During one of the most wave-starved August’s Southern California has ever seen, the occasional flat spell escape prevents local surfers from turning to a life of crime. Luckily the California waters hold no shortage of other monstrous creatures and this past weekend SWELL & friends hit the Channel Islands for a tuna chase and ended up hooking into an endangered Giant Black Seabass.
After a morning of releasing undersized White Seabass and Calicoes on the west side of Catalina, we cruised over to San Clemente Island and dropped our lines. After a minute of fishing we thought we had caught a kelp-fish but after a two hour fight with the dude above, we knew we had done much better. When the beast finally surfaced, the entire school of Black Seabass followed and we knew we had to figure out how to reunite the tired giant with his school before a lingering seal made a meal of him.
To jump-start the revival, Dave jumped in and bear-hugged the 150lb fish and began trying to swim it down, since the fish’s inner air bladder had inflated on his ascent. After multiple dives, we hand cranked the fish’s tail and voila, he dove back into the depths.
San Clemente Island Packing Kit
Pack light with Poler, and keep cool with trunks and tanks (click pics to shop the styles)