Matt 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.
Written by Jen Finn
Friday, April 15, 2011 — We left Seward. The initial plan was to stay in town until Saturday, but Roald stepped it up a day because the tides (or currents) get stronger with the full moon. He wanted to haul the deepwater blackcod with less current; a strong current puts drag, or strain, on the groundline as we haul it aboard from 250 fathoms (1,500 feet) below the surface.
So we scrambled out of town on Friday afternoon. We couldn't ask for a better weather forecast; 15 knots for Friday, then variable 10 knots for Saturday through Monday. I figure a weather forecast is accurate to within 15 knots, so when it calls for 25, it could be blowing anywhere from 15 to 35 knots. As it turned out, we did most of our fishing in 25 knots, which unfortunately for us was blowing AGAINST the strong current, so it stacked up the seas and gave us a never-ending beating while we were fishing.
Fishing was slow so it still took us two days to catch the remainder of our blackcod quota. We were blessed with the absence of whales, so we got to keep all of our big fish, which they usually slurp off our line on the way up to the boat. We figured there was better fishing in other spots, so they were enjoying a more abundant buffet provided by some other sucker.
We caught the remainder of our halibut quota in one 15-skate string. The weather had come down to variable 5 knots, and we had a beautiful run into Seward Monday night, escorted by a big, orange rising full moon.
The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.
Last week, Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski (R), Dan Sullivan (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with Canadian leaders to make sure appropriate environmental safeguards are in place for mine development in Southeast Alaska.
The congressional delegation explained the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the need for assurances that the water quality in transboundary waters between Alaska and Canada will be maintained.Read more...