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Author Topic: Commercial Fishing  (Read 71978 times)

Offline wsmnut

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Re: Commercial Fishing
« Reply #75 on: January 24, 2017, 10:26:48 AM »
Those drainage winds are the nuts no matter how big your boat.  Rolled for about 4 hours or so (felt like days) crossing the bottom of Chatham Straits on the way to Sitka for herring season 5 or 6 years ago.  Middle of the night.
All you can do is hold on.

Have a safe and smooth trip down.  I saw a bit of drainage out of Taku Inlet and the Stikine River two days ago.  Hopefully it stays small and localized there.

Good Luck!
Wsmnut
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Offline Skillet

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Re: Commercial Fishing
« Reply #76 on: January 24, 2017, 10:41:25 AM »
Quote

You going to get that tattoo with your boat in it?  :tup:

Yessir. 
Haven't decided if I'm gong to get it with the Diamond Lil or a generic troller...  And I've earned two swallows as well (each represents 5k nautical miles). 

Those drainage winds are the nuts no matter how big your boat.  Rolled for about 4 hours or so (felt like days) crossing the bottom of Chatham Straits on the way to Sitka for herring season 5 or 6 years ago.  Middle of the night.
All you can do is hold on.

Have a safe and smooth trip down.  I saw a bit of drainage out of Taku Inlet and the Stikine River two days ago.  Hopefully it stays small and localized there.

Good Luck!
Wsmnut

Great info, thanks. I can't get that kind of detail from the V.  :tup: 
With the coast-wise winds, I'll likely head out over the top of Baranof via Peril Strait into Chatham.  Adds about 8 hours into the trip, but easier than rounding Ommany in this weather.
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Offline Woodchuck

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Re: Commercial Fishing
« Reply #77 on: January 24, 2017, 10:59:44 AM »
Be safe my friend.
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Offline Boss .300 winmag

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Re: Commercial Fishing
« Reply #78 on: January 24, 2017, 11:05:31 AM »
I don't have enough room on my skin for the 5K standard.  :chuckle:

You going to get the rooster, and pig on top of your feet too?




:
Quote

You going to get that tattoo with your boat in it?  :tup:

Yessir. 
Haven't decided if I'm gong to get it with the Diamond Lil or a generic troller...  And I've earned two swallows as well (each represents 5k nautical miles). 

"Just because I like granola, and I have stretched my arms around a few trees, doesn't mean I'm a tree hugger!
Hi I'm 8156, our leader is Bearpaw.
YOU CANNOT REASON WITH A TIGER WHEN YOUR HEAD IS IN ITS MOUTH! Winston Churchill

Keep Calm And Duc On!

Offline Skillet

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Re: Commercial Fishing
« Reply #79 on: January 24, 2017, 11:10:25 AM »
I don't have enough room on my skin for the 5K standard.  :chuckle:

You going to get the rooster, and pig on top of your feet too?




:
Quote

You going to get that tattoo with your boat in it?  :tup:

Yessir. 
Haven't decided if I'm gong to get it with the Diamond Lil or a generic troller...  And I've earned two swallows as well (each represents 5k nautical miles).

Haha, I may. There is no end to it, as it sounds you well know...
KABOOM Count - 1

"The ocean is calling, and I must go."

Offline Skillet

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Re: Commercial Fishing
« Reply #80 on: January 24, 2017, 11:14:10 AM »
Be safe my friend.

Will do. Want to get home ASAP, but in one piece.  Winter wx on the B.C. Coast is nothing to trifle with - Cape Caution is appropriately named.
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"The ocean is calling, and I must go."

Offline Boss .300 winmag

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Re: Commercial Fishing
« Reply #81 on: January 24, 2017, 11:31:08 AM »
I don't have enough room on my skin for the 5K standard.  :chuckle:

You going to get the rooster, and pig on top of your feet too?




:
Quote

You going to get that tattoo with your boat in it?  :tup:

Yessir. 
Haven't decided if I'm gong to get it with the Diamond Lil or a generic troller...  And I've earned two swallows as well (each represents 5k nautical miles).

Haha, I may. There is no end to it, as it sounds you well know...

Yep, July 1st 30 years in the Navy, that's my last day on the rolls. And still don't have a nautical tattoo, but it's coming three anchors.
"Just because I like granola, and I have stretched my arms around a few trees, doesn't mean I'm a tree hugger!
Hi I'm 8156, our leader is Bearpaw.
YOU CANNOT REASON WITH A TIGER WHEN YOUR HEAD IS IN ITS MOUTH! Winston Churchill

Keep Calm And Duc On!

Offline Skillet

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Re: Commercial Fishing
« Reply #82 on: January 24, 2017, 11:59:03 AM »
I don't have enough room on my skin for the 5K standard.  :chuckle:

You going to get the rooster, and pig on top of your feet too?




:
Quote

You going to get that tattoo with your boat in it?  :tup:

Yessir. 
Haven't decided if I'm gong to get it with the Diamond Lil or a generic troller...  And I've earned two swallows as well (each represents 5k nautical miles).

Haha, I may. There is no end to it, as it sounds you well know...

Yep, July 1st 30 years in the Navy, that's my last day on the rolls. And still don't have a nautical tattoo, but it's coming three anchors.

Well done man -
 :salute: 
KABOOM Count - 1

"The ocean is calling, and I must go."

Offline Boss .300 winmag

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Re: Commercial Fishing
« Reply #83 on: January 24, 2017, 12:04:29 PM »
I don't have enough room on my skin for the 5K standard.  :chuckle:

You going to get the rooster, and pig on top of your feet too?




:
Quote

You going to get that tattoo with your boat in it?  :tup:

Yessir. 
Haven't decided if I'm gong to get it with the Diamond Lil or a generic troller...  And I've earned two swallows as well (each represents 5k nautical miles).

Haha, I may. There is no end to it, as it sounds you well know...

Yep, July 1st 30 years in the Navy, that's my last day on the rolls. And still don't have a nautical tattoo, but it's coming three anchors.

Well done man -
 :salute:

Thanks
"Just because I like granola, and I have stretched my arms around a few trees, doesn't mean I'm a tree hugger!
Hi I'm 8156, our leader is Bearpaw.
YOU CANNOT REASON WITH A TIGER WHEN YOUR HEAD IS IN ITS MOUTH! Winston Churchill

Keep Calm And Duc On!

Offline Skillet

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Re: Commercial Fishing
« Reply #84 on: January 24, 2017, 03:02:20 PM »
Tenders.  The heavy haulers of the AK troll fleet.  They work to keep us out of town and on the fishing grounds for extended periods of time.  A lot of them around here are scow-style, like the pic of the Eigil B earlier in the thread.

This is the one I sold to the most, the Deer Harbor II under contract with SPC.  She is pictured here with Mustang, a boat very similar in size to the Diamond Lil. 


It is captained by the most amazing, bad-ass female captain that I know of, Amber Hansen.   I'd put her 5'-4" ish up against most of the men up here for grit.  She is always getting on deck and helping out her crew of 3-5 guys, and drives that boat hard.  They pack a LOT of fish in the summer, and during the peak of the coho run I'd bet they average 16 hour days just buying fish for that 4-5 weeks.



The crew of a tender is your link to the real world, and building a good relationship with them is to your major advantage if you are going to sell via tenders.  More on that in a bit.


If you're icing fish, being able to pitch off (unload your fish) to a tender is a huge advantage to be able to maximize your time on the grounds.  The other option is to run to town to pitch off.  Sometimes, when the fish are close to Sitka, Pelican, Hoonah, Craig, Ketchikan, etc., it makes sense to just run in to do it.  Close is relative - could be an hour or 4 run.  Keep in mind that you need to get back out to the grounds asap, so a 2 hour run that starts after you pull the gear early at 8pm gets you to town at 10, the usual cutoff time for starting shoreside processor deliveries.  You then pitch off, where they sort and grade, and weigh your fish, write up the ticket.  While that is going on up above, your deckhand is scrubbing the hold of dirty ice down below.  A fair sized unload of 750 coho can take half an hour or so to dig them out and load in to bins. Then there's a half hour of sorting and grading.  So we're at, 11pm now,right?  By then the deckhand(s) are done with scrubbing the hold, and it's ready for fresh ice.  So you move the boat down to the ice chute and take on another 4-ish tons of ice.  The chute at the SPC plant in Sitka blows ice out at around 1 ton/7 minutes, so there's another half hour.  Getting close to midnite by the time you point the bow out of the harbor and head back out for the 2 hour run back to the grounds.  First light is about 3:30am this time of year, so you can just cruise easy and the crew can get a nap before we're running gear NLT 4am back on the grounds.  Lather, rinse, repeat every five days.

If you sell to a tender, however - they are usually much, much closer to where the fish are being caught.  A huge amount of coho are caught by the troll fleet every year as they head into Cross Sound, and there are several tenders that frequent the area.  The run into Pelican is about 4 hours, so that's possible - but it's much easier on the sleep schedule to pitch off to a tender that is sitting just inside Lisianski Inlet or Lisianski straight. 

An example of how it works -

At the end of a 4 or 5 day trip (or if wx looks terrible for the next day or two and I want to pitch off instead of having my fish get all beat up in the hold) I call up Amber on either the VHF or via Delorme Inreach and get a delivery appointment.  The trick to delivering to a tender is they are swinging on their anchor (hook), and to land gracefully you need to have a smooth touch.  My deckhand and her deckhands need to be on their game in rough weather or high winds, since often times I'm timing my approach on the apex of the scow's swing. 

We get tied up and the work begins.  Amber runs the boom crane expertly, lowering a plastic tote we call a Traco into my hold.  My deckhand(s) and dig fish out of the ice and load into the bin.  When full, she lifts it out and dumps it onto their sorting table on deck, where her crew sorts and weighs the fish.  Each traco can hold roughly 400# of fish, so a good offload will be around 10-12 Traco's.  Here is a pic of some spring kings coming out of the hold that I sold to SPC in Sitka in May - but the idea is almost exactly the same. There's only about 260# there, but coho are smaller and pack much better in the Traco.



Same deal as shore-based deliveries, the fish are sorted and weighed while the deckhand (and myself, this time) quickly shovel out old ice and scrub down the hold with Simple Green and a bleach solution mix.  Hopefully our timing coincides and they have all of the fish graded, weighed and repacked in their ice bins, and our fresh ice ready to go right about the time our scrubbing is done.  This is where our trust with the tender comes in - when I sell to Amber, I never worry about not getting good weights so I can focus on turning my boat around faster.  Other tenders will find me on deck supervising the grading and weigh-up so I know I'm getting a fair shake.   Amber is gold.
Amber then cranes the ice down into my hold with clean Traco's and we dump them in such a way as to minimize shoveling.  Shoveling ice gets old fast, so you find clever ways to not have to move ice by hand if you don't have to. 
This is where I go up on the tender to sign my fish ticket and place my grocery order, pick up the order I placed the last time I delivered, run the hose over to my deckhand to pump on potable water for my freshwater tanks, and if we are the last boat of the night we sometimes get to take a warm shower (that feels really good after a week's worth of coho gurry is crusted into your beard - sometimes a rinse on deck in cold water just doesn't get the dried kidney out...)!  Another advantage if there is no other boats after us, we just stay tied up and can sleep.  No need to untie and go find a place to anchor - that saves another half-hour of sleep that we can use to get a shower.
They will cut us a check right there, or if you have it setup ahead of time they will do an auto-deposit into your account when the tender gets to town to unload.  I prefer that, since there is no cell or internet out there.

About ordering up the groceries - beggars can't be choosers!  Nobody talks prices, it just is what it is.  You want to eat?  You sign the list and they deduct it from your check.  If you ordered a 10# bag of Jasmine Rice, and they come back with a 20# bag of regular white rice, you just say thank you and take it.  Same with pretty much everything.  A lot of it has to do with what is in stock at the time the tender crew has to run your grocery errands for you and 10 other boats while they're in town.  I've seen them racing around in SeaMart, two or three carts and ten lists, throwing stuff in and racing to get back to the boat.  Don't complain - be grateful.  They're usually pretty good about it, and if I complained that I got the wrong kind of lettuce, the next time they have to make a decision on the fly while in town they may just say "no lettuce this time."  So, I really appreciate the type of services the tenders provide to keep us fishing.

Meals are usually on the fly and pretty spartan, but I like to do a stick-to-your ribs meal after we get done icing the fish at night.  That is usually comprised of some sort of fish or meat if I have it, rice or quinoa, some kind of greens and vegetable.  It has to be cooked on the propane range in the summer, because the diesel stove really heats up the cabin is usually not running from July thru August.  Starts getting cold enough to fire it up in September, and by the end of October it's running full time.
I have had some very generous shipments of elk meat up to Sitka, and oh man what a treat.  This is what supper looks like when THAT package arrives!




« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 03:14:22 PM by Skillet »
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Offline Camo

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Re: Commercial Fishing
« Reply #85 on: January 24, 2017, 06:19:01 PM »
Great thread Skillet. As much as I enjoy everyone's successes, failures, and info swap on here, I enjoy vicariously living the adventure the most.
Look forward to your future posts, thanks for sharing.
Albacore, the better white meat.

Offline wsmnut

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Re: Commercial Fishing
« Reply #86 on: January 24, 2017, 07:07:54 PM »
Nice addition about the tenders!
I haven't seen Amber in years.  I have good memories of her Dad.  Steve 'Hans' Hansen.  We used to moor near each other in Lake Union.
Wsmnut


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Offline quadrafire

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Re: Commercial Fishing
« Reply #87 on: January 24, 2017, 07:36:32 PM »
I logged on tonight specifically to ask some
Of these questions. Was wondering about the meals. Groceries and who cooks. What about the lady on board. Kinda cramped space  for that I would
Think. Bathroom issues???

Offline Boss .300 winmag

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Re: Commercial Fishing
« Reply #88 on: January 24, 2017, 07:39:55 PM »
I logged on tonight specifically to ask some
Of these questions. Was wondering about the meals. Groceries and who cooks. What about the lady on board. Kinda cramped space  for that I would
Think. Bathroom issues???

That's a bigger ship (tender) and she is the captain, doubt she has any problems.  :chuckle:
"Just because I like granola, and I have stretched my arms around a few trees, doesn't mean I'm a tree hugger!
Hi I'm 8156, our leader is Bearpaw.
YOU CANNOT REASON WITH A TIGER WHEN YOUR HEAD IS IN ITS MOUTH! Winston Churchill

Keep Calm And Duc On!

Offline quadrafire

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Re: Commercial Fishing
« Reply #89 on: January 24, 2017, 07:42:25 PM »
I believe he has a female deck hand from a previous post??

 


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