News and Views from the Back Deck
In honor of the new ComFishFilmfest website, we themed a few prints of the Humpynami “Red Tide” T-shirts with the colors from the new website. Yes, you can get your hands on these T's at the Pacific Marine Expo this coming week. We have limited numbers and we will be printing another round in different colors. The Humpynami concept is the brain child of Bob Poor and his artist friend Roger McKay did the layout. I used Aurora Projekt here in Juneau to print these limited editions up and we will have more to come in the next few weeks. If you were part of the incredible summer that we had last year, then you need a Humpynami T shirt. All proceeds go to the upcoming ComFishFilmFest “Pub Trawl” Film Tour, coming to a local bar near you. More details coming soon… Oh yeah, the website is up too, check out www.fishfilmfest.com to see our new digs. It's not quite an official launch, but whoever reads this is welcomed. Sign up on the new website (sorry facebook sign on is a work in progress) and you might just win one of these T Shirts.
It's been along time coming and there have been a few minor set backs, but the F/V Optimus splashed down into the water today. Feast your eyes on the next great beast to fish southeast Alaskan waters. It's maiden voyage sarts tomorrow and my friend Jason Crosby will be filming the entire process. So stay tuned for more updates on the F/V Optimus. A big thanks to Kris Johnson for the pic, too
Behold, “The Great Boat Trip Of 2010″. I've always loved commercial salmon fishing in the wilds of southeast Alaska. Half of the enjoyment is the sheer amount of exploration that a vessel can do during a short summer. The entire fishing grounds span from Icy Strait to Behm Canal and all places in between the archipelago. The overall amount of fishable area is truly daunting. Luckily, we decided to explore Behm Canal on a week long closure. That journey has inspired many of tales and legends among southeast fishermen. For those that made the trip, nothing will ever compare. For those that just get to hear us go on and on about it every summer… Too bad you missed it! The Behm Canal adventure is towards the end of the video.
It's hard to believe some of our biggest and smallest harvests have all been within just a couple of years. 2011 and 2013 were some of the biggest salmon harvests in years. On the other hand, 2010 was one of the smallest forecast in years. The season was so dismal that we had an entire week off during the beginning of the summer. So, we took a massive multi boat vacation thru Behm Canal. Tune into the Video Of The Day to see the good times in action.
Sit back and watch as a couple of gillnetters realize they are setting on the mother lode of Chum Salmon in Totten Inlet. Their gillnet is lovingly referred to as the “Wall Of Death,” as the salmon continue to pound the cork line. Many Washington fishermen have put away their nets for the season, but a few areas remain open and captains and crew are on anchor this eve hoping for one more push of salmon to come through Puget Sound. Good luck, guys.
In 2007, I caught the F/V Grayling cruising Chatam Strait in southeast Alaska. The vessel is now the F/V Taylor Maid and still rocks and rolls in Alaskan waters. This boat has the true classic look of a purse seiner. They just don’t make them like they used to.
I love to see innovations in the commercial fishing gear and techniques. Especially when they are grass root efforts like this one. I'm not sure how these corks would hold up under a block with a pressure tire, but this could be a great fix for when you are on the fishing grounds.
Via Youtube: Commercial fishing is outdated. Lets jump it ahead and “Revolutionize the Industry”. This simple product will do, just that!!
Oh yeah! Dungeness crab for dinner! Our friends from Tenakee Springs brought over some big beautiful wintertime crab for us today! One of the beauties of living in Alaska is reaping the benefits of our liquid smorgasbord. These were some of the darker crabs I've seen before, it must have something to do it the molting cycle. Of course, I had to sample a bit just make make sure it was safe for everyone else! (Hint, nod, wink!). They tasted delicious!
Coming up this week, the sportsfishing guide industry on the Kenai wants to ban commercial setnet fishing in Cook Inlet; we have a couple of items about the Marine Stewardship Council, and a new face, but a familiar name at the helm of Trident Seafoods. We had help this week from KCHU’s Tony Gorman in Valdez, and KDLG’s Mike Mason in Dillingham.
The temps have dropped and the sun has gone on its usual winter hiatus. For those of you that don't know the winters in Alaska, I pray you never do. For all the souls that brave an Alaska winter, I wish you the best of luck. Being a transplant, I've never quite grown accustomed to the long periods of darkness, cold, rain and snow. For many fishermen its shore time. Longlining is over, the salmon are gone, and scant fisheries are still active. It's time to winterize the vessels and head home for the winter. Although, many of our bravest soldiers prepare for the long winter crab season in the Bering Sea and along the west coast. Cheers and good luck to all the able bodies on the water this season. I hope you find your way to your ultimate, warm, dry destination this winter. As for me, I will be strapping on the skis and and thinking very little of fishing… Until spring rolls around and I get to go to Sitka for herring.
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Commercial fishing in Alaska has defined my life for the past 16 years. When I'm not fishing, I take to the interwebs and try to keep up with all tech things that move so much faster than me.