Monday, July 29, 2013

The Hollywood















   A few days ago I went down to the harbor to do something on the boat and I saw a lot of unusual activity on the transit dock. Upon closer examination I saw that the old wooden seiner the Hollywood sank at the dock. Several months ago I had mentioned to the harbormaster that it looked like it was setting down a little bit. I can't remember what the response was. A week or so ago it was really starting to look  like it was taking on water, but I didn't give it much thought. It was docked right where everyone who came to the harbor would see it, so it wasn't a surprise that it was looking a little shaky. I think there was ample opportunity for the powers that be, either the owner or the harbormaster to deal with it, but obviously that didn't happen. You know that old saying- there's never enough time to do it right but there's always enough time to do it over." ? Well, this was kind of like that. The owner was out getting ready for a seine opening and had to come charging in to deal with the boat. I know that he lost out on several days of fishing time and I don't know what the expense is going to be as far as hiring equipment to try and right it. It took the better part of a week as I recall to finally get it to where it could be towed to the haul out and put on solid ground. I passed by the boat the other day and surprisingly it doesn't look bad from the bottom to the deck. Of course I didn't get out and examine it or anything so there could be severe damage on the side I couldn't see, although I don't think so or it wouldn't have floated long enough to be towed to it's resting place. I'm not sure what's going to happen to it now. I don't wish something like this on anyone, but if it's going to happen, it's better to have it happen tied to the dock than out in the middle of the ocean. If you happen to own a boat, keep in mind that boats are a lot of expense. They're like having a little kid, they have to be taken care of. Zincs should be checked every year and replaced if need be, thru hulls need to be looked at, rubber boots on out drives need to be checked,  seams need caulked on wooden boats and bilge pumps should be tested. I know it's a pain, but if you want to keep the water on the outside, you need to do the maintenance.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fishin' Stuff




Flasher and Hoochies
Flashers and hoochies on the job

  For my birthday or perhaps Fathers Day, or perhaps both, I don't know, my daughter Jen and her family blessed me with a flasher and some hoochies from Cabelas, the giant outdoors outfitters. You would think that being in the fishing business as they are, they would be well familiar with all of the jargon that fishermen have for assorted fishing gear. However, that isn't the case. Jen went in and asked the salesman where she could find the hoochies. I guess he must have thought she should have been shopping in a sex shop or something from the look he gave her. She had to explain what they were used for and that they mimicked an octopus. I think they call them skirts or some such thing. Anyway, I'm the proud owner of a glow in the dark flasher and two new packs of hoochies that I love. I tried out the flasher on one line, but even though that line was catching fish when I used the conventional gear, when I put that new flasher on, I couldn't get a bite. The other three lines all caught fish, but not that one. I think it scared any fish in the area away. The large black dots on the flasher probably look like shark eyes or some such thing and salmon don't like sharks any too well. I'll try it again as the days get shorter and it gets dark sooner. Maybe the glow in the dark feature will work better then. I once looked up flashers on line, trying to buy some Hot Spot's for the upcoming season. What I found was a different kind of flasher. I had no idea so many people loved to expose themselves to the public at large. It was a learning experience for sure. I'm a little afraid to look up hoochies on line now. The lower picture shows all the flashers and hoochies stacked on the back of the cockpit ready for action.  They look pretty neat and orderly, but they never stay that way. I've watched other fishermen who are much more  coordinated than me, effortlessly pull their gear and put it back down in a matter of seconds. No matter how hard I try, I always manage to step on the leader of one side, thus dragging one or two flashers onto the deck and tangling the whole mess, or when I'm trying to put them out, the hoochies will catch on each other, almost like it's trying to keep from being dragged into the abyss and is hanging on to it's fellows hoping for a reprieve. I remember once down in Salisbury Sound when I was handtrolling, I spent the night before the opening getting everything lined up just perfect so that in the morning I could just set out the gear and start fishing. I had even changed the trolling wire so I could start the season off fresh. As I looked out over my domain my heart swelled with pride as I looked at my handy work. The next morning I was up at three and was the first boat out of the harbor. On my video sounder I could see all kinds of marks that indicated fish, but I didn't believe it. There couldn't possibly be that many fish there- but there was! I started to let down the gear on my port side and realized that when I put the wire on, I had put the fairlead on the wrong side of the block, so I had to hang out over the boat trying to cut that blasted new wire and redo the whole mess, all the while dealing with an ocean swell that I'd never experienced before. Meanwhile other boats were starting to fish and I could see that they were landing fish left and right. I finally got that fixed and started to let down my gear. I only got three leaders down when a fish hit. Well, I made a bonehead rookie mistake and started pulling in a large coho. He came into the cockpit with me and promptly tangled all my neatly arranged leaders. As you can imagine, I was not a happy camper. By the time I finally got all the mess straightened out, an hour had passed and all the boats had exited the harbor and were busy pulling fish that I should have had first crack at. To say the least, it was distressing.Truth is, I was spastic, trying to get everything straitened out and ready to go again. You only get one first day of the opening season every year and I had bungled mine. I did end up with nineteen kings that day, but I'll always wonder what could have been.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Book



  My apologies to those who follow this blog. The past month or so- well longer than that- but anyway it's been incredibly busy between working on the boat and trying to get out fishing and following up on this book. I've also been dealing with Shingles which I thought would have been ancient history by now, but aren't. The meds I take for them seem to leave me more crabby than normal and not able to focus well. I have had a hard time getting motivated. I'll be glad when I can stop taking anything. I know it's not good to let too much time elapse between posting, but frankly, I  have to make a living and the blog doesn't make me any money. At least not until now! As you can see I have a new book out. It has the same title as this blog, which isn't surprising because I took various posts from the blog, tweaked them a little and sent it down to the publishers. For those not familiar with the book publishing business, let me tell you, it can be a long, drawn out affair. Lots of sending emails and documents back and forth. I sent down a handful of pictures that I wanted to have considered for the cover. Since it's my book, and I'm self published, I have a lot of say in what I want. This cover is designed by a gal named Jenny Randall. I took the picture down at the old airplane float on a sunny day when the fog was still on the water up the bay. You can see the corner of Graveyard Island on the left. I'm sure I tested Jenny's patience with the whole design process, but I know what I like and I really liked the end product. If you follow this blog you may not have much interest in buying the book. However, perhaps you know someone who might enjoy reading it, in which case I'd happily sell you one or more copies.  This book is a little bit bigger than the previous two, since I had more material to draw on. In fact it was going to be even longer, but the publisher was good enough to give me the same price even though there were considerably more pages and I didn't want to rip him off. I probably had enough material for two books, but one is most likely enough. In any event there are 268 pages of witty, entertainment packed into this fine book. Should you decide to order one you can contact me at tbotts52@yahoo.com and I will be glad to get one to you. Be forewarned, I'm going to be gone fishing for awhile so there may be a slight delay, but as soon as I return I will get them mailed out. The price is still only $14.95 plus $2.50 for media rate mailing via the USPO.
 I guess that's all I have for now. I need to go to the boat and unload my long line reel and get ready to go out to Cross Sound or some such place. I'll post again when I can. See ya later.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Out Fishing















Last week I took my daughter Jen out fishing with me. We always have a good time, and for the most part she seems to bring me good luck. Most probably because she has such a positive attitude most of the time, as opposed to my rather gloomy outlook on life. We had to deal with those consarn horseflies again, but I got my revenge on a fair number of them. If they dare to come into the cabin and up against that side window, they're dead meat. I like to knock them down with the hose too. I just wish it  had about ten times the pressure so that when I hit them with it, it knocked their little mean heads off. I read years ago about a guy in England who liked hunting so much that he loaded his shotgun shells with dust so he could shoot butterflies. I don't like that idea so much, but blasting horseflies would be grand fun. Of course I wouldn't be getting any fishing done if I had some of those dust laden shells.
  As you can see, we had a fairly good day, filling up both bags pretty much to the top. We had a lot of pinks-992 lbs worth as well as 555 lbs of chums and a few cohos and a sockeye. It was a lot of fun and pretty profitable too. Yesterday I went out to the same place by myself and I couldn't buy a fish. It looked like a desert on the video sounder. Guess I'll have to scarf up Jen again so I can salvage the season.
 While we were in the cabin taking a break, I happened to mention to Jen that I had just passed gas. She said she could smell it, but I know she couldn't. I was wearing my rain pants, which are multi-purpose. Not only do they keep out water, fish guts, blood and other unwanted and undesirable material, they keep in things like hot intestinal gasses. It started me thinking about marketing rain pants with a special compartment to contain farts- a toot bladder, if you will. If you happened to be at a social function and were just in from fishing and had your rain pants on still, you could pass gas with complete comfort knowing that no offensive smells would escape. Of course you would have to install a valve to release the offensive gasses or over time the lighter than air gas would cause your rain gear to start to rise like a loaf of fresh bread. If you happened to be in a place where you forced to speak to some pompous buffoon, you could always reach down, open the valve and look innocent while the pent up gasses assaulted the dolt until he would be forced to leave.  I'll probably have to get in touch with the good folks at Grunden's, the makers of quality rain gear with my latest idea. No doubt folks throughout the fishing industry will be clamoring for a pair.