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Salmon and Halibut fishing trip to Alaska
Old 09-16-2008, 05:31 PM   #1
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Salmon and Halibut fishing trip to Alaska

Early this year my brother approached me and asked if I would take his place in his and his buddies' annual Alaska salmon/halibut charter in August out of Sitka. He had a new job and was going to be working in the North Sea in August. After negotiations with the boss, er DW, I happily signed on. Well, around April the guy who runs the charter decided to change to a mothership operation (where you sleep and eat on a moored "mothership" instead of back in port each night) this year to avoid the 4-5 hr roundtrip commute each day to the fishing grounds. For only a few hundred dollars more for the trip, we thought "Why not?"

Well, this turned out to be just the right year to go on this trip. With ocean salmon fishing closed along the entire west coast (Ca-Or-Wa), Alaska and Canada were the only games in town. I was able to use American Airlines miles to get a free ticket on Alaska Air directly (well, not quite) from my home town to Sitka with stops in Seattle, Anchorage, and Juneau. And I got my ticket early enough to avoid the new baggage rules and get my fillets back home for $50 instead of $125 in excess baggage charges.

We had a little bad weather, and some rough seas, but overall the trip was a blast. Here is a summary of the trip.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:06 PM   #2
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Totally awesome Scrinch! Sometimes life is really good to us. Neat pics and narrative.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:33 PM   #3
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my 6am flight out the next morning (where my frozen fillets were waiting for me).
The only bummer of the trip turned out to be the flights. On the outbound flight the only routing I could get was through Seattle, Anchorage, and Juneau, with a 2am-8am layover in Anchorage. Not ideal! ...... and I made it home that afternoon into California's 100F heatwave by 3:30pm!
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Does this mean you left Sitka at 6AM one day and got home at 3:30PM the NEXT day?
What shape were your fillets in? I suppose Anchorage must have a freezer but I've always wondered if the baggage system always does what it's supposed to.

You must have a cast-iron stomach. Sitka's stats are the best in AK that I've seen.
Part of that I've always thought is because they've got access to open ocean, unlike the more protected areas of the Inland Passage, but you sure pay the price when the weather gets nasty. Thanks for the link......didn't know about that forum before.
Happy eating!
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:14 PM   #4
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Thanks for sharing. Those fish are huge!

I look forward to going back to Canada and fish again. I love to fish for smallmouth bass. Nothing compared to the size of the fish you caught, but a 3 to 4 pound smallmouth puts up a great fight on a seven pound test line!
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:14 AM   #5
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I was going to try out a joke about Salmon Brothers, just for the halibut.

But I figured it'd just get the hook.
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Does this mean you left Sitka at 6AM one day and got home at 3:30PM the NEXT day?
No, I had to spend the night in the Anchorage airport on the way to Sitka. Alaska Air changed my return flight plans in June, giving me a 22-hr layover in Seattle, but I was able to find the 6am flight out, which was a pretty much straight flight home. The fillets on the outside edges of the boxes were starting to get a little thawed by the time I got them home. They had not been deeply frozen, since they had been at the processor less than 12 hours, and they sat around at 100F for a little while when I got home before I could get them back in a freezer. The cost of the fillets, all trip expenses included, was about $20/lb. If I look at it that way, then I guess all the fun was free!
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:49 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by CFB
I was going to try out a joke about Salmon Brothers, just for the halibut.

But I figured it'd just get the hook.
[pun-ishment] What a gaff that would have been. [/pun-ishment]
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:54 AM   #8
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The whole thing seemed fishy. I'm glad I put the idea on ice.
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