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.

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.

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

Read more...

Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

Read more...
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