Washington Kayak Angler Lands 124-Pound Record Halibut

A kayak angler off the coast of Washington State near Edmonds hooked the largest halibut from a kayak in the lower 48 at 124 pounds. 

The halibut put up quite a fight too for one remarkable fishing story, according to press reports in the Herald of Everett and Kayak Fishing Magazine.

Leo Vergara, 34, had been building on his kayak angling skills before taking to the ocean in search of a record halibut. He had watched Youtube videos of other fishermen, including two anglers who previously set the record for largest halibut caught on a kayak in the lower 48 states.

Lee Landrum caught an 85-pound flat fish in 2014 and Brad Hole an 82-pounder in 2013. None came close though to Vergara’s recent 124-pounder. 

Catching the monster was no easy task either. After a grueling struggle, Vergara had finally gotten the big fish to the kayak when it dove back down to 120-feet. Finally, he got it to the surface again when a fellow angler harpooned it. 

But this wasn’t enough to slow the fish down, which continued to flail as it was attached to a line connected the kayak sending Vergara in the water. Managing to hoist himself back onto the boat, another angler stabbed the fish with a knife and they were able to bring it to shore. 

“John told me later I looked like I was riding a bull while holding the stringer,” Vergara told the Herald. “The front was all lifted up out of the water and I had 4 or 5 miles to pedal back… We had seen big seals swimming around earlier, so that was my big fear, that one would come up and try to steal it.”

Fortunately none of that happened, and Vergara, a native of Mexico, has himself in the fishing record books.

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