Less than a week before the Seward Halibut Tournament's final day, Soldotna angler Tim Berg wrestled a herculean halibut from the Gulf of Alaska on Tuesday morning that could be worth $10,000.
Fishing with lifelong friend Terry Gonsalves aboard the Grande Alaska to celebrate Gonsalves' retirement from the Napa Police Department in California, it was Berg's 319.6-pound humdinger, landed on a king salmon rod rigged with 40-pound-test line, that truly got the party started.
"It was just lucky, lucky, lucky," Berg said by cell phone from Soldotna. "This was an experience of a lifetime."
Luck? Maybe. But reeling in a monster flatfish on 40-pound test in about 45 minutes required Berg to show off some special fishing skills, too. The 7-foot-4, 319.6-pound halibut is taller but slightly lighter than NBA star Shaquille O'Neal (7-1, 325).
It took 40 minutes of pumping and reeling to get the fish to the surface. The fish was so large, Gonsalves shot it with a shotgun, the captain of the boat gaffed it and another passenger, Brian Erickson, harpooned it.
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