National Fisherman

Mid-August 2007 — Just because my boat was in the water, it didn't mean it was ready to go fishing. In an effort to make my life easier when I'm cleaning and icing my fish for sale on the island, I had to get my hatches set up to hold slush-bags. I also wanted to paint my hatch covers so they clean up more easily.

After my big push to get the Satisfaction into the water in the first week after my return from Alaska, the support for boat work ran out. As my honey-do list grew, there was never any mention of the Satisfaction. So as we waited for a sockeye opening, the Satisfaction waited for me to get it ready. It waited three full weeks before I had a chance to get down and work on the hatches, and when I did, I picked the worst day of the summer to start a painting project.

The clouds were building in the morning as I cut and fit a couple bin-boards, but by noontime I knew I wasn't going to beat the rain. But since this was the only time I had to finish this project, I had to outsmart the rain. I rigged up a ridge-beam with my net hook, then grabbed a tarp and started laying it out. As I was fighting to unfold the tarp, I saw Wayde over on the net float, hanging his king net, laughing at me. At that point I realized how ridiculous it was to do my painting on the rainiest day of the summer.

The rain came down in sheets through a couple hours of heavy downpour. I was scurrying all over the boat like a chipmunk, tying it here and there and weighing it down with pipe wrenches and large crescents so it wouldn't pool up overhead. As I was painting away at a frenzied pace, Zack came by and commented how easy it is to clean the algae off the side of my boat when it is all soaked by the rain. He grabbed a brush and scrubbed a spot clean, then assigned me the task of cleaning all the rest of the boat to match. I responded by telling him I couldn't care less what my boat looked like, as long as it is ready to fish.

I was pretty impressed with my makeshift tarp; it really kept the deck dry and allowed me to get my painting job finished. It was by no means a clean job, but at least it was a finished job — all on the rainiest day of the summer.

The next day there was no rain, but the paint was still quite tacky, which was a bit of a hassle because I had to through-bolt the slush bag and brailer hooks in place to hold my fish-storage system together in the hatches. By the time I was finished, the palms of my hands were gray with undried paint, but my hatches were ready to handle as much slush-iced, top-quality fish I could throw in them.

TO BE CONTINUED...

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

Fishermen in Western Australia captured astonishing footage this week as a five-meter-long great white shark tried to steal their catch, ramming into the side of their boat.
 
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EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
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