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.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 — Finally, a moment's peace to sit on the longliner and jot down what is happening.

We are anchored up just inside of Salisbury Sound, North of Sitka, Alaska. We are all set to go out tomorrow in the early morning for halibut and blackcod. We loaded up the Discovery with groceries on Wednesday, March 14, then it left Port Townsend without me, because I had to be in attendance at the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association meeting in Anchorage. So I flew up there to make the meeting, then flew down to Sitka to meet the boat on Sunday, March 18.

It's kind of disorientating to just appear on a boat and go fishing; I did help bait up for the past two days, but I have not yet fallen into the rhythm of the boat.

The fish prices are incredible. Halibut ranges from $6 to $6.75 per pound, and dressed blackcod is coming in at what will probably average close to $8 per pound! Just CRAZY! The season opened on Saturday, March 17, and all day yesterday and today there were boats delivering their catch. The weather has been good, so a lot of small boats were out getting the first shot at the fish.

We have a crew change this year. Rich, the owner's 18-year-old son, is with us now. He is working out great, and after his initial learning curve, will be an asset to the crew. Unfortunately Brett, who has been here a couple years longer than I have (and this is my 22nd season on this boat) went crab fishing and didn't get rotated out in time, so he missed out on this trip, and possibly the whole season. I hope he works himself back into the program next year.

So that's all for now — tomorrow we'll find out if the fish are biting!

TO BE CONTINUED…

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