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Jason Stafslien catches 200-plus pound fish in Alaska

The halibut produced over 100 pounds of food for the nine people on the trip.

Jason Stafslien
Jason Stafslien poses next to the estimated 205-pound halibut he caught while on a fishing trip in Homer, Alaska, on Aug. 21, 2022.
Contributed / Jerry Stafslien
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HOMER, Alaska — Jason Stafslien is a very experienced fisherman, and his experience is paying off.

Stafslien along with eight others flew to Homer, Alaska, for a six-day fishing trip on Friday, Aug. 19, and caught a 73-inch halibut on Sunday, Aug. 21, that is estimated to weigh over 200 pounds.

An angler since he was young, this is the Jamestown man's second trip to Alaska to fish in the Cook Inlet.

Due to a forecast of rough weather, Stafslien said the boat trip stayed closer to shore than they did during his previous trip. Stafslien said they went 40 minutes outside of Homer. Stafslien said the weight was estimated based on what the boat captain read in a book on the measurement of the fish. The book noted a 73-inch fish is supposed weigh approximately 205 pounds.

"We had maybe a couple others that were around 60 pounds, we only did one day on the ocean," Stafslien said.

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He said the captain, who has been a deckhand and a captain for eight years, said that it was the largest halibut she’s ever had on her boat.

“This was 73 inches and she said the previous biggest one was 72, so the captain and the deckhand were very excited," he said.

Stafslien said the entire process of catching the fish took about 20 minutes.

“We were in 105 feet (deep water) and right away when it hooked up it stayed at the bottom, and I just held it and I just tried to hold the rod and tire it out by holding it instead of trying to reel and give back all the line the entire time,” Stafslien said. “So, for the first 10 minutes, I mainly just held it with a lot of pressure and that thing just kept digging on the bottom and then eventually maybe like 10 minutes into it, I could start getting some line on it. Once it started coming up then it wasn’t nearly as bad so it tired out a bit.”

200 pound fish
The 205-pound fish that Jason Stafslien caught while in Alaska on Sunday, Aug. 21.
Contributed / Jerry Stafslien

Stafslien said eating the halibut later that day was well worth the effort that it took to catch it. He also said he will be getting a replica of the tail mounted to display in his home.

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Stafslien said Sunday was the only day they have gone out into the ocean. The rest of the days are spent fishing for salmon in the Kenai River. He said he considers it a very successful trip, catching multiple kinds of fish.

“Two halibut that day and then I’ve gotten a limit of salmon each day,” Stafslien said. “On the Kenai River, it’s two a piece, so I’ve had four silver salmon from the Kenai and then three silver salmon from a flyout that goes to a different river. I’m not sure what that name is, we fly across the Cook Inlet, and we can keep three over there. I’ve kept seven salmon and two halibut.”

Hello,
My name is Max O'Neill. I am a Sports Reporter at The Jamestown Sun. I am a native New Yorker, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a degree in Television-Radio.
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