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The Pleasure and Pain of Halibut Fishing

Both pleasure and pain accompany halibut fishing. When the fish are biting, little can match the excitement of hooking one since an angler never knows what's on the other end of the line-dinner or something less desirable like a skate or an Irish Lord, a member of the sculpin family. However, jigging in 200 feet of water with a two-pound lead weight while fighting the tides requires stamina and strength.

On July 9, we met at Captain Daniel Donich's boat, Optimist, in the Homer, Alaska, harbor at 7:00 a.m. and headed for the kelp beds. On our way out, we saw numerous otters. Some had pups on th...