This may very well be a first: A rod and reel catch of a rare Oarfish in the waters off Southern California.
The catch was made on Monday (6/29) on the sportfishing vessel Fortune.
"Yeah, we caught an oarfish today," exclaimed Fortune owner/captain Bruce Smith in his report to the fishing website 976-TUNA.
The unusual catch, estimated by Smith as about 20 feet in length, was made after the fish was apparently snagged off the coast of Catalina Island in just 30 feet of water, unusually shallow for the normally deep-dweller. It didn't appear to have taken a bait or lure.
I'm told when the fish was brought to the surface, it was still alive but looked like it was dying. A crew member attempted to gaff it in order to bring it onboard the Fortune, but the soft flesh would not hold.
"It was very surprising, a once in a lifetime thing to even see one," said Smith.
Earlier this month, a 13-foot oarfish was found washed ashore on a Catalina Island beach.
Back in 2013, a massive 18-foot long oarfish was discovered on a Catalina beach. You can read more about this mysterious fish here.
Maybe they should rename Catalina to "Oarfish Island?"