I would have been geared up and ready to fish on Monday, June 13, but as a member of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board of directors, I had to attend the annual meeting in Dillingham, Alaska, on Tuesday. Too bad because on the high water on Monday, we heard reports that those fishermen fishing the “free week” in Egegik were catching pretty good fish. The report I heard was 2,500 pounds by noon — only three hours into the opening.
That is good fishing, especially for this early, and I was pissed I had to miss it. I watched my brother Frank leave the dock to get in on the action, then I watched the tide go out and my boat go dry. I was resigned to this gut-wrenching fate because of my requirement to be at the meeting. My only comfort was accepting full responsibility for not insisting on scheduling the meeting over the preceding weekend.
But at the meeting I suppose I did some good. As a proponent of the BBRSDA providing ice to Bristol Bay fishermen, I argued the point and the board reached a decision that I believe will benefit the ice supply in both the short and the long term. So I guess I gave of myself to benefit the greater community. Since when did I become the a martyr? No, I never signed up for that. I should have insisted on an earlier meeting.
Upon my return to Naknek that evening, we finished wrapping up the boat and set sail for a “shakedown” trip in the wee hours of the morning of Wednesday, June 15. We had missed the shot of fish in Egegik, but the peak of the season is right around the corner. Hopefully all will go well and we will catch our designated share.
TO BE CONTINUED…