Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fish On!

Warning! If you are all environmental and don’t believe in commercial fishing, then you don’t want to read this post. Also, if the sight of blood and gore gross you out, you should look away! Here is last year’s post about fishing.








I’ll even ease into the blood and gore by showing you the fun beach pictures with the kids. Awwwwwwwww. I swear the kids didn’t wear shoes for a whole week. Well, except The Boy, he had a sore heel.


Ulp, getting closer to the death pictures. Both girls were all smiles until I said, “make a gross-out face!” Only one of them did it though. They were elbow deep in this pile of death only a few minutes before this picture, looking for the eggs.


We only caught one king and it was a tiny one.



To go fishing, you first must walk a billion miles to get into the boat. You have to walk through this thick mudflat nasty crap. We anchor the boats offshore because you are only allowed to fish from 7am to 7pm. If it is low tide at 7am, you walk out to where the boats are anchored which should be just about wet at 7am. These guys are amazing at judging distances and they always park the boats so they are actually in water by 7am.


Of course, the mudflats are fun for other things.


I used to work for Fish and Game and drove skiffs all the time up rivers. This is not much different. It’s a bigger, heavier boat but not much different.


Here are some of the fishies caught in the net. We set five nets this day total and you continually pick the nets until low tide.


We caught several hundred this day and we only fished half the day. Reds are about $2.00/lb. The silvers, chums, and pinks go for much, much less. Maybe $0.80/lb? I’m not sure about that number.


Most of them are reds like the one I am holding. There were a few pinks, a few chum, lots of silvers, and one king.


When your boat is full, like here, you take your fish to the tender (a bigger ship used to carry lots of fish). The tender weighs the bags of fish and then gives you a ticket and sends you a check later in the season. We don’t sell them all to the tender. We get our fill of personal use fish too.


This is the pile of fish from the personal use operation. We only only cut up the fish we are going to eat. This year, we cut up and filleted about 200 fish which feeds our entire family (like the WHOLE family, not just mine) for the year. We vacuum pack the fish and it lasts a year easily in the freezer.


These are fish in brailer bags in the creek. They creek is a constant 43 degrees which keeps the fish cold for a day or two until we are done filleting, packing, and getting them to town.


These huge blue dragonflies were everywhere.



I’ve never seen this before. This dragonfly caught a bumble bee, yes really, and ate it while laying on its back. I’ve never seen a dragonfly do that before. You should expand the picture because it’s pretty cool. It was a big meal for the dragonfly and he was so busy with it, he let us get very close to him. The kids and I crouched over him for a good 20 minutes while he ate his meal.



We’ll finish with some kid-play-fun pictures and not gore. The twins made sand-cakes, sand-soup, sand-brownies, sand-popcorn, and pretty much anything sand you wanted. They had a blast.


The cousins! This is how you do bath time when there is no running water!


More fishies!!


There are really fun sand hills too.



And logs to walk on . . . creeks to walk in.



Fishing site = happy kids.



On a side note: look at my subtle vignette! I’m getting better at doing things in Photoshop.


juebejue said...

wow! this is so cool!! are your families commercial fisherman full time? or is this just a side job? how often do you guys fish like this? once a year?

Da99516 said...

The salmon only run in July so we fish in July only. I'm a teacher during the school year which leaves my time free for fishing. My husband's family has been fishing in this spot for over 50 years.

Pearl said...

Oh man...what a haul! I'm getting hungry looking at those pictures :-)
Question for you - is Red salmon the same as Sockeye? We had worrying news today about the Skeena River Sockeye run - officials are predicting less than half a million returning to the Skeena River :-(
Enjoy your salmon! :-)

Lynley Povey said...

I love your fishing posts. And awesome photos. It's the sort of reader we had in primary school- Dawn goes fishing. Made us really envious of the kids who lived on farms or explored caves or went pighunting or cooked their dinners in geothermal springs or whatever. And I'm envious of you. But not those mudflats at low tide. What a cool tradition for your kids AND you get a year's supply of salmon...

Skaapie said...

Such an interesting post - I'm in South Africa and it's hinting season here at the moment too! Although we only hunt for personal consumption. My freezer is filled with Springbok.

Skaapie said...

Urgh, spelling. Hunting season. Not hinting *rolleyes*

Sofie M said...

I think this is so cool. Fishing for your own consumption is really amazing. Do you use the head and bones at all? I cut it off and make salmon burgers but I guess if you have enough to feed your whole family for a year, you probably don't bother.

SewingSveta said...

So, this is really cool! Thank you for sharing!%) How many days you fish to get the fish for your family? I didn't understand properly%)

Myra said...

Such a great experience for your kids, too. Learning how to be independent, fish, value of hard work. Our kids are not grossed out by deer or catfish being cleaned, I am glad since it supplements our table here.

Becky said...

This is so cool! I am jealous. I love salmon, especially red salmon. This is a great experience for you all, and your kids will always cherish these memories. I am not jealous of where you live all the time, but in July, YES!

Gins dog said...

Wow, this is amazing. I wish I could do this. You are truly lucky!! How does a person ever get into this?

Cat said...

Thank you for writing such an interesting post. I always enjoy reading your blog especially your Alaskan posts. It's so interesting to read stories about "family time". Living in Sydney (Australia), it's about 15 degrees Celsius right now which I suspect you would consider fairly balmy:-)

Elizabeth Halpern said...

I love reading your post about your life in Alaska. The whole fishing thing is amazing, hard work, delicious fish and lots of fun with the kids. Thanks for sharing.

Caroline said...

Hi Dawn, I love your hunting and fishing posts AND am a hardcore eco-nut liberal, so it's possible to be both ;-). Deeply jealous of your fish haul. My boyfriend and I hunt boar and deer mostly, though he also got a bison last year.