What do you do with a 20″ Kelp Greenling?

June 22, 2014

My little skiff bounces in the rough waves of the Alaskan Gulf, but I’m too busy to notice. My rod tip is bent over hard as something attempts to escape my hook with heavy head shakes. Within a few minutes, however, I’m able to wrestle the fish from the emerald waters with my trusty Revo 60, and a brilliant orange Kelp Greenling surfaces still angrily thrashing at the surface. The amazing part is the size of the greenling: 20″ long, nearly a legal lingcod back at home in California…

So what do I do with this gorgeous trophy sized fish? Well, a 16/0 circle hook is slipped through it’s lips and it was let back down into the dark waters at the end of my 2 speed Avet HX.

I started counting…

1…

2…

3…

4…

5…

6…

7…

8 – THUMP.

I flipped the lever drag and felt as something stopped the greenling in it’s tracks a mere 8 seconds after heading back down into the 80 ft deep water.

I waited for a few seconds until there was a gentle pressure at the end of my line, then slowly reared back to set the circle hook. At full drag, my 40-60 lb class rod arced to life and immediately dove into the water surface. I braced myself against the side of the skiff and pulled back as hard as I could.

With a little luck and the 2:1 gear ratio, I was able to turn the fish away from the rocky bottom. This is what you get when you let a 20 inch greenling swim back down in Alaska…

My new Lingcod PB at approximately 50 lbs:

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