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29" Keeper Halibut Ventura, CA Ft. Dan Harding

4/29/21 Checking conditions I saw a low tide at sunrise. Decided to get on the beach while it was still dark outside to try my luck at a White Sea Bass. Started casting at 4:15 am.

It's always a strange experience, almost like being on the moon, when I am standing shin-deep in the waves of the ocean with nothing but darkness or moonlight overhead. Blinded by the sound of the surf as it fills the auditory space where my ears are usually ringing from Tinnitus. A zen routine commences. I engage in my favorite activity; slowly dragging texas rig 5" rib baits on the sandy bottom beaches scattered with rocks, where flat brown toothy sand monsters are known to live. I pop the rod tip of my 9'6" Daiwa North Coast Medium-Heavy as necessary, to avoid a snag, and I pause the bait now and then, when I think I can get away with it, without snagging! If I think I might snag, I keep the bait moving just a hair faster as to gently graze the bottom. As the slow winding of my reel continues, I consider where the fish might be. Where I might try casting next. Otherwise, my mind drifts or rests, and I let it. This is a form of meditation. And hypnosis. In a trance, I completely forget about my surroundings. It's almost spooky. The fishing started off really slow this day. As if nothing scary was lurking in the dark after all. So I fished my way up the beach to a sandy drop-off at the edge of some rocky, vegetated structure in deeper water to my left. As I brought the fish in I realized it felt pretty heavy, but I wasn't expecting anything near 30". I landed this 29" right on the wet sand of the beach behind me. A photographer named Dan Harding happened to be walking by and asked if he could snap some pics. I'm so incredibly grateful for these photos. When I succeed at finding a link to Dan's work I will share it here.


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