Oddities of the 2011 Season

Emily Lints1 comment
Looking back on the 2011 Salmon Season,

we reflect on a few 'oddities':

-Connor Duffy displaying his 'Uni-Suit.' What year did Grundens make these anyway!?-Swimming in a cold sea, using the flying bridge as a swimming bridge.                    (Click here to see the video on YouTube.) -A tattooed fish . . . can anyone explain these markings?-We realize that the reel doubles as a carnival ride! (You can also hear Kyle's token laugh in the background)                                                  (Click here to see the video on YouTube) -We catch a questionable fish.  The dock crew guessed Atlantic Salmon, but we're not convinced.  Maybe a hybrid?-Kyle grows a fish eyeball! Arrrggghhh!  Upcoming posts that customers have requested:  A lesson on salmon species and an informative post about just how sustainable our fishery is.  What else do you want to know?

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Anchorage Delivery!

Emily Lints

Ode To Our Customers

Anchorage salmon lovers,

do not fear.

We have not forgotten-

your fish is near!

Methow salmon afficionados,

you are to come.

We will venture south soon-

and bring you some.

Anchorage pickup info:

Come pick up your Scrumptious Sustainable Sockeye Salmon Shares
from Small Scales Seafoods!
When: this Friday, August 19th from 4:30-6:30pm.
             (although not preferred, appointments can be made for early the next morning or later in the evening if necessary) 
Where:  REI parking lot, Anchorage (1200 W Northern Lights Blvd)
            *Look for an older white and turquoise Ford F150 pickup truck parked in the back.
What to bring and know: Check or cash for $225 per 25 lb. share.  Each order will be packaged in a wetlock, non-insulated box.  If you have a long drive bring a cooler to put your fish into.  I will have the fish in freezers in the truck until you pick them up and will bring extra gel packs.  Each share is filleted and packaged in approximately 25 individual packages.
Questions?:  Email or call and I'll get back to you asap.

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Kathy visits

Emily Lints3 comments
Last summer Emily's dad, Ernie, came fishing with us and that prompted Emily's mom, Kathy, to come this summer and see what her daughter is up to. Now that the season has slowed down we had time to enjoy a fresh fish barbecue on the back deck while floating in calm seas.

20110801-112510.jpg Just as we were ready to eat the radio blared with a fish call and we packed up and headed north, eating while underway.

20110801-113459.jpg We ended up catching a few hundred fish which is not bad at all considering the season is nearly over. Kathy had the opportunity to find out just how thrilling picking fish can be.

20110801-114011.jpg As the tide turned the seas picked up to a three foot chop and by the time we returned back to the river Kathy had experienced all the components of a fun day of fishing. She's not quite ready to sign on as a deckhand for next season but she had fun and now knows what it's all about!

20110801-114601.jpg We are super psyched that our customers have had the "opportunity for great seafood at an amazing value." Our shipments have arrived in tip top shape and salmon lovers around the country are learning what super high quality wild Alaskan salmon really tastes like.

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Naps, Birthdays and Ashes

Emily Lints1 comment
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It is 11 pm. We are driving the boat south to anchor up in a good location for tomorrow's opener. The past few days have brought less fish but more sleep. We are always excited to catch fish but we were also psyched to sleep. Today the winds were blowing just right so that we could turn the boat off and drift with our net out while taking a long nap. Ahhhhh. Many of our shipped orders are going out this week. We hope you enjoy our fish! On more personal notes: Yesterday we celebrated Kyle's birthday! He is a ripe 29 years old. We celebrated by decorating the pilot house and eating carrot cake. Tonight we stopped the Northland in the midst of calm seas and a majestic sunset to spread some of Ernie's (Emily's dad) ashes. Ernie loved Alaska, fishing and the Northland. He is certainly with us in memories, tears and laughter this season. We love you Ernie! Good night.
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Sleep on the horizon?

Emily Lints1 comment
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It is 10pm and we are driving the boat back to our anchorage in the Kasilof River. There is a gale warning tonight and the seas have picked up to a four foot swell. The boat is performing wonderfully. We are going on six days of fishing in a row! This equates to lots of fish, not very much sleep, no showers and fish scales everywhere. For Cook Inlet this is a lot of continuous days. We are out fishing today on an Emergency Opener which means that Alaska Department of Fish and Game declared last night that drift gillnet fishing is open for today. It is a day by day game to know if we fish the next day or not. The run is so strong this year that many canneries are limiting the pounds of salmon that can be delivered. One day this week 250,000 salmon returned to the Kenai River! They are counted a ways up river after commercial and subsistence fishermen catch their share. The biologists want at least 1.2 million salmon to return to the Kenai river this season and that goal is almost reached. Too little or too many fish up a river can jeopardize future runs. Alaskan salmon runs are closely monitored to ensure sustainability of the resource. We have been catching about 500-1,000 salmon a day which is great for us. We dream of deck loading our boat but maybe that is asking for too much. It is hard to know when the 'fish faucet' will be turned off but when the fish are running you have to keep your net in the water!

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Fish by Fish

Emily Lints2 comments

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We are fishing the day away, catching fish by fish. The last two fishing periods the fish hitting the net have come in single hits, and not big schools of fish. With about five hours of fishing left we have about 1,000 fish iced in our holds. Here are a few terms for the different ways salmon hit our gillnet.

Size categories: Singles, Bunches, Groups, Mega hits

Adjectives for a type of hit: Splashers, Bobbers, Jiggers, Tuggers, Deep V, Lead line stealth hit, Tail dancer

For example, Erick Anderson in our radio group recently announced, "Yep, it looks like I had one tugger bunch on layout."

If you can think of terms we are missing comment below to build our list!

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Big Day Yesterday!

Emily Lints2 comments
Hi Folks, We had a fabulous day of fishing yesterday.  The fish were everywhere and we managed to catch 1,700 sockeye salmon (plus a few of other species).  It was a big day- we even picked fish in our sleep last night! We'll do a more exciting blog post soon, but just found out that there's an Emergency Opener for fishing tomorrow.  We're headed out of the harbor in a few hours. We have reached our order goal of 100.  All new orders will go on a waitlist.  We can now confirm that our prices will be the same as last season: $9/lb for Methow, Anchorage and shipped orders (+ shipping) and $8.50/lb picked up in Homer.

The fish are beautiful!

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A Day In Our Life as Fishermen

Emily Lints
We've had a lot of customers ask about how many nights we spend on the boat and what a day of fishing is like.  Here's a rundown of our last day on the water.
  • 7:00pm- Arrive at the boat to complete last minute chores and haul ice down to the boat.
  • 9:00pm- Put in ear plugs and hope to get some sleep.
  • 2:30am- Wake up and leave the Homer Harbor.
  • 3:00-5:00am- Emily drives the boat out of Kachemak Bay and up North into Cook Inlet.
  • 5:00-6:59am- Kyle takes over and continues North making his best decision of where to begin fishing.
  • 7:00am- The net goes out!
  • 7:00am-7:00pm- Fishing, fishing, fishing!  This involves looking for 'jumpers' (salmon literally jumping out of the water), listening to the radio to hear if anyone in our radio group has found fish elsewhere, running our boat up and down the length of the net to encourage fish to hit the net, whooping and hollering when fish do hit the net, pulling the net off and on the boat as needed, picking fish out of the net, bleeding, icing and taking good care of the day's catch.
  • 7:00pm- Make sure to have your buoy out of the water to avoid large fines from Fish and Game.
  • 7:00pm-12am- Motor our way back home, sometimes bucking the tide and hopefully moving slower because of a nice load of fish on board.
  • 12:00-2:00am- Deliver our fish, which involves sorting out the different species and loading them into fish totes.  Clean out the fish holds and the back deck.
  • 3:00am- Back at the yurt and ready for bed!
If there are things you want to know about our fishy business just ask!  We plan on heading out Sunday evening for another fish-filled adventure.

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