fishing, part 2 @ 01:13 pm
I suppose it's time to update on fishing, something I keep putting off because (a) I've been tired, or (b) too busy.
Woke up at 10 a.m. today which is quite disgusting, I should stop doing that for sure. Nothing much of merit to talk about today except for I just finished eating two breakfast bagles.
Last Satureay was the big fishing day. We all got up at like 5 a.m. so we could leave teoretically by six and be in Anchor Point, a town about an hour away, by eight. Make sense, it would if you new my brother's family. Upon waking up though, it was absolutely disgusting weather wise outside. Rain and wind do not make good combinations while being on the ocean, so the first thing Sean said to me was that it was definitely a disgusting day out there, of course he used different words but hey.
We went to McDonalds or breakfast, then picked up Shane and the boat in Casilof (spelled incorrectly, and headed for Anchor point.
It had somewhat stopped raining by the time we reached the tractor launch and we were happy about that one. Tractor launches are quite cool. The basic principal is that you hook one of those tractors that you might ride on the farm onto your boat, and youget dragged out to sea. This saves your truck getting all kinds of crap like salt and sand all up in it.
We went out about a mile and a half or two miles until the fish finder told us we were at a bit over 100 feet and we started fishing.
Halibut are bottom fish, kind of like flounder but much larger. They swim kind of up side down with their eyes point upwards and they kind of sunk to the bottom. here's one of the halbiut's faces close up so you can get a picture of what they are.
You use a lot of bate. We're not talking just worms here and little hooks. We're talking a weight that's about a pound, a hook that's about an inch and a half at its widest point, and herring bate that weighs about two pounds. The basic principle of fishing as usual is just throwing it over, the hook and bate that is, and waiting. If you're positioned correctly, you get a fish quickly and can go home as your limit is done, ro you're like my brothers co worker Paul who got only two fish in total. The limit is two fish per person so we had eight fish to catch.
Deep sea fishing is easy till you have to actually pull up the fish. It's like hauling up a total dead weight until you get it close to the surface at which I think it figures out that its going to die and it starts to spash around madly. In this picture here, Faye's got a fish on her line. Once she hauls it in, we have to spear it with the gaff, also shown. The best practice really is to shoot the fish in the head when you get it up because their so big but we didn't have a gun handy, so we just gaffed the fish and threw it in the boat.
I can't remember how many fish we all caught individually, but it was a lot. We made our actual limit in about two hours, we actually caught twelve fish, and had to throw four back.
It's exhilarating catching a fish, even if you do have to haul it up 100 feet of water, really tiring, but cool at the same time. They weight so much and just hang their like dead weights, so you have to pull up slowly (I broke a pole by pulling up too fast), then reel down to take up the slack. YOu keep doing this till either you get really tired, the fish gets up, or you lose him off the line.
I've got a fish on the gaff here.
It's also cool when you get your first fish. This one is quite small actually, about 12 pounds, not my largest but my first.
More action shots with Shane reeling in on left, and one of the fish hanging off on right.
The big one, shown here. Shane caught it, and though we argued all the way back, his was only like six pounds more than my biggest, 46 pounds compared to my 40 pounder.
I caught three fish in total, but kept two. I was paying for it, body aching all over for days after we got back.
After two hours. we headed back to shore, were dragged back by the tractor again, and drove back home, all of us tired as ever but proud of our fish. We had all caught good ones, my biggest, 40 pounds, Shane's 46, and Faye's about 30 something. These aren't huge halibuts but the meat's good at this size. Once you get much of a larger fish, you're in the territory of tough meat because the fish is older and has been in the ocean longer. On left, me and sean with the big fish, and on right sean and Faye. I didn't want to risk breaking an arm while holding the fishes, so had Sean hold it.
It's not done or I should say you're not done till you get the fish off the bone and ready to vacuum seal and store. You don't have to clean out the guts of the fish like you have to smaller fish, but you do have to filet the fish, and that's a bit of a project in itself.
Here's Sean and Shane both deep in the filet process.
Fish guts are disgusting I'd think but Sean doesn't seem to think they are.
Here's a close up of a fish being fileted. Because halibut are so large, their bones are quite large as well, making it a bit easier to filet. I wonder if Eskimos used halibut bones for any of their knives, should research that one.
We ended up with 95 pounds of meat after the whole thing was over. Me and my mom were tankful to take home about 40 pounds of them, Sean says it won't last them at all through the winter, from this picture of them stacked up, you wouldn't belive him. I still am reeling from knowing that this meat all added up weighs as much as I do.
I went to sleep while everyone finished, and when I woke up, they had some of the fish fried up and we all dug into some good ass fresh fish. I hope to be having more of it soon, very soon.
Every pain (back pain, arm pain, blah blah blah) afterwords was worth it, especially save the price of halibut down here being so darn expensive.