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Author Topic: Alaska troll caught kings and coho HuntWa group buy  (Read 3855 times)

Offline Skillet

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Alaska troll caught kings and coho HuntWa group buy
« on: July 14, 2018, 09:01:40 PM »
Our first fresh fish group buy is finally happening!  I've got 10 kings (about 110#) and 83 coho (about 475#).   All fish were caught this morning right off of Cape Edgecumbe in 70-72 fathoms of water, troll dressed, slush iced, and are now needing new homes.  I will be shipping 80# boxes tomorrow via Alaska Air to an Airport near you.  Logistics details to follow...   I just hit the harbor and have a few errands to run, but will post up the deal in a few hours.  Start contacting your buddies to get your own buying group together and get on the list. I anticipate this will sell out pretty quickly, as I have a few other commercial accounts that I'm offering this up to as well.

Thanks for supporting your small time HuntWa fisherman!

Chris Hanson
F/V Diamond Lil

Kings - SOLD OUT
Coho - SOLD OUT
« Last Edit: July 15, 2018, 11:14:46 AM by Skillet »
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Offline andersonjk4

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Re: Alaska troll caught kings and coho HuntWa group buy
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2018, 10:43:58 PM »
Definitely interested. Tagging for more info.

Offline DaveMonti

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Re: Alaska troll caught kings and coho HuntWa group buy
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2018, 10:44:11 PM »
Tagging

Offline cem3434

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Re: Alaska troll caught kings and coho HuntWa group buy
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2018, 10:47:17 PM »
Tag
The best friend a guy could have asked for. RIP chasing pheasants in heaven Denali girl.

Offline Timberstalker

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Re: Alaska troll caught kings and coho HuntWa group buy
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2018, 10:48:39 PM »
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If you aint hunting, you aint livin'

Offline elkaholic123

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Re: Alaska troll caught kings and coho HuntWa group buy
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2018, 10:58:47 PM »
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Offline Skillet

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Re: Alaska troll caught kings and coho HuntWa group buy
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2018, 11:15:17 PM »
Thanks for the interest fellas.  Here's a couple of pics to whet the whistles-

Lots of coho in the slush (I teased them out a bit for the pic)

A couple of nice kings

The belly cavity of the big king I'm holding in the above pic
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Offline Skillet

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Re: Alaska troll caught kings and coho HuntWa group buy
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2018, 11:37:40 PM »
Thanks for checking back in, here’s some more details on the fish.

These salmon are all bonked and bled as they come over the stern, and dressed when I’ve done running a side of gear.  That can take up to 10 minutes before I get to cleaning them, but they are all troll dressed and on ice within 30 mins of arrival.  If it is really warm, I’ll run one wire at a time to ensure the fish get on ice within 15 minutes.   The point is, they are handled with care and concern for quality as soon as humanly possible.

What is “troll dressed”?

Troll dress, or gill and gut (G &G), is a way to clean the fish for sale while retaining the head.  The belly is sliced up to, but through, the chinstrap.  Whenever possible, the chinstrap is left attached to the lower jaw (how the fish is hooked and gaffed can cause this to separate – it is a style thing only and does not affect quality).  The gills are removed, as is the guts.  Very importantly, the kidney (often called the “bloodline,” located along the backbone) is completely removed.  The vein between the kidney is sliced to prevent any remaining blood a place to pool, and the 5-ish rib arches in the back of the belly cavity are sliced through and the tiny bits of kidney and vein underneath them are removed.  This is a tricky maneuver at first, but after a few thousand or so fish you get the hang of it…
 
Why retain the head?

Two main reasons.  The first is that kings need to be measured for length, unless the boat is licensed as a processing facility and can obtain an exemption to the length rule.  The second is that the head is a major indicator of quality. Clear, unsunken eyes, no browning of the flesh around the hole created by the gaff, etc., are indicators of age, quality and handling.

Why are troll caught fish so expensive?

Because I need an early 20th century Fox SxS field grade in 12g 2-3/4” with IC/Mod fluid steel barrels.  If you have one to trade, I can make you a helluva deal on the fish!

In all seriousness, with a purchase of my fish you are supporting a small business whose sole purpose is to create the highest quality seafood product possible.  In return, you get the chain of possession, the quality standards, the care that goes into each fish you simply cannot get anywhere else.  Everything has a price point, and if you are looking for a cheap piece of protein to feed your freeloading ingrate of a brother-in-law I’m probably not your supplier for that mission.  But if you are putting up some food for your family and you want to know EXACTLY where it came from, how long it’s been out of the water, who handled it, how they handled it, and know that it is as close to catching it yourself – well, I think we’d be good partners in that endeavor, and I’d like to apply to be your “fish guy.”
 
That’s a quick overview of the questions I’m frequently asked, and I can elaborate more on those or address other questions as requested.  For the most part, my fishing operation is an open book to you guys here on the site and I’d like to share as much as is practicable.

What I’m offering today is coho and kings – both handled the same way,  both given the same care and concern, but with vastly different market values.  I don’t set the market, but I have to respect it…
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Offline Dan-o

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Re: Alaska troll caught kings and coho HuntWa group buy
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2018, 12:10:20 AM »
Chris is a 100% stand up guy......   and you won't find better fish.

I've bought from him and will definitely do so again.

Buy with confidence.
Member:   Yakstrakgutp (or whatever we are)
I love the BFRO!!!
I wonder how many people will touch their nose to their screen trying to read this...

Offline Skillet

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Re: Alaska troll caught kings and coho HuntWa group buy
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2018, 12:38:02 AM »
That's some high praise Dan-o, I'm flattered.  And I'll do whatever I can to live up to those kind words.   :tup:

Here’s the nitty gritty of the deal on this trip.  First, to do this I have to sell all of the fish.* So let’s get those orders in and if I can’t get you this time due to not having enough to cover the demand, you have first right of refusal next time.

All prices are boxed in an 80# wetlock (waxed and lined) box, plus shipping.  I’ll look up the shipping rates to various airports and post them shortly.  Why an 80# box?  Because 75# is what it takes to get to the best per pound shipping rate for fresh fish on Alaska Air, and I happen to have a stock of 80# boxes up here with me. 

What if I don’t want 80# of fish?

Get on the horn with a couple of your buddies so as a small group you can cover that 80# box.  This has been very successful for me in a few test shipments, and I’ll offer suggestions on how it can be arranged if asked.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to individually box/bag/package each person’s order within the box – that is going to be up to the buying group to distribute amongst themselves.  Basically, pick up the box at the airport or from the designated distribution guy, have your buddies over to the house and split up the fish.
 
What if I want more than 80# of fish, but don’t want two (or 10) 80# boxes?
Great!  Look for that buddy who can buy the balance of the box you don’t want. He’s out there, probably on this site right now reading this along with you.  Maybe post up your location and how much coho and kings you’d like, and see if you can find a match.

Is a box exactly 80# of fish?
No.  I can only offer up what the ocean provides.  But I will do my best to get you as close to your desired amount as possible.  If you can give me a couple of pounds leeway on the coho I’d appreciate it.  I’ll let you know what the final bill is after I pack the fish.  For the kings, I’ll be taking orders of fish count, and approximate size.  For example – “I’d like one nice big grilling king, about 15#”.  You might get a 13#’er, you might get a 17#’er.  Anything over a 15% weight variance I’ll shoot you a text to verify first so there’s no major surprises.  Again, this is a sale of just the fish I caught on the morning of the 14th – so our sizes are limited to what I have in the slush ice right now.
What is the size range of these fish?

Kings range from about 8# to (I’m guessing, here) 20#.  This is troll dress weight, no gills or guts.
Coho range from about 2.5# to 9# on this trip.  The coho this year are huge… approaching mediuim king size. If you order an 80# box of coho, you’ll get a representative cross section of the fish I caught.  Some under 4#, some 4-7#, some 7+#.  Nobody’s getting a box of all XL’s, and nobody’s getting a box of XS’s.  Even distribution.


Alright, already – what do these things cost?

I’m able to offer the Coho at $4/#.  That is a really good price, and I’m only offering this up to my HuntWa’ers and a couple of my commercial customers who also happen to be HuntWa’ers (you know who you are!)  I sell a lot of vacuum packed frozen coho filets for $11/#, so $4/# fresh troll dress carcass is a screaming deal if you plan on processing yourself.  Again, these are the high quality Wild Alaskan Troll Coho, not commodity net or farm fish.

Kings are at $11.50/#.  Are they 3x better than coho?  Depends on what you want to do with them.  One of these is going to a wedding banquet, and I normally sell these to a high-end restaurant supply company or to a high-end grocery/fish counter corporation in Seattle.  This is an opportunity to access one or more of these fish at a below-normal wholesale price.  I do have one (or two I cannot recall right now) ivory kings in the mix as well, inquire for details if you’re interested.  They are very moist, tender fish that don’t put off people who normally “don’t like salmon.”
Side note on the kings - this is the last trip for kings for a while.  The season "may" open again briefly in early August, but it didn't last year - so no guarantees.  After the August opener, the next opportunity for fresh Alaska Kings is not until mid-October.  And by then the price will be sky-high - wholesale approached $17/# last year.  If you're thinking of enjoying a splurge on a Wild Alaska Troll King, I'd suggest not passing it up at this price.   

I only want one 15# king for a nice family barbeque, I don’t want 80# at those prices!

No problem.  Whatever the balance between your king order and 80# is can be filled with coho.  I’ll mix and match fish per request to fill an 80# box.

What am I supposed to do with 80# of fresh coho and kings??

Might I offer a few suggestions:

My first, and favorite, thing to do with a big mess of coho is to fire up the smoker.  I've had some amazing smoked coho from the filets I put up last year, shout out to @H20hunter.  Vacpac and freeze your smoked fish, enjoy it for the whole year.

A very close second is to have a canning party.  If you get three or four families together, a couple of canners, a big pile of 1/2 pint jars, an 80# box or two of coho, and a barrel of wine and a keg of beer - you've got yourself a canning party.  This is one of my favorite social events of the year, and when you're done you've got a stock of safe and tasty seafood that you can use throughout the dark months to add a little variety to venison burger and/or tag soup. 

If you end up fileting the fish out, don't forget to scrape the frame with a spoon for salmon burger!  Youtube it, there is a ton of meat left on most filet jobs that can go into the burger bag.  Unless you're one of my customers, whose knife work would make a samurai jealous.   He doesn't get much opportunity for salmon burger... but the rest of us do.

Next installment – logistics.


*I don’t think that leftover fish is going to be an issue here as the volume is so small, but if I don’t sell them all to HuntWa and my other established customers, I’ll need to haul the sorry amount left into a processor and tell them I’ve written a few other fish tickets against this load.  They will automatically assume I high-graded the load to sell to my friends, and likely refuse to buy my leftovers for fair value.  I could hedge against that by overcharging my fellow HuntWa’ers, but I didn’t get into this to screw the little guy to insure myself against the processor’s business model.  So if you're on the fence, take a leap of faith and place an order to ensure I can afford to do this again...
« Last Edit: July 15, 2018, 01:05:52 AM by Skillet »
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Offline Skillet

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Re: Alaska troll caught kings and coho HuntWa group buy
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2018, 02:08:06 AM »
Logistics – How do we make this happen?

The fish are as fresh as fresh can be – less than a day out of the water at this writing.  Salmon have a 10-12 day shelf life if temperature is maintained below 40 degrees.  The truth is most of the “fresh” fish you see in stores is at least 5 days old, up to 10 days old, when you buy it.  These fish are so fresh they’re going to give you some handling options.  Just be certain to keep them under ice to keep them cool and wet.

The fish will be shipped to an airport that Alaska Airlines services, for which I’ll add the actual price of shipping onto.  No handling charges, no packaging charges.  Just the actual cost of shipping.  For most areas, it will be right at $.90/# shipped weight.  I can verify charges to different airports as people inquire.

Only SeaTac and Portland have refrigerated storage in the AK Airlines cargo terminals.  Boxes shipping to those locations can be left for up to 48 hours before pickup.  The rest of WA, including Spokane, Tri cities, Wenatchee, Bellingham, and others – do not have a cooler to store fresh fish in.  If you live in these areas, you’ll need to arrange pickup asap after the flight lands and transport to your own refrigerated storage to ensure your fish temps stay in the safe under 40 deg F range.

I’ve “volunteered” a couple of guys in the major areas to assist with logistics if necessary – but considering the current temps and need for timeliness of pickups, it is far better to plan on being at the airport to meet the plane.
However, the volunteers are @Rainier10 for SeaTac and @Ridgeratt for Spokane.  In Seattle, it is probably best to leave your box at AK Air’s reefer cargo facility until you can pick it up, but I encourage you to contact Rainier10 if you think you can’t pick it up by Tuesday.  Ridgeratt has a special offer on the table – if somebody between Spokane and his compound in the Wedge wants a box of fish, he’s willing to meet you somewhere along 395 for a quick handoff.  That’s a heck of an offer to get fresh AK salmon up to Kettle Falls and beyond within a few hours of landing in Spokane.  Please pm Ridgeratt for details on that transportation possibility.

If I get multiple orders from the central part of the state, I’d be appreciative of a reliable point person that can help with logistics in that area.  I don’t ask anybody to volunteer – the logistics person gets a discount on their fish purchases. 

How do I pay for the fish?

If you have been on HuntWa for long enough for me to know you’re not a dirtbag that is out to steal fish, I’ll probably take a check.  PM me in advance for confirmation.  Nothing personal, but I may or may not accept a check from any one particular member.   Cash always works, and I will also take PayPal or a Credit Card through Square on this shipment to try it out (not available to the discounted fish for the helpers – not enough room in the margin to cover the fees).  If you’re working with one of the designated logistics guys, just give them the amount on the invoice I’ll email you via the approved payment method.

I’ve got 15 guys splitting one 80# box – will you take 15 different payments?


No.  One payment per order.  If you and three guys are going to order two 80# boxes of fish, I’ll take the  total amount due in one pre-approved check. Just like you’ll have to sort out the fish amongst yourselves, you’ll have to sort out who owes who amongst yourselves.


I’m really relying on the incredible personal ethic and standup nature of the HuntWa community to pull this off.  I would not extend myself like this to any other group of folks on the internet.  We have integrity, and it has been shown time and again.  But if just one person says they are going to buy fish, and when push comes to shove they don’t have the money, I’ll never be able to do this again.  Just losing one box of these expensive fish will turn this low-margin deal into a loser for me. 

So there it is, I hope that the folks on HuntWa can take advantage of this opportunity to get ahold of a prime AK Troll King or put up a bunch of filets of the finest Wild Pacific Coho Salmon you can get.  If anybody does a canning party, I’d really like to see a thread on it!


Thanks again, I do appreciate the support of you all, whether you buy fish or not.  Just the interest shown in mine, and others' commercial fishing lifestyles on this site, is a great motivator for me to do things like this when I can. 

Best,
Chris Hanson
F/V Diamond Lil
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Offline Ridgeratt

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Re: Alaska troll caught kings and coho HuntWa group buy
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2018, 03:46:17 AM »
That's some high praise Dan-o, I'm flattered.  And I'll do whatever I can to live up to those kind words.   :tup:

If you end up fileting the fish out, don't forget to scrape the frame with a spoon for salmon burger!  Youtube it, there is a ton of meat left on most filet jobs that can go into the burger bag.  Unless you're one of my customers, whose knife work would make a samurai jealous.   He doesn't get much opportunity for salmon burger... but the rest of us do.


On this topic. I will put the filleted carcus on a cookie sheet and season it stick it in the BBQ and after it looks done just use a fork to remove the meat. I get several 1# packages that can be used for salmon patties and or sandwiches or stuck in salads or snacked on.

The transport is I am hanging around Spokane to see how this turns. If I am picking up a box. Then headed North. I will call and let you know where I am. This is a same day trip. I pick up the fish and driving.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2018, 03:52:06 AM by Ridgeratt »

Online asmith

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Re: Alaska troll caught kings and coho HuntWa group buy
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2018, 04:19:35 AM »
Tagging along.  Will be trying to find some folks to split some with.  Would love some fresh coho :drool: :drool:
Right wing shooter, I aim for the left!!!

Nowhere in your incoherent rambling did you come close to what can be considered a rational thought. Everyone is now dumber having heard it. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.

Offline andersonjk4

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Re: Alaska troll caught kings and coho HuntWa group buy
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2018, 06:20:02 AM »
I’m in for a box of coho. Shipping would be to Spokane Airport. Pm sent.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2018, 06:47:37 AM by andersonjk4 »

Offline RB

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Re: Alaska troll caught kings and coho HuntWa group buy
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2018, 07:46:18 AM »
Right on this is the best tasting salmon!
IAFF #3728

 

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