Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Copper River Salmon Season 2014 Kicks Off!

It's here! It's here! It's here! It's here!  Copper River Reds are here!  I don't know about you but I have been lucky enough to eat fresh salmon for the past few days now.  But, look at me, getting ahead of myself already.

The Copper River gillnet fishery opened up for a 12 hour period last Thursday, May 15th.  The weather was pretty nice as we all charged out the harbor floating on the excitement of the first opener of the season.

Anchored out the night before the 1st opener

The weather started off pretty decent for us, no wind, sunny and warm.  As the opener progressed, a westerly kicked up, making running west to home at the end of the opener a bit of a kidney buster.  All in all, though, not too bad of a day on the Flats.

The price started a little low then crept up through out the day as it became clear there weren't too many fish around.  I think we ended up somewheres just north of four bucks a pound for reds. We managed to scrape up a few fish and with the good price we get at the beginning of the season, even a few fish add up just fine.

We had a second opener on Monday, another 12 hour shot at the fish.  There were a few more fish around but not so, so much.  But again, the price held and so did the weather. 

There is usually a slough of media coverage around the beginning of the season and this year was no different.  Articles about fish and the price of fish have been popping up left and right.  Here is a great little video capturing a few of our local characters of the fishing fleet along with an article about the price of fish.  Simply click the links below.

Meet the Fleet

The story behind the $50/lb hype of Copper River salmon.

Copper River Salmon in Seattle & Anchorage

Too bad we fisherman don't get paid that kind of money!  But, we don't.Which is why we have to go out and do it again.  Speaking of, I'm about to do just that!  Fishing opens again tomorrow for a 36 hour period.  The fish counter has just gone crazy so we are getting lots of fishing time.  Wish us luck!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fishes & Dishes Holiday Gift Ideas for the Fisherperson, Cook or Armchair Adventurer in Your Life

The holiday season is upon us.  Have you been good?  I have been....more/less.  As good as a fisherman can possibly be anyhow.

In case you haven't finished your holiday shopping for that salty dawg in your life, fellow bloggers and fishermen from the F/V Savage have made a must have gift list!  I had to share.  My favorite is bronze Octopus tentacle ring (size 6, PO Box 1135 Cordova, AK 99574).  

Here is the link to Fishes & Dishes site:

These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Things...

Fishes & Dishes Holiday Gift Ideas for the Fisherperson, Cook or Armchair Adventurer in Your Life.

Happy Holidays from Fishes & Dishes!

Alaska Weathervane Scallops & Apron

Give the cook in your life one of these thick and sturdy aprons ($23 )emblazoned with an Alaska Weathervane Scallop, the best in the world! If they'v been very good, and feed you often, treat them to a box of Weathervanes too ($105-120), which come in 4 convenient 1- pound blocks to a box.

Klawock Oceanside Smoked Salmon Gift Box

Klawock Oceanside is a family run business, and Mary Lang is one of the contributors to Fishes and Dishes (The Chain Locker). The salmon they buy in the Alaskan summer is turned into some of the best smoked salmon you’ll ever taste. This beautiful, limited edition wooden gift box is sure to please anyone on your gift list. Filled with 3 cans of Sockeye, 2 cans of Coho, a can opener, crackers and two birch forks, it's a steal ($52), and shipping is included!

They also have 3 packs of Salmon nicely gift wrapped in cellophane and topped with a bow ($24) (contains 1 can Sockeye, 1 can King and 1 can Coho).

Crab Casserole

Mussels and More Mussel Bowl

Beautiful Alaska seafood deserves a proper presentation. These beautiful 9”, high-fired stoneware crab casseroles($68) from potter Jeff Tinius are perfect for serving up your favorite seafood dish or chowder. Available in four colors from Annie Kaills in Juneau.

The mussel bowl ($58)from Mussels and More is perfect for serving up Mussels with Cider and Bacon (from the Fishes & Dishes cookbook). Replete with barnacles on the bottom of the bowl, this is a beautiful piece and available at many stores throughout Alaska and the Pacific NW as well as online. Click here for store locations.

Salmon Sisters Anchor Leggings and AK Marine Hoodie
These two hardworking fishing sisters out of Sand Point, Alaska are the brains and creative talent behind Salmon Sisters’ awesome fishing inspired clothing. Pick up a pair of their lusciously thick and soft Anchor Leggings -for her ($38), printed with a sassy white anchor, or an AK Marine hoodie -for him ($45) emblazoned with a fishing boat and “Our Oceans, Our Lifestyle’ on the back. 10% of each sale of the hoodie goes directly to the Alaska Marine Conservation Council (AMCC).

Ray Troll Gear

Ray Troll is an Alaskan treasure, and his witty artwork graces t-shirts worn by cool people everywhere. Pick up a T, Hoodie, poster or book from Soho Coho (prices vary) and you'll be sure to please any of the people on your Nice list!

La Lune Jewel Anchor Cuff

We are coveting this hand hammered and etched anchor cuff ($50) by La Lune Jewel, made by a Seattle artist and daughter of a SE Alaskan Marine Pilot. 

Moon Raven Design Octopus Ring

We love all things octopus, and especially love this bronze Octopus tentacle ring ($59) from Moon Raven Design out of Victoria, BC. Made to order in any size from 5 up to 13.5 for the Octopodidae lover in your life.
 I never take mine off.

Chinook And Company's Sockeye Fish Oil

Stay healthy and take your fish oil! Chinook and Company’s 100% pure, natural Alaska Sockeye salmon oil capsules provide vital Omega 3's and other essential fatty acids. ($18.95). Sustainably harvested in Bristol Bay, Alaska.

Alaska Distillery Smoked Salmon Vodka

What to drink with that smoked salmon frittata? How about a Bloody Mary made with Alaska Distillery Smoked Salmon Vodka ($35.99)

Fish-Work: The Bering Sea by Corey Arnold
Chosen as one of the best photo books of the year by PDN and American PHOTO magazine when it came out, Fish-Work: The Bering Sea ($65)  by fisherman and photographer Corey Arnold brilliantly captures the stark beauty and harsh reality of working as a crabber on the Bering Sea. Signed copies of Fish-Work: The Bering Sea are available directly from the artist.

Alaska Blues by Joe Upton

Alaska Blues ($15.95by Bainbridge Island author Joe Upton is an award winning memoir of a season of trolling in SE Alaska. Here’s what David Guterson, author of Snow Falling on Cedars, had to say about it“…A beautifully written book about commercial fishing in coastal waters. Joe Upton delivers both the reality and romance of Southeast Alaska.” I couldn't have said it better myself.

Working On the Edge:Surving in the World's Most Dangerous Profession: King Crab Fishing on Alaska's High Seas by Spike Walker

Before the Deadliest Catch, there was Spike Walker and this now classic memoir. Working on the Edge ($15.95exposed the harsh conditions and incredible dangers and unique culture of crab fishing on the Bering sea. If you know a Deadliest Catch fan, then this is a perfect book for them.

Happy Holidays!
Coho-HO HO!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

National Fisherman's 2013 Crew Shots

National Fisherman's annual crew shots is out!  Check it out to see if there is anyone you recognize!

Check out the link here: National Fishermen's Crew Shots, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Katmai National Park


Every now and again when you are out fishing you have to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.  So when I got the chance to fly out to Katmai National Park this past summer while I was gillnetting in Bristol Bay, I jumped at it.  From King Salmon, Katmai is only a 20 minute float plane ride away.  You can fly out there for the day, stay the night in an (overpriced) lodge or you can camp.  Camp with all those bear, are you crazy?  Don't worry, there is an electric fence around the camp ground.  Besides, with all this delicious salmon around you think these bears want to nibble on you?  Granted, it is unsettling to be so close to so many bears.  Grizzly bears, none the less.   This sure wouldn't happen in other parts around Alaska.  But out at Brook's Falls, in the heart of Katmai, food is in such abundance, these bears are happily satiated on sockeye salmon.   Which is also the reason you see so many together in such a small area.  Lets take a look.

Brook's Falls, Katmai National Park, Alaska

Bears waiting for sockeye salmon

They wade in the water, catching salmon, occasionally

Look at this old guy.  See how little his ears look?  He's BIG!

Grandpa bear

Someone got lucky!

Yummy wild Alaskan salmon

Gut salmon?

Dur...I thought I saw one..

I got one!  I got one!!


Hold my calls Roy, I'm busy

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Scenes from the 2013 season

watchin' corks

steering station

Fishermen's bible aka tidebood

the fleet heading to the Copper River Flats, Cordova

Fog. This is actually a color photo!

Who me? Otter in the Harbor

Sunset Copper River Flats
Sitting on anchor

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Anglo American pulls out of  Pebble Mine!  What does that mean?  Basically, Anglo American,  the company with the deep pockets is bailing out of the project because the proposed mine is "too risky".   Ya think?  You think putting the world's largest open pit mine at the headwaters of the world's largest wild salmon run is too risky?  I'm glad they finally see it my way.  And the way of 654,000 other folks who signed the EPA comment petition to protect the Bristol Bay Watershed. (

Anyway, you can read all about it right here: or here:

Looks like if enough of us little folk speak loud enough, we can make a difference!  Good job everyone who helped make a stink about all this!  Lets just hope this is the beginning of the end. And what would I have to say to Pebble Mine?  Just what the skipper of the Bristol Bay gillnetter Licka-D-Split would say, "Don't let the door hit you where the good lord split you".