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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

September 1, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Follow up to Congressman Norm Dick’s reel catch at Sitka, Alaska

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Here is a follow up from Captain Tom Ohaus, owner of Angling Unlimited in Sitka, Alaska who saw first hand Congressman Norm Dicks (D-6th District Bremerton), a salmon fishing fanatic, hooking onto a pink that was eventually gulped up by a huge lingcod.

“That lingcod story took place aboard my boat,” Ohaus said. “It was pretty interesting. The ling never let go, so we unhooked the poor pink and the ling drifted a few feet below the boat, turn the pink head first into its mouth, and then the pink disappeared into the gullet. I suspect the lingcod then went to the bottom and rested on that meal for a few days. ”

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While lingcod fishing season was open during their fishing trip, the one that bit his pink was way beyond the legal-size slot limit, and it had to be released. They estimated to lingcod to be between 35 and 40 pounds.

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Here are some facts about lingcod:

Lingcod are unique to the west coast, and can be found as far south as California with their abundance growing the further north you go up to Alaska. They dwell on the bottom, and tend to prefer rocky reefs, crevices, ledges and pinnacle areas at depths 50 to 300-plus feet.

Lingcod can live up to 14 years for males, and 20 years for females. They can reach as large as 70 pounds, but most are 15 to 35 pounds.

Lingcod are voracious predators, feeding on nearly anything including invertebrates and a wide range of fish, such as herring, kelp greenling, flounder, rockfish and like in this case a salmon. They also like to feed on small octopus or large squid.

(Photos courtesy of Tony Floor)

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