Halibut Fishing From Kayaks: My New Article in Sport Fishing Magazine

My new article in Sport Fishing magazine offers how-to techniques and tips for catching big California halibut from kayaks. It's always an honor to be asked to write for one of the world's premier publications. Working on this project was especially rewarding because I didn't have to travel half way around the world to get the photos and interview the anglers!

I accompanied Southern California kayak fishing expert Dave Pliska for several days and got a wealth of information, as well as many photos from above and below the waterline. He's landed many huge halibut, won many kayak fishing tournaments, and even placed well in tournaments for boating anglers. You can bet those boat owners felt a bit miffed when he paddled up with one of the top fish! Here's a shot of Dave and I at work:
Pliska is a member of the Hook 1 Kayak Fishing Crew located in nearby Dana Point. I met him at a fishing convention years ago in San Diego and have used him as a resource when talking about the local kayak fishing scene. When the chance came up to write an article for such a prestigious publication, we got back together and spent many hours documenting his unique approach and kayak fishing rigs.

The most challenging part of the assignment was getting the shot for the opening spread. My editor at the magazine thought it would be great to get an underwater photo with a halibut in the foreground, and the angler in the background- quite a tricky task! It's one thing to be able to get an underwater shot of a live fish, but the difficulty is increased many times when the angler, who is above the water, must be visible in the shot as well. I've done that a bunch with marlin and sailfish underwater photos in gin-clear water, but never tried it in the winter in San Diego where the water can get quite murky and cold.

Of course halibut don't grow on trees, and just when we needed a fish to cooperate, the bite slowed and the anglers couldn't find a fish! Fortunately Kiyo Sato, another champion kayak angler, hooked a good one and I was able to finally get the shot. I was so stoked that as soon as I got home, I emailed it to my editor and said, "How's that!" She must have liked it because it became the opening spread. Be sure to pick up your copy at newsstands now.