Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Fishing On My Mind

  I went out fishing for the first time this year this past Friday. Fish and Game opened up the commercial king salmon troll season for five days in this area. I wasn't going to go initially. The forecast was for twenty knots out of the East, and it's always a hassle when it's blowing that hard from that direction to dock the boat when I come back to the harbor. Plus it's not fun to be out in a cold wind when there really isn't all that much around to catch. However, the dog had to go pee and decided to wake me up at 5:15. I noticed that the wind that was forecast hadn't developed yet, and it seemed like it might be a good day, and since I was up anyway, I thought, what the heck, so I made enough lunch to feed three people and went down to the boat.  It was really nice to be back out on the water. Last year I was hauled out so I could get some planks replaced. I stayed on dry land from March 29 to mid-July. The season wasn't anything to get excited about last year, but it still would have beat crawling around under the boat caulking and painting. I headed on up the bay and was looking at my GPS. I fished shallower than I normally do. It seems like this time of year the rod fishermen are still catching more fish because around here they're in the shallows. I was trying to hug the beach at twelve fathoms and everything was going pretty good. The engine started right up, the gurdies were working fine, the hydraulics came on, the radio was clear and the GPS was letting me know right where I was. I should have known something would happen. For reasons that I can't explain, I saw that there was a high spot in front of me, but instead of turning out, I kept going towards it. The fathometer was showing that there was still plenty of water, so I was ok... until I wasn't. All of a sudden the bottom shot up like a rocket and I was in six fathoms of water dragging twelve fathoms of gear. I gunned the engine to make the cannonballs climb, but there apparently is a pinacle right there and one of the fifty pound leads hung up on it and the bottom claimed it. Now, normally I would swear and carry on and most likely pull the gear up and go home and pout for the rest of the day, but for some reason, even though it bothered me, I just got out the necessary equipment to put a new lead on and kept fishing. How odd. I was having a pretty good day overall. The weather was nice, the boat was running well and I had my Sirius satellite radio on for entertainment.  I didn't see much sign of feed anywhere, but that doesn't always mean anything. I trolled on over to the log dump at Westport and made my way on up the bay aways. I was keeping a pretty good eye on the depth so I didn't have a repeat of the earlier fiasco, when my starboard spring for the heavy started jumping. I knew it wasn't real big, but it was a fish, the first one of the year. As I pulled the gear I could see the flasher on the second leader up from the bottom was kind of vibrating. Usually that means a fish is on. However, I could see the green hoochie I was using behind it, so I realized the fish had struck the spoon underneath and had swam up to tangle the other line. Now that's more like what I'm used to. I pulled the leader with the flasher and got it untangled from the other leader and took a look at the king that was on the spoon beneath. It wasn't large, maybe ten pounds, but it was as bright as a new dime on the sides and his top part was the most beautiful teal green. I admired him for a moment and started to pull him in. It looked like the hook was pretty well embedded in his cheek, so I naturally figured he would be in the boat visiting me in just a few seconds. Well.... he had other plans. Out of nowhere he got a burst of strength and did a few squirrelly turns and slam, bam, thank you mam, he was gone.  Bummer! I hate losing the first fish of the year. Hopefully it's not an indicator of what the year is going to bring, but all in all, I couldn't get too upset. I've been commercial fishing for salmon for thirty eight years now, and I can't begin to tell you all the times I've gone out and for the first several weeks have come home with nothing more than empty fuel tanks. I was really glad to get a fish on the first time out, even if I didn't land him. Frankly, I have a good feeling about this year. Of course I could be wrong, but for a change I'm going to be optimistic. I'll keep  you posted as the season progresses and we'll see what develops. Meanwhile, it's spring, so those of you inclined towards angling, you might want to get those hooks sharpened. Good fishing to ya.


  1. Good blog dad, I love how the water looks in the picture. Sorry you lost the first catch of the year. Love you

    1. Hi Camille,
      I like the way the water looks too. Different areas and times of the year give it a different look, A lot of times in the bay down towards town it will be darker, but up near the narrows it might be more clear. Out at Idaho Inlet it's green from all the glacier runoff. Out in the ocean you can see the more clear warmer water and the colder glacier water like a dividing line. It's all pretty interesting. Too bad I don't know what it all means, I might improve my catch rate. Love you too.

  2. Hopefully this will be the first of many fish you catch (And keep) this season! Love you.

  3. Hi Autumn,
    I sure hope so. I need to make some money doing this. There are projects around the house that need done as well as on the boat. Of course the boat will always be a work in progress. I need to spend a bunch on it so that I can entice some foolish beginner into buying it and I can take a tremendous loss. How fun is that? Love you too.