Angler Ron Van Kirk was looking forward to “breaking in” his new Daiwa Saltist STTLW40HA Levelwind Reel during a recent deep-water fishing trip off Virginia Beach, Virginia. He ended up doing so in a big way, landing a pending IGFA All-Tackle Record fish – a 7-pound, 8-ounce Darwin’s Slimehead – on his very first drop.
A veteran fisherman from Williamsburg, VA, Van Kirk was deep-dropping on Aug. 18 aboard the Crystal Clear D, skippered by Sean Doran of South Miles, North Carolina, when he made the pending record catch. Van Kirk landed the oversized Darwin’s Slimehead (a close relative of the orange roughy) at Norfolk Canyon – about 68 miles off Virginia Beach. The fish took a piece of cut squid dangled on 60-pound braided line in 600 feet of water.
“When I sent that very first bait down to the bottom, I had no idea it would produce a potential record,” said Van Kirk. “In addition to being a super smooth performer, it appears my new Daiwa reel is also a good luck charm,” he added.