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.

April 4-9, 2007 — We were the first order of business at the Resurrection Bay Seafoods dock in Seward on the morning of Wednesday, April 4. Off-loaders were provided, which is always a bonus. We were paid an average price of $3.87 for both the halibut and blackcod, which was a great price for both. It was just a coincidence that both species had the same price, because their prices are based on totally different markets.

I was hoping to bait up and point the Discovery back out to the fishing grounds, but there were serious rumblings of a big storm blowing through the area. It was decided, because of the storm predictions, that we would not leave until Sunday at the earliest.

I was a bit deflated at the news of our being landlocked for the next few days, but I could deal with it. I would have a very productive time typing away on my computer, playing my accordion, or reading my book (the first one in a few years!). Unfortunately for my big plans the other guys tend to go stir-crazy when weathered in, so Mike decided to rent a car and go to Anchorage to kill a day. Everyone was going, and I would be the heel if I held out and didn't go. Mike said he received some kind of bonus for last year's blackcod, so he would spring for a hotel, dinner, and whatever else came our way.

So that distraction, which included taking in "Thursday Night at the Fights" and a dinner in a really expensive steakhouse, took us out of Seward until early afternoon on Friday. George (the weatherman), Mike, and Roald listened closely to the weather reports to see when it might let up.

Although there was no defined break in the weather, they decided to start baiting around noontime on Saturday, April 8. I think they just couldn't take sitting around any longer, because the weather reports didn't show any improvement in the near future. I bet if we had skipped the Anchorage trip we would have started baiting up a day earlier.

It was a good thing we started baiting. There becomes a sort of mental deterioration when five guys are trapped in a confined space with nothing to do. For example, I was banished from talking on the phone in the baithouse. I suppose after four days of having it be completely acceptable for me to talk on my phone at any time of the day or night, there had to be some sort of regulation to keep my phone usage in check. Either that or George had a hair up his ass.

We continued to bait on Sunday and finished up by early afternoon on Monday, April 9. We left to fishing as soon as we finished baiting, which wasn't soon enough; the tension in the baithouse was so thick it could be cut with a knife. There is no better cure for galley fever than doing what we came to do — go fishing.


Inside the Industry

It’s no secret that fraud is a problem in the seafood industry. Oceana repeatedly touts a mislabeling epidemic. While their method has been criticized, the perception of rampant fraud  has been established.

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The Center for Coastal Studies recently announced that Owen Nichols, Director of the Center for Coastal Studies’ Marine Fisheries Research Program, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the John Annala Fishery Leadership Award by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. 

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