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?
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:
Just as we were ready to eat the radio blared with a fish call and we packed up and headed north, eating while underway.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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."
The fish are beautiful!
- 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!