Thursday, July 9, 2015

Fishing in Alaska

                                                                      By Staci

I'm currently living in Wrangell, Alaska for the summer.  A little island in the Southeast.  My husband grew up here.  He came from a farming AND commercial fishing family.  So this summer he did commercial fishing.  The type of fishing he is doing is called Gillnetting.  In Gillnetting they catch King Salmon and Dog Salmon. The picture below is one of him with a King.   I was able to go out for a couple days with my husband, Jon, and his brother, Ben.  I had a great time and loved learning and seeing how the process worked. 

The picture below is of the back of his boat.  Oh' the boat is named the "North Wind".  The net is typically on this panel.  The silver part is like the spool and the net is like the thread, really.  The way I'm going to explain is going to cover the simple basics.  Of course there is A LOT to fishing and I can't explain all that because that was my husbands job and I stayed out of the way for that. Haha. To keep it short and sweet they unwind the net into the water to drift for (usually) an hour or so.  Once they feel it's a good time to pull, they bring their net in and start picking fish as they come.  While they pick they also have to pull out any seaweed, jellyfish, sticks, etc., that got caught in the net.  They then set the net back in the water.  Of course, as I said, it's not that simple.  They have to watch the net as it sits to make sure they aren't drifting too fast and nothing happens to the net.  They also have to set so far from other boats and watch out for them.  


I had the opportunity to pick the net with my husband. I honestly wouldn't mind doing this once in awhile.  However, he does it week after week and he's usually gone 5-6 days.  It's a tiring job and you don't get much sleep.  While the net is out you have to have someone watching it and typically you don't get much rest.  Especially if you night fish, then you are just going, going, going.  The picture below is my husband and I picking the net.  The picture after this one is me holding a King Salmon.


I had a great time spending time with my husband and being able to see his work and definitely admire him for having such a hard job and working through it.  If you ever get a chance and enjoy fishing, Alaska is definitely the place to go!

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