Thursday, August 12, 2010

We're only in it for the HALIBUT!

This week I have a lot of down time on tour and things have been pretty crazy lately so I thought I'd bring my computer along and catch up with some of the latest Alaskan Adventures.

We had a week off toward the end of July because a company rented out one of the cruise ships so I was able to go on a Halibut charter with two of my friends and one even had his Dad and Grandpa in town. We went this summer again with Frank and Wild Rose Charters out of Ninilchuk (seriously highly recommended he is so great!).

After an early start and a small boat advisory we made an adjustment and drove down to Homer instead to stay safe, and luckily we got BEAUTIFUL weather and had so much fun on the boat together reeling in the fish!

Fun story the first two spots we caught only two small guys that you couldn't keep and a mother-in-law fish (that's what they called it, it's really ugly)! So once we moved to the 3rd spot and we're fishing 250 ft. down and Grandpa had the rod that's called a "jig" I think but he was tired of it so we switched this round - well within ten minutes I felt a strong bite, hooked my first Halibut and reeled it in -It was so hard to reel about 30 lbs. up 250 ft. but I didn't want to seem like the girl so although my fore arms burned I caught the first keeper of the day.

Then we got him in the boat and re-baited my line and I let it down. Within ten more min I hooked the second keeper of the day. About half way though I had one of the boys help me out it hurt so bad on my arms. Then I gave up the "hot" pole and moved to the other side of the boat by two poles just sitting in the holder I did a half reel on one pole as Frank instructed to move the bait a bit and within 30 sec I saw a halibut take the bait so I started reeling the 3rd KEEPER of the day. I didn't want to lose the fish which is why I started reeling right away but I also turned and stated - "Someone come take this I'm NOT reeling this one it!" I turned it over and was officially dubbed the "lucky" one of the day!

We continued for the next hour or so catching keepers and the occational Scate (sp?) which is like a sting rayish fish that spins the whole way up - poor boys had to reel that one in. But we caught our limit of two a piece and I think maybe Grandpa got the biggest of the day (it was between him and me). And it was nice to see that the boys were struggling to reel in the fish all the way from 250 ft down too! Cohen's Dad just sat there and laughed at us at first so we were more than happy to return the favor once he finally felt the "forearm" pain.

Then after we had a successful morning we went with Frank to check his two crab pots in the bay. I became the official crab measurer - which may be my future career calling (here I come Deadliest Catch)! But in the first pot we got an additional starfish and in the second pot AN OCTOPUS! Apparently they make great Halibut bait so we kept him but had to put him in with the fish and seriously five of us had to PEEL him off the boat and after we were done it was like someone with really bad allergies just sneezed all over your hands. We got 5 keepers and threw back about 13 others that weren't quite big enough and not worth the $110 fine but Frank was so nice and let us take a half a crab for each one of us!

We took back our catch and although we each only got about two hours of sleep we stayed awake long enough to watch Frank filet the fish and help to vaccum pack them, and even watch them disect the Octopus down too - * Did you know that Octopus have a beak? Like a bird, it's so cool I actually got to hold it - so crazy!*

Grandpa, Benji, Cohen, Brian, & Me (check out the octopus hanging up in the back behind Benji)

Overall it was such a great day and there is nothing better than good fishing with good people and we headed back to our friends cabin to enjoy our crab and "poor man's lobster" = Halibut cheeks + sprite + melted butter. The boys even caught a few Sockeye Salmon right on the backs of the Kenai as well and we all crashed that night after such a full day - true Alaskan Goodness!