(SANTA ANA, Calif.) — The California man who reeled in a 482-pound halibut off the coast of Alaska says his bait had an extra something at the end that, he joked, could have made the difference in snagging a fish nearly five times the weight of his usual catch.
“We were all using sardines and some octopus and I asked the captain what the round stuff was on the end of my line and the captain said, ‘That’s octopus brain,’” Jack McGuire told ABC News Monday. “So I caught him on octopus brain.”
McGuire, 76, of Santa Ana, California, caught the 95-inch fish while on his annual fishing excursion to Alaska with friends over the July 4 holiday.
McGuire and three of his friends were nearing the end of their nearly seven-hour day fishing with the Alaskan Anglers Inn fishing charter in Glacier Bay, Alaska, on July 3, when McGuire felt the bite.
“It took about 40 minutes in all,” McGuire said. “I put a lot of pressure on him to get him up as fast as I could.”
“One guy was videotaping, one was holding the fishing rod, and a captain and two friends of mine pulled him into the boat,” he said. “Once we got the head over the railing, the captain said, ‘Get out of the way.”
McGuire, who describes himself as being a fisherman since he could walk, says he is happy to have had the experience.
“A record never came to mind,” McGuire said. “I wanted to catch the fish and also make sure nobody got hurt bringing it into the boat.”
“It was a wonderful fight and I enjoyed the battle of the fish,” he said.
Now that McGuire is back home in Santa Ana, he, his fellow fishermen, his family and likely a lot of friends are now going to enjoy the benefits of his hard work.
“I have a 6-foot freezer and right now I have a freezer full of halibut so we’re going to have a fish fry,” McGuire said, noting that he and each of his fishing companions brought home 100 pounds of halibut.
Even more remarkable for McGuire, the 482-pound catch that has put him in the headlines now is not even his biggest catch ever.
“My biggest fish was a sturgeon out of the Columbia River about six years ago. That was 832 pounds,” McGuire told ABC News. “But those you have to release and put back in the water.”