National Fisherman

At Sea Diary

Matt MarinkovichMatt Marinkovich’s weekly At Sea Diary entry is a popular feature of the National Fisherman Web site, and now you can post your own reflections on Matt’s experiences fishing in the Pacific Northwest and North Pacific.

Thursday, July 28 — I arrived home on San Juan Island on this morning after a solid two months in Bristol Bay.

I had plans of kicking back for a week before I did any fishing-related activity at home, but that idea went to hell when my brother Frank called, informing me there may be a sockeye opening soon, right in my backyard. I would have blown it off, but all my fish customers were asking when I would be catching sockeye, and went on to tell me how excited they are at the thought of a fresh sockeye. So after only three full days at home, I was back on my gillnetter, thinking fish.

It took three solid days' work, which were dispersed through a week, but the Satisfaction hit the water on Thursday, August 4, 2011, just in time to make the first sockeye opening in Puget Sound on Friday, from 2 p.m. to midnight.

That first opening was actually pretty good! I figured on only catching a few, so I didn't bring very many ice chests (where I store cleaned fish to sell on the island). Chaos ensued after I had 150 fish on one set, with no organized place to put them. I wound up selling some fish to the tender but I still had a very successful selling day on San Juan Island. Linda, my deckhand in Bristol Bay who also lives on San Juan Island, joined me for this opening, and also sold a batch of fish at the farmer's market.

Our next opening came a week later on Thursday, August 11, 8 a.m. to midnight; a full day of fishing. There were fewer fish than the previous opening, and more boats as well, but I managed to catch enough for the islanders, and we had a great time doing it.


Inside the Industry

Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.


The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is teaming up with leading shark-tracking nonprofit Ocearch to build the most extensive shark-tagging program in the Gulf of Mexico region.

In October, Ocearch is bringing its unique research vessel, the M/V Ocearch, to the gulf for a multi-species study to generate previously unattainable data on critical shark species, including hammerhead, tiger and mako sharks.

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