National Fisherman

August 21 to September 11, 2011 — I took a few weeks off of fishing after the August 21 king opening because I had to attend to a boat project that I had been putting off. I needed to re-do the engine mount on my 18-foot open skiff, the Lady Ruth, so I opted to do a backyard hull extension with fiberglass and polyester resin. The guys at the Petrzelka Brothers' boatyard in Mount Vernon, Wash., were willing to fabricate an aluminum extension/engine mount, but I didn't want to pay the price. I figured I could do it myself on the cheap.

So I hired a very competent glassman off Craigslist, bought a whole bunch of material, and went to work on the Lady Ruth. To make a long story short, I would have been money ahead to have the guys at Petrzelka Brothers do it. I missed three openings where I could have made a few bucks, not to mention the entire pink salmon season around the island. And I missed those nice fishing opportunities because I was neck-deep in fiberglass laminations, all gooped up with a gas mask strapped to my face, working long hours and cursing my decision to save a few bucks — in the long run I'm certain it cost me more to do it myself.

My goal was to make the silver opening on September 4, and I almost did, but it would have been total chaos in unorganized confusion. Instead I took my time tying up the loose ends of the boat, and made the September 11 opening — in which there were no fish.

You live and learn.


Inside the Industry

Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.


The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is teaming up with leading shark-tracking nonprofit Ocearch to build the most extensive shark-tagging program in the Gulf of Mexico region.

In October, Ocearch is bringing its unique research vessel, the M/V Ocearch, to the gulf for a multi-species study to generate previously unattainable data on critical shark species, including hammerhead, tiger and mako sharks.

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