BY MERIT McCREA
SAN DIEGO — It was Tuesday morning as the Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program Visioning Focus Group meeting was just getting organized when this writer got a call from Capt. Bill Wilkerson of the boats Malihini and Horizon himself. He wanted to know about submitting a world record opah to the International Game Fish Association for an All-Tackle World Record.
Angler Beau Leanna had landed one tipping the scale at 188.6 pounds, or almost 8 pounds over the existing record set by Joe Ludlow in 2014 with his 180.75 pounder.
The big orange slab came on a knife jig. Congrats to Beau and the crew of the Horizon, skippers Bill Wilkerson and Ulysses (Ricky) Perez, crew Payton Freeman, Perice Pontyer, Gage Speltz and Dora Valencia.
Opah are reported to reach nearly 600 pounds or more and are “circumglobal” or all oceans, in temperate waters, most often in depths of 200 to 1,200 feet. To fish nerds these fish are remarkable for their endothermy or warm bloodedness, and especially their heated eyes.