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.
August 11-18, 2008 — Although we caught only four fish, the Lady Ruth's first trip was deemed a success, mostly because we made it back without freezing to death or having the stern of the boat fall off.
With a week off before the next opening, I had time to slap some fiberglass on the fractured stern so it wouldn't split apart when we are bucking into a chop. Since the Port of Friday Harbor prides itself as a "green" marina, I had to do my grinding and glassing on the sly.
The Lady Ruth was tied next to a purse seiner, out of view from the office, and behind the screen of the dumpsters on the main dock, so it was hidden quite well from anybody who would care. I started in with the grinder, and didn't shut the thing off until I was done, which wasn't much more than five minutes. I looked around and didn't see anybody running down the dock to shut me down, so I guess my sneaky spot passed the test.
I started right in on the glasswork. I mixed up about a quart of resin, wet down my pre-cut pieces of fiberglass matte and roving, and slapped it on. I was just rolling out the last bubbles when a Port guy appeared above me on the deck of the purse seiner.
"Um, you're not supposed to be doing fiberglass work here in the harbor," he informed me.
"Oh, geez!" I said, surprised. "I didn't realize!" He looked at me with my brush and resin bucket in hand — he didn't believe me. "I'm all done anyway," I assured him. "I won't do it again... Promise!"
The next opening came on Monday, August 18, 2008. Bruce was fishing with me again for this opening, and I was much less panicked as we prepared to leave, so I made sure I brought some warm clothes. We were ready to catch kings.
We left Friday Harbor around 3 p.m., and pulled into Samish Bay after an exhilarating one-hour non-stop run. Again I was fishing with 200-fathoms of 30-mesh net, hand-hauling in the shallows.
I ran amongst the deep-net boats anchored on the ledge of the flats until I found Wayde, who had taken ice for me in Bellingham. We slid a couple of big Costco ice chests onto the Lady Ruth and we were ready to fish.
Hopefully we would be catching king salmon and not dogfish.
TO BE CONTINUED...
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