2017 Halibut is in The Freezers!
The 2017 halibut season was expedient and fishy- everything a fisherman can ask for. In the 10 years that Kyle has been skiff fishing this is by far the best fishing he has seen. The halibut were the ideal size, 25-50 lbs, and they were all healthy looking fish.
This was skiff fishing version 3.2. meaning it's the third boat kyle has rigged for halibut and the second year he has fished it. As a result the setup time was short and the operation worked as planned. The long line is set off of the stern of the boat with a bouy and anchor at each end, hooks are snaped on to the line at a spacing of about fourty feet and the line sinks to the bottom. We fish shallow waters, about 35ft. After several hours of letting the gear soak the bouy is retrived and the line is brought back into the boat using an electric pot hauler. The fish are gaffed at the surface to make sure they are landed and bled as soon as they are brought on. After the line has been returned to fishing the halibut are gutted, gilled and iced before returning to the harbor.
The highlight of the season was letting a 150+ pound halibut go. We see this size of fish every couple years and keep a pair of bolt cutters on board to cut the hook out when the fish comes to the surface. These size halibut have the highest market price because of their high yield, however they are also major egg producers and the meat quality is not so good. So on the F/V Skiffy we relese them and hope that our spawn (i.e. our kiddos) can catch their spawn.
A few days after catching our halibut quota, Kyle flew out to Naknek, AK for the start of salmon season. He met his brand-new crew member, Vitaly from the Ukraine, for the first time and luckily they've hit it off. We are grateful that Jaime is returning this season and holding the second permit that we recently purchased.
The F/V Northland, which we hope to sell after this season, had a close call. Kyle and his buddy Eric were chatting on the back deck when Kyle smelled a "hot smell" and went into the cabin to investigate. The cabin was smokey and with even more smoke in the engine room. Kyle found two wires sparking and attributed them to a faulty anchor solenoid valve! The plastic casing had already melted off. Luckily Kyle was on the boat when the wires started to spark, otherwise the season may have never started!!
Boats are starting to slide into the water and Kyle and crew launched today. They will run the systems, do some touch up paint and await a good fish call!
On the diesel VW rabbit front (that was abandoned on the side of the road this spring when the engine ran away), the property owner held the car ransom until Kyle delivered the requested moose steaks, backstop and chorizo. The property owner lifted the rabbit with the forks of his skid steer and placed it back near the road. Then Kyle miraculously replenished the fluids in the 'ol rabbit and she fired up.