First off, I have to apologize for the wonky blue and pink colors on my blog. I don't know what's going on, they just showed up one day, but, not to worry, I have my IT department (AKA, me) on it. Now, to our regularly scheduled PickFish Tales.
Its 7:30 in the morning. My feet are on the gunnels and I’m pulling my net in by hand with all my guts. It’s like a game of tug a war. First, I pull. Then, I get pulled. My deck and reel are full with green eyes. I can hardly even stand up. Their spikes are everywhere. They stink and slither all over. Then Phil shows up and says “Watchya doin’?”
It’s a nice calm morning on the Flats. No wind, just the lazy but ever present ocean swell. I decide to open on the beach. Drug Beach. Drug Beach got its name because it is between Grass Island and Kokinhenik or Koke, for short. Hence, Drug Beach. It was slack water, the right stage of the tide to make a beach set for it will be a while before breakers start to show. I was in 7 feet of water and was hoping to catch a few kings.
I had lots of room, meaning not too many boats were around. This is not usually the case on the beach. I was kind of excited to be here. It isn’t very often I get to set on the beach. Usually the weather is too bad or it’s too crowded or there are breakers. Or all three.
The fishing period started off just like any other. The clocked ticked 7 am and I threw my buoy over. Slap! It hit the water. I throw the boat in reverse and start to set out my net. It backs up almost in increments as it stops momentarily with each swell. Moments later my net is out without any glitches. “Easy money” I say to myself. I’m in a good mood because it’s such a nice day. I go inside and cut the engine. “Ah, silence”. I make a cup of coffee and check in on the radio. Curly and Phil are near me, though I don’t see them. Bill is still running and hasn’t set yet. I could never stand that. At 7 am I’d have to set my net no matter where I was. But Bill has more patience than me.
I’m sitting in my skipper’s chair with my foot propped up on my wall. I’m enjoying my coffee while it’s still hot, chatting on the radio. I’m happy. Life is good. I’m ready to relax a bit and have some breakfast. I see a cork bob. “Fish on!” I yell………..to myself. I smugly report on the radio to the group that I’m getting a few. I see another cork move. And another. Its 7:07. My net has only been out 7 minutes and I’m in ‘em! I say this in code on the radio. Bill asks where I am as he is going to head this way for his first set.
But wait a minute. What is that I see? My cork’s are not bobbing up and down, the tell tale sign of catching kings. They are shimming back and forth, the tell tale sign of catching green eyes. “Shit!”
I sit up straight and fire up the engine. I slam down my hot coffee and hop into my raingear and burst out the door. I start to pick up my net, just to make sure what I’m catching. I get a red. “Shew”. And another. I get my hopes up again. Then one comes aboard. Green eyes. “Ugh” I say in disgust. Then another. And another. I run back in and hop on the radio “Green eyes! Green eyes! Green eyes!” on our channel so the other’s have a heads up. I don’t wait for response, I don’t have time. I rush back out on deck. I throw the boat in reverse and start hauling in my net as fast as I can. I have to get my net out of the water as quickly as possible before it gets full of these retched fish. A school of these hell creatures can sink a net. Bye bye thousands of dollars. Plus loss fishing time. Bye bye more thousands of dollars.
I rev up the engine a bit while in reverse. I also need to get the net as tight as possible on the reel so the whole thing will fit since I’m leaving the green eyes in there. They are extremely difficult to pick out of the net when they are alive. Besides, it takes too long to pick them out. The longer my net is in the water, the more of these things I get. I do try to pick out the occasional salmon tough. Leaving them on the reel is poor quality control. They get all mushy like hamburger.
I get about two thirds of my net in and my reel is full. “Shit!” I have to pull the rest in by hand.
That's all the time we have for today. Tune in next week for the rest.