(Photos: Austin Ensor)
OCEAN CITY, Md. - Austin Ensor and his Maryland fishing buddies were out this past weekend trying to drag out fishing season as long as possible and now their rare find may have them hanging on a little further into fall.
Ensor reeled in a 105-pound opah on Sunday. The fish, also known as a moonfish, typically is found in tropical waters. It is also the only known warm-blooded fish, giving it an advantage as a predator in the depths of the ocean.
Ensor says his crew had just caught an 80-pound swordfish when the opah latched on to their bait. They could tell by the fight the fish put up that it was going to be bigger than the swordfish.
It took nearly an hour and a half to reel in the opah, but much of the crew had no idea what they had caught. Ensor says he finally realized he had seen the fish before.
"The only reason I knew it was an opah is because I follow some friends out on the West Coast and some friends in Hawaii on the big island over there that catch them periodically, and I have seen them in Instagram posts and things like that, and then I saw him come up and I said it's an opah," said Ensor.
The opah Ensor and his friends caught might be one of the only ones ever caught in Ocean City by a non-commercial fishing boat. It remains unclear why the opah would be in such cold waters in Maryland.
The crew says their latest catch is their most memorable.
"It was great,” said Ensor. “Got it on the boat, got it in and probably a highlight of our season. That’s for sure.”