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.

Sunday, April 3, 2011 — We made our delivery at the Resurrection Bay Seafoods plant in Seward on the morning of Sunday, April 3. The delivery was smooth and fast, but things came to a grinding halt when we had to wait almost a week for weather until Friday, April 8.

We left for fishing at 2:30 p.m. I felt awful on the run out — those five days on land must have made me soft. We started out fishing for halibut, setting just after midnight on Saturday, April 9. We set only one string of twelve skates, then hauled back at first light for hardly any fish; we moved on.

We ran 20 miles farther south, and set out two strings. We had them both in the water by 11 a.m., ate breakfast, then took a nap until it was time to haul at 2 p.m. The fishing was better, but not really good. The whales were eating us to a pitiful extent. We hate whales.

Day two of halibut was much better, with nearly 8,000 pounds on the second string, and 18,000 pounds for the day out of four strings. After the gear was aboard we ran to the Portlock Bank, 20 miles to the south, to fish for blackcod. We set two strings in the evening.

On day three, Tuesday, April 12, we started out bright and early, hoping to catch just a decent scratch of blackcod on the Portlock Bank. Unfortunately, we didn't catch anything until the sixth skate when the fish started coming good. We wound up with over 3,000 pounds for that string, which was the best of the day, but the next two strings weren't far from the first. This was our only day of hauling while baiting to set the gear back again.

The next day we would haul for home and run in to Seward to deliver; we can't go too many days on the fish, even though they are heavily iced, because we have to deliver them in top-quality condition.

We made the delivery in Seward on Thursday, April 14. We baited all the gear up the next day and ran out to clean up the remainder of the quota.

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