The Outpost Report: June 23, 2010
June 23, 2010 | 1700 Views
CHINOOK-ZILLA! June 23, 10 am, The Outpost, Port Louis. Outpost Chef Michael Caballo is an avid fisherman preferring a bamboo fly rod and dabbling for trout. That was until he experienced catching his first Chinook. It happened during start up and since then his wife and co-chef Tobey has worked hard to keep him focused on the kitchen.
Michael has a double digit birthday coming up next week and Tobey asked if I would take Michael out for a couple of hours after breakfast service. Michael hadn’t been out since the guests arrived 2 weeks ago and looking for an excuse to get out myself, I obliged.
Being a fly fisherman Michael likes to be involved, so I taught him how to cut his herring and how to work the downrigger. We had one rod at 30 feet so I offered; “drop this one down somewhere in the 50’s-60’s”. Michael chose 57 and gently pulled back the downrigger brake as instructed and watched his herring disappear into the depths.
His roll was somewhat reminiscent of a propeller blade on an old bi wing plane (big, round, fast, wobbly circles), it looked like the herring was going to fly off the hook at any moment. The cut was a little jagged with some entrails getting tossed around with all the turbulence. I felt it was only a matter of time before the belly was going to rip out…we called it the “Caballo” roll…and down she went.
Within minutes a blob at 80 feet appeared on the sounder, Michael’s rod pulsed mildly but didn’t come unclipped from the downrigger. Michael grabbed it and fought the downrigger ball for a good 10 seconds before I told him to give it a yank, he reeled down, unclipped the line from the wire and attempted to set the hook. It didn’t look like much as the fish was gliding directly up to the surface and had no idea it was hooked. The submarine sized fish glided up beside the boat before it realized something was wrong and then exploded off. We knew it was big but I had no idea just how big!
It was 30 + minutes later before we got a net around the great beast, measured it out at 48” x 31” (57.7 pounds) and got it back in the water to release. JP was nearby and came up to have a look but didn’t have a camera aboard. We were able to snap the following shots (which never do it justice) but we didn’t want to cause this fish any excess stress. After a few minutes of reviving he was kicking hard, I loosened my grip and we watched him swim away.
Happy Birthday Michael, as the biggest WCFC fish caught so far this year the “Caballo Roll” might go down in history. This fish does not qualify in the SSC but it does prove that George Morine’s 48.4 pound fish is beatable. Enjoy these photos, I don’t expect I’ll get to experience something like this very often.
First look at the fish…
In the next photo Look at my left hand and notice how deep his back is, you can just see his dorsal fin directly under my chin. What a fish…
It’s almost as big as I am?
May you run the gauntlet of obstacles…
May you go home to the river of your birth…
And may you send generations of monsters our way.
GO OUTPOST GO!!!!