Enumclaw’s Jim Pedersen has a whale of a tale to tell – a true tale.
After being a heavy equipment trucker and log hauler Pedersen, 63 decided it was time for some rest and relaxation. So for the past two years he and his wife Pam have headed to Alaska to go fishing.
“I snagged what will probably be the biggest fish I will ever catch in my life,” he said about his May trip.
“We had been tugging in some bigger-than-average halibut, but the seas were getting a bit tumultuous so we all agreed that the next halibut we caught was going to be the clincher and we’d head into port for the day,” fishing captain Phil Carlson said.
“Well, Jim’s fish, a 430-pound halibut, that was 30 pounds shy of being the record for the state of Alaska, just happened to be that last fish of the day. What a memorable way to culminate the day,” Carlson said.
Pedersen said he and the crew toiled with the monster for about 45 minutes.
“I felt like by the time I had actually pulled that bad boy next to the boat I had reeled in about 10,000 feet of 80-pound test, because you really do have to keep the line tight or the heavy ones will break the cable very quickly,” Pedersen said.
After weighing the finned behemoth and taking photographs of the second-largest halibut ever tugged aboard an Alaskan charter boat in recorded history, Angling Unlimited processed the fish and the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game decapitated it. There were 100 pounds of halibut steaks to be harvested.
Alaskan authorities lopped off the massive head because they wanted to give it to the International Pacific Halibut Commission to determine how old the fish was. When a 459-pounder was caught in 1996, it was estimated the fish was about 30 years old.