Talk about beginner's luck. Joardan Savland caught his first halibut last week, a 273-pounder.
The 12-year-old didn't realize as he was fighting the massive fish that it was two feet taller than him and weighed three times as much.
Savland had been fishing with his father, Steve, and some friends for about an hour near Point Adolphus on July 3. At about 1:30 p.m. something tasted his bait.
"It didn't seem very big," Savland said. "It kind of nibbled for about 10 minutes and then I started reeling it up and it was like a rock."
That was the beginning of a 90-minute struggle, but nobody realized how large the halibut was. Since it was Savland's first time, the more experienced fishermen on the boat just thought he was struggling with a 75-pounder. The largest fish he'd caught before was a 40-pound king.
"It was really hard. I was sweating quite a bit," Savland said.
Then the door-sized fish surfaced.
"Since it was my first time out I didn't know how hard halibut fought, so when it came up it shocked me," Savland said.
They shot it twice and hauled it in. The halibut weighed 273 pounds.
In Savland's family, that's actually not that big. His grandfather caught a 440-pound halibut near the same spot, which held the record for 18 years, said Savland's mom Monica.