Gillnetting for chum salmon off Seattle

The weather was sort of crummy, but bearable. There were a few fish around; I sold more than 100 to my specialty market and brought about 60 back to San Juan Island to sell to my local fish eaters. I fished in my usual and accustomed spot off Alki Point. There wasn’t much shipping traffic, so I could leave the net in the water if it drifted into the shipping lanes.

Joining me on this night was Nelson, a 14-year-old kid from San Juan Island, who is interested in fishing in Alaska. Nelson was there mostly to observe, but he did a great job ripping the gills out of the keta salmon, to bleed them, as they came aboard. He hung in there just fine through a steady breeze from the south through the whole opening.

I told Nelson he could crash out any time, which he did by 11:00 p.m. But he was up for the last haul, then he ran the boat back across Elliot Bay toward the locks while I dressed a few fish and cleaned up the deck.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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