A lifestyle blog about life and living in Southeast, Alaska.
More Fishing than Catching
June 7, 2016
It seems like such a long time ago that we were king salmon fishing near Juneau last week. But that's what the summer does do you right? Makes time fly by and your left wondering, where did the summer go? Sunday after Beer Fest weekend my husband, Stuart, drove his boat down to Juneau to pick up 75 new crab pots that a tender was bringing up from Seattle. Since the fast ferry was running to Juneau on Sunday as well, I decided to meet Stuart in Juneau with a car and the kids. There were two days left in the Juneau King Salmon Derby (1st place get's $10,000) and since the tender was not going to be there until Friday we decided it would be fun to venture out on the boat for the first time as a family of four and go stay out and harbor up in a cove for a couple nights. Plus we have great family friends in Juneau we visit, the Bentz's and we stay with them every time we go down. In fact, if we are passing through Juneau they would almost get offended if we don't stop by and say hello. I love that about them.
Being on the boat with kids is fun and also a nerve racking experience. I am a thinker and I worry about my kids all the time, but what mom doesn't? So of course the night before our 3 day boating adventure I start to ask my husband and myself...have you packed enough life jackets? Did we pack the infant survival suit? Do I have enough food? Will the kids be warm enough in the bunks? Do I have their rain gear? Do I have my rain gear?...and the list goes on. Now, I have met some pretty great families that have fished with their little ones since they were infants. A fellow fishing family friend told me she used to put her son in a shrimp pot for his naps so he wouldn't roll away while they were picking a set. I thought how clever but also, that is normal for you? I don't think I could let my little one nap in anything but a safe bed or crib where I know there wasn't a cold dark sea 5 feet away from them. However, to each their own and our family friend's son is now a senior in high school and will no doubt be a fisherman himself.
Our fishing trip went off smoothly. We headed out of Auke Bay Harbor and ran down about an hour away from Juneau. As we settled into our trolling destination we hastily baited our hooks and set our down riggers. We always fish at the depths of 30 ft and 23 ft. our lucky numbers. My first King Salmon Derby in Haines I caught a 30 lb king salmon at a depth of 23ft (see lucky!) and I got 5th place (shortly after, Stuart asked me to marry him, he told me once that when he saw I could catch a king he knew I was the one!). However, this trip turned out to be a little bit different then any of my other times fishing for king, why you may ask? Well that's because we didn't have one bite, not even a nibble on our lines. We spent the night in Swanson Harbor hoping that the next couple days would prove better.
Catching didn't prove better but in the spending days on the boat singing and watching your 16 month old daughter dance to Waylon Jennings songs and having your 4 year old son help you write a potential children's book about "the little green boat" (which is the color of my father-in laws boat) that went out to sea and got caught in a storm while halibut fishing but he never gave up and made it home. And seeing your children's sleepy little heads get out of the bunks in the morning while you and your husband are drinking coffee and they climb up for morning snuggles and french toast. And watching your kids pretend to drive the boat and curiously ask why dad had to keep going in his engine room to fix his troll valve because it wasn't working quite right. Those memories I will have the rest of my life and how lucky I am to have them. As we docked in Auke Bay on our last day and we regained our balance walking on land again we caught the fast ferry back home to Haines, while my husband waited for the tender to bring his crab pots the next day.
But that tender didn't make it up on Friday that was originally planned. He was now coming up Saturday. So my husband had one more day to fish, so he invited our family friend Josh Bentz, his brother Chad and their good buddy Robert out for one more fishing day Friday morning. And by 11am on Friday morning, these were the pictures I received via text message. So I'll just leave these here for you to view....(at least we had some fresh king for dinner when my husband returned home).
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!