THIS 8-POUND, 7-OUNCE corbina would have qualified for a new all-tackle world record if it would have been officially certified by IGFA, but longtime surf angler John Minikus opted for the dinner plate instead.
John is a light-tackle corbina expert who has refined his big fish technique over a lifetime in pursuit of the challenging gamefish, “I’ve been doing this a long time and I still feel strongly that those fish are smarter than me,” said the dismissive angler.
John is a sight fisherman and insists that he sees as many as 100 big fish before he catches one, slightly exaggerating. The key for John is a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses to spot the fish, and an ultra-light rig with 4-pound test P-Line. He favors a 1000 series Shimano Reel and a rare, old Kunnan parabolic trout rod.
In a technique simply called “hunting”, John sights, stalks and carefully approaches a potential fish, “I prefer skinny water, meaning lower tides that are more compatible with spotting fish.” remarked Minikus. “Once I am on a fish, then it is all about a stealth presentation to the feeder. If the fish won’t take, I will often return to the fish a little bit later.”
Most often John fishes a fly-lined sandcrab on an old Mustad, short shank live-bait hook, a hook type preferred over years of mastering this technique. “In most cases, I watch the fish take the bait.” remarked Minikus.
Once the fish is hooked, then it is a matter of an accurate drag setting, a soft parabolic rod, monofilament with stretch and a boat load of patience, “I just follow the fish and let her tell me where she wants to go. Eventually, once she tires, I guide her in for a landing.”
The number of big corbina John has landed over the years is impressive. (He sent me a photo of a fish he caught last year that was bigger than the 8-7) He is a tower of knowledge and probably the most experienced corbina angler I’ve ever spoken with.
The world of surf fishing and specifically the pursuit of corbina is a small niche in Southern California sportfishing. The pursuit rarely exhibits the prestige of other fisheries. But to those in the know, the corbina, and explicitly a big corbina, is the most challenging fish in all of southern California saltwater angling. “World records…who cares.” commented the savvy angler, “I just love to fish for them.”http://www.wonews.com/t-SouthernCASaltwater_WorldRecordCorbina_082317.aspx