Also known as moonfish or sunfish, opah are large saltwater fish that have a habit of swimming with tuna schools. They are rare finds for anglers, but Orange County anglers Jeff Patrick and Thor Brisbin managed to land a 125-pound specimen 1,000 yards off Newport Beach. According to CBS Los Angeles the two men were on a half-day fishing trip with Davey’s Locker Sportfishing when they hooked the opah. Weighing up to 600 pounds and measuring as large as six feet wide, the opah is a formidable opponent.
Aboard the ship Western Pride, Patrick and Brisbin fought the opah for 30 minutes before being able to bring it in. The fish caught a dropper loop with sardine roughly 100 feet down, causing the anglers to initially mistake it for a thresher shark.
“In over 50 years, we have never caught an opah on a half day fishing trip,” Brisbin said. “Quite a catch.”
Brisbin also runs whale watching cruises when he is not landing giant fish.
Video of the catch can be seen below:
Images courtesy Thor Brisbin