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
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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