This last leg of our Alaskan trip is focusing on fishing. I’ll be completely honest, I am not a fisher-person. I can count on one hand the amount of times I have dropped a line in a lake or stream because they are such rare occurrences.
Two years ago Dad invited me on a chartered boat out of Long Island Sound to catch striped sea bass. It seemed like a pretty good idea, until I was on the boat for 15 minutes and felt sea sick. Add to that, the truly terrifying bathroom situation on those little boats which require you to crouch like a hobbit just to do your business.
Needless to say, this lady usually prefers more hygienic after school activities like swimming or reading books or pretty much anything else that doesn’t require bludgeoning a creature to death.
While fishing may not be favorite activity, I recognize there are people who live and die for those moments on the water. In fact, my father and his best friend, Fred, are those type of people, which is how I ended up in my current predicament. (Side note: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the joke, “Oh, you’re fishing for the halibut.” Hardy har har. Currently, Fred’s favorite joke is: “We aren’t just here for the halibut. We’re here on porpoise. It wasn’t a fluke.” Cue eye roll to bad dad jokes.)
Fishing in Alaska is unlike any fishing I have done before. There is salt water fishing for Halibut, which is somewhat similar to fishing for striped sea bass in Long Island Sound. Both types of fishing require a charter boat so that you to cast down to the bottom of the sea floor. The difference is that instead of a catching 3-5 lbs striped bass in 60 feet of salt water, halibuts are massive fish that are easily over 30 lbs and you are casting into 270 feet of water. When the fishing is good, it is not unusual to get a 100 pounder.
The other fishing we’ve done is river fishing. We have been using Widespread Fishing to help us fish the Kenai. Mindy, one of the owners of the fleet, is beyond amazing. She is super capable and makes me (remember – I’m basically allergic to fishing!) somewhat enjoy flipping sockeye. Mindy is such a great teacher that just the other day, my brother and I were killing it with he sockeyes while my dad and his friend were floundering in the river. (See what I did there.)
The combined fishing tally came out to:
Halibut: 130 lbs. (6 over fish, and 3 under)
Sockeye: 30 fish
King: 1 – Fred took home this prize, and broke his foot at the same time.
The plane trip home was pretty intense. We had to navigate the airport with about 250 lbs. of frozen fish, and a man in a wheel chair. It was challenging, but the subsequent fish dinners were well worth it. Now that’s something I can really appreciate.