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.

July 2005 to present — Way back in 2005 at the end of the Bristol Bay season, which was a year many processors had put their fleets on limit, I asked the market to whom I sell my fish what they were going to do with the over-limit fish some of their fishermen had delivered. Their solution was to donate the funds to a charity of the fisherman's choice.


March 19-20, 2007 — We headed out of Sitka on the afternoon of Monday, March 19. We originally were going to head out into the Gulf of Alaska through Salisbury Sound and anchor in Portlock Harbor, which is north of Salisbury Sound, tucked in the jagged islands on the shoreline of the gulf. From there we would get an early start on Tuesday morning, set and haul the halibut gear, then go right into hauling the blackcod gear the next day.


March 13-19, 2007 — Tuesday, March 13 was the day the Discovery left Bellingham to embark on its 2007 longline season. I had to drive my beater blue truck because my other truck called in sick with a leaky transmission seal. For the past three years the Blue Bomb has been the launching pad for our giant rope swing we have in the yard — the kids climb up on top of the cab, jump off, and swing out over the yard on the end of the 60-plus-foot rope hanging from a fir limb.


October and November 2006 — In my fishing endeavors, I have always sold my own fish to the public. Unfortunately, my sales history is best described as chaotic. I never developed a rhyme or reason to my routine. It was just one renegade fish-selling adventure after another. I had a couple of tricks that seemed to work consistently, but even those never held a solid footing that resembled anything close to an organized business practice.


November, 2006 — Fawn John and I both like to fish off of his house, which lies about a mile south of Alki Point. It is close to port, and a good spot to fish. I found that laying out in the same spot every time, which is pretty much right off his house, whether on the flood or the ebb, is a safe set that usually produces a few fish.


October and November 2007 — The market to which I sold my fall chums this year was Smoki Foods, which is based out of the SeaFreeze cold storage plant on the Duwamish Waterway in West Seattle.


October 17-18, 2006 — When Fawn John went out on his first solo night of fishing the Satisfaction, he took with him Andre, his friend from the contractor/landscaping world. John made his first set south of Restoration Point and east of Blake Island, which has always been one of his favorite spots to fish.


Monday, October 10, 2007 — I pulled up to the staging float at the boat launch and met up with Fawn John, who I tagged with that name because his old gillnetter was called the Fawn. This was the first time he had seen my boat, and it was the first time we had seen each other in years. His first order of business was to show the girls a card trick. While he did that I added to my depleted tank the 5-gallon bucket of hydraulic oil he brought with him.


Sunday, October 15, 2006 — When the 5 p.m. opening fell upon us, we were right off Point Madison, which isn't a bad starting point. I decided to blow off the unobtainable meeting with Fawn John, and instead slap it out where we were. The girls raised much protest, but I explained the tiny chop that was bouncing the boat so ferociously as we bucked into it would barely be noticeable when we were hanging on the end of the net. And miraculously, by the time the net was out and the engine finally shut off for the first time in hours and hours, it calmed down to just a ripple.


Sunday, October 15, 2006 — Bruce showed up around 5:45 a.m., just as my alarm was going off. I only half-slept that night because I was edgy with anticipation of the 20-mile run across the Strait of Juan de Fuca with the kids aboard.


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National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 2/26/15

In this episode, National Fisherman's Online Editor Leslie Taylor speaks with Rick Constantine, vice president of marketing, Acme United Corporation, about Cuda corrosion resistant knives.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

Today Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced legislation to extend a permanent exemption for incidental runoff from small commercial fishing boats.


The National Working Waterfront Network is now accepting abstracts and session proposals for the next National Working Waterfronts & Waterways Symposium, taking place Nov. 16-19 in Tampa, Fla. The deadline is Tax Day, April 15.

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