Posted by: tlnemethy | June 3, 2012

Getting My Sea Legs, or At Least the Dry Rollers

ImageOn a beautiful day in Sitka, Alaska I got up at 3:45 and pulled on the warmest clothes I owned. Generally speaking, I was highly unprepared for the damp cold and wind that soaked me to the bone, but I was still representing Michigan Tech with my apparel. Go Huskies. The water was choppy, but I do believe the cast of Deadliest Catch would have said that it was like setting sail on a baby’s ass, all smooth and calm, but with the occasional gust.  Just on the way out of Eliason Harbor I saw a few whales, a sea lion and an otter. The otter and sea lion were just chilling in the wake of the boat ahead of us. I heard somewhere that they like to do that because the boat props confuse the fish, making them easy pickings for breakfast, but this also means lots of accidents involving marine wildlife.Image

I was just excited to be rocking the Morton’s Fisherman attire, though I ditched the yellow smock almost instantly because the sleeves were too long. But it was really a beautiful day on the water and proved unnecessary anyways. Not having been much of a deep-sea adventurer, I was extremely worried about getting seasick, but apparently I need to become a longshoreman because I was just rocking and rolling on those waves. As soon as we stopped moving and dropped anchor half my party got taken out by the dreaded seasickness so you had to be careful stepping over legs and not bumping those who were sleeping away the day.

It left more freedom to fish though. I was mooching for salmon, and got a little worried when three fish had been dragged into the boat and hadn’t gotten mine, but right after that thought crossed my mind I felt the undeniable tug on my line and went apeshit pulling that monster through the water.

I need to work on my upper body strength, I’ll tell you that. Holding the rod out of the rod holder for an hour and a half had already wrecked me and then I had to pull a fish from the water when he was clearly happier under the surface. Within the next ten minutes, I’d dragged a King salmon and a Coho out of the water, ImageCoho’s not even supposed to be found this early in the season. Apparently he heard my siren song.

Once we’d caught our limit on King salmon, we headed to another secret spot for some halibut soaking. Halibut are some nasty looking flat fish that lurk on the bottom of the ocean, laying on their food to keep it safe. They are born with both eyes on opposite sides of their body, but gradually one eye shifts to the darker side making them look like someone stepped on their faces. I caught my little flatty after a bunch of Lingcod grabbed hold of my hook and made me fight for them. Unfortunately the Lingcods were way too big to fit in the regulation size slot, but I was stoked just to have caught them and brought em up all by myself.

The day was eventful, and overall the sea only claimed the life of one person’s cellphone making it a success.Image I feel much more comfortable on the open water and hope to be going out again soon, especially since I was so engrossed in actually catching fish that I neglected to take as many action shot pictures as I could.


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