Sunday, June 24, 2012
Trollers, Sealions and Wildfires
With the help of my daughter Jen, I was able to finish up enough projects on the boat to take it out for a few hours of fishing the day before yesterday. By the time I got started, it was already after 2:00 PM, but I was just glad to go out. The cloudy, rainy weather that I was cursing when trying to paint finally dissipated and was replaced with brilliant, hot sunshine. The temp went from 55 or so to over 80 degrees overnight. Lovely. I felt like a Russet potato baking away in an oven. I looked at the thermometer on the wall and it was working it's way past 90. Thunderation it was hot! I spent a few hours dragging around the bay with only a couple of shaker kings and a grey cod for my efforts. Yesterday I went out again, but again it was afternoon before I could get away. The sun was just as hot as the day before, but at least there was a breeze to cool things down a little- it was only about 75 in the pilot house. Of course I'm sitting there with a long sleeved flannel shirt on to keep from getting sunburned and sweat was pouring off of me like a fat man in a sauna- which in a way I guess I was. Anyway, after about three and half hours, just as I was reaching the height of disgust at the fishing, I caught a fairly decent king. Of course that energized me and I mistakenly thought I might catch one or two more so I made a few more passes to no avail. When I finally realized that I needed to go home I pulled the gear and found a dog salmon on one line. For the time I spent, this really wasn't a very good haul, but considering the poor fishing for everyone this year, I'll take it. It's pretty unusual to see so many trollers tied up at the dock this time of year. There was a large fleet that showed up from Sitka to take advantage of the dog run, but so far it hasn't materialized. I don't know if that's attributable to the cold water or the number of sealions that have multiplied many times over or if its from illegal fishing out on the high seas. The dog salmon I caught was net marked, meaning it passed through a net and escaped out on the ocean somewhere. I spoke to the local fish and game officer who went out fishing on the coast several days ago. He said a sealion as big as a skiff took three kings off his lines, plus two flashers and a downrigger cannonball. I was thinking that it would be nice to have one of these huge lures like the one hanging at Grandma Nina's coffee shop. I'd like to load the tail with some kind of explosive and then when a sealion tried to chomp it he'd be in for a pleasant surprize. There are several hatcheries up and down the coast of Southeast where they raise salmon to turn loose into the wild. The commercial fishermen help to support these hatcheries with a three percent fee for every salmon they catch, whether or not they are from the hatchery. I think it would be money well spent to raise killer whales and feed them sealion meat from the time they are small until they get released into the wild. It would bring a balance back to the ecosystem that is sorely lacking because of all the environmental and animal rights groups- most of whom don't live here and aren't impacted by their radical beliefs. I do so wish that we could return to a simpler time where there is a balance to things. Don't cut down all the trees or catch all the fish-save some for future generations, but don't restrict good harvesting practices. People need jobs and lumber and toilet paper and fish that isn't raised in a pen. I can't help but wonder if the wildfires down south wouldn't have been less severe if some of the trees in those national forests had been logged. I guess that's just a matter for discussion at another time.