the fork lift to unload the halibut from their boat.  A small crowd gathered to listen to repeated tales of the adventure, and the Balches filleted the fish and gave away pieces to anyone who wanted a piece.

The halibut was 7 feet in length and weighed around 323 pounds.  Sally caught the large halibut with a bargain $39 Penn rod and reel combo.  Just goes show you that you don’t need the top of the ‘line’ equipment when fishing.  A lot of things happen when you least expect it.

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