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Monday, February 17, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Talk about a super moon: CdA angler hooks pending record opah

Pending Washington state-record moonfish caught out of Westport on Sept. 27, 2015, weighs 36 pounds. At left is angler Jim Watson of Coeur d'Alene and deckhand Joel Torrison of All Rivers & Saltwater Charters.   (Courtesy)
Pending Washington state-record moonfish caught out of Westport on Sept. 27, 2015, weighs 36 pounds. At left is angler Jim Watson of Coeur d'Alene and deckhand Joel Torrison of All Rivers & Saltwater Charters. (Courtesy)

Better than a full moon, harvest moon or super moon -- a pending state-record moonfish was caught on Sunday, Sept. 27, out of Westport.

Jim Watson of Coeur d'Alene was out with All Rivers and Saltwater Charters fishing for albacore tuna with a live anchovie when he landed the 36-pound opah, also known as moonfish, sunfish, kingfish, redfin ocean pan or Jerusalem haddock.

The current record is 28.18 pounds caught in 2013.

Captain Mark Coleman said Watson's rare catch landed 45 miles west of Westport was the first moonfish that his boat "has caught in six busy seasons and well over 10,000 albacore."

Opahs are large, colorful, warm-blooded, deep-bodied pelagic lampriform fishes caught most often in a bit of luck by tuna anglers.

The attractive moonfish are prized by trophy anglers for mounting, and they are a featured item in fish markets when available because of their lightly flavored pink-to-orangish meat that turns white when cooked.

 



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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