Huge fish ‘from Mars’ caught in Elliott Bay

A sunfish weighing up to 350 pounds was caught within view of the Seattle skyline on Tuesday night. It took four men to pull the fish aboard a boat.

By Mark Yuasa
Seattle Times staff reporter

The warm ocean currents that drift north every summer off the Washington coast can bring along some bizarre nonnative fish.

The latest unusual fish to show up didn’t occur in the ocean, but way inside Puget Sound right in front of the downtown Seattle skyline.

On Tuesday night, Todd LaClair, a Muckleshoot tribal fisherman, got his gill net tangled into something huge in Elliott Bay off Harbor Island.

“I was fishing at about 100 feet deep, and as I pulled in the net I could feel that it was big,” LaClair said. “When it first came up, it startled me and looked like something that came from Mars.”

LaClair soon discovered that it was a giant sunfish — also known as a mola — which he estimated at 325 to 350 pounds. The fish was so large that he asked for assistance from a larger vessel, and with the help of three other people managed to bring the fish aboard.

Read more and see picture at The Seattle Times