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.

15 comments:

  1. Definatly something to think about:) Glad you at least caught one king:)Liz

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  2. yea you can definitely see that chum has been marred up a bit...glad u made it out...Take care and good fishing to you...hopefully it speeds up soon..Ben

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  3. Hi Liz- yeah it was nice to get at least one. The other day when I checked the price was $6.00 a pound so there isn't any way I'm going to eat it. I hope I can get out tomorrow and get some more to sell. I hate to sell just a few, but I will if that's all I get.
    Hey Ben- I hope something picks up soon. I noticed that there were a few dogs jumping in the bay. I suppose if I put on the dog gear and slowed down I could get more of them. I want to see if I can get a few more kings though before the price drops like it always does on the first of July. Sounds like the season is going to open on big tides so I'm not sure I'll go outside. I'll see how it looks around here in the next few days.

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  4. Love the boat pics! Hope it picks up for you, will be prayin that it does.

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  5. The king runs up this way are miserable too... They are calling for a good sockeye run.

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  6. Good blog dad, makes me miss the going out on the boat. I had such a good time last year when we went fishing in the rain hahaha. Cant wait till we can do it again. Love you

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  7. HI Autumn
    Thanks, I need all the prayers I can get. So does all the troll fleet. Its a hard life to begin with, and with the cost of fuel and groceries and parts, it's really hard to make a living.

    Hey Todd- I had heard it wasn't very good. It possibly could have to do with the cold water or it could be the sealion population. I heard from a friend who had to go fix a camera at a sealion rookery and he said there was 300-400 of the stinking things. At about 200 pounds of fish a day per sealion, it's no wonder there aren't any fish for humans. If we don't get a handle on this soon there won't be fish for anyone to catch, sport, charter or commercial.

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  8. goodnight Ben..night Brian....g'nite Autumn....Good night.....IRENE...

    -Emory Hunter

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  9. Friggin funny! There goes Tom Botts, he's not foolin around!

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  10. Hope the fishing picks up for you. Tom. The natural balance seems to be upset in many areas, really unsure what it will take to return, either. Food for thought...keeping you in my prayers for a good year. We received the books before we left for CO-did you get my check? One of the copies was for my MIL, who started reading it while we were there, and she likes it, too. (She also liked Wilderness Blues)Thanks for sending them so quickly. Hang in there! Hugs, Jill

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  11. Hi Autumn- Yeah, Emory was funny. That was when there was supposed to be a Tsunami and everyone was evacuating."Everyone is going to higher ground. There goes my neighbor Tom Botts- he's not fooling around. He's going to higher ground." Emory used to sit in the window of one of the houses at the cannery without a shirt on and look out. I assume he had something on the lower half, but I'd heard rumors he may not have.

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  12. Hi Jill- thanks for the good wishes. It's really a slow start to the season- unlike the past two years. You can't imagine how many times I've cursed myself for wanting to get into the fishing business. It always happens when fishing is poor, but then when I have a good day I'm so glad I'm a fisherman. I'm very fickle. Yep, got the check and it's in the bank now. Thanks for the order. As for the imbalance of nature- I strongly believe in the law of sewing and reaping. I think when we ask God to take a back seat in our lives, he complies. It shows up in nature and it shows up in mankind- guess that's all I'll say about that. Thanks for the prayers- I need all I can get!

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  13. Well, thanks for that thought dad! That was the man who used to hand out candy to us kids and video tape us...hmmm... :) There goes Emry...watching us kids...he's not fooling around!

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  14. Hi Autumn- Emory was a really nice guy. He liked kids. He was one of the first people to get a video camera here in town and he loved to use it. Too bad he didn't get a video of you doing the classic move down by the store that time. It could be something we could play every Christmas.

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  15. Ah, perhaps he should have been a little faster on his feet. And, we don't really need a video camera, we have you to repeat that for us!

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