Monday August 15th
We are back in Chico now and back to the real world "grind". The boys are back in school as of last Wednesday and I started back in the counseling office at my school today. Only 10 more months until we get to head north and do it again!
Our fish will be shipping out of Kenai this Wednesday the 17th and we hope to have it in our freezer 10 days or so later. We'll update the website with dates/locations of our farmers market sales. For those of you who buy from us in Chico, please ask the farmers market manager every Saturday "Hey, where are the salmon guys?" She says there is not room at the market for us but yet there seems to be plenty of non food vendors which I don't understand...-Lance
Thursday August 4th
We didn't fish yesterday (Wed August 3rd) so we worked around camp getting ready to head home on Monday August 8th. The weather forecast was for bad weather the next few days so we figured we had better get the boat launched and pull our gear out of the water in case the storm kept us from being able to do that this weekend. We launched in some pretty bad waves and got beat up a bit getting the boat back on the trailer and I ended up getting wet up to my shoulders trying to keep the boat on the trailer. We were successful in getting our working buoys out of the water and getting the winter corks tied into the anchor lines however.
We did leave a simple system in place that lets us fish a short 100' net over the weekend if Fish and Game gives us additional fishing time. We won't catch much with two short nets but anything caught helps stock up the supply for the farmers markets. Speaking of farmers markets, we are coming home with about 1/3 of what we wanted in terms of processed fish. It wasn't that we didn't catch enough, its that the processing plants couldn't process our fish due to the huge overall catches from all fisherman. Due to this, we will most likely just be selling at the Chico market this year as we just don't have enough fish to supply the other markets we sold in last year :(
We fly out of Kenai Monday morning at 9:15. Another season just about over. We are happy with our catch but unhappy with the processing situation and will be working with a different processor next season to ensure that we can get our catch processed without delay.-Lance
Saturday July 30th
We fished today from 7am-9pm and got another 1800-2000lbs or so that I took in for processing for sales back home. We fish tomorrow from 7am-7pm and if we continue catching at this rate I might be able to fly home with the boys instead of staying another week to stock up on fish!-Lance
Friday July 29th
We fished Wednesday and Thursday of this week and were able to bring fish into to be processed for our CA markets. Unfortunately, we are not catching much right now. Between yesterday and today, we brought in about 1500lbs for custom processing. We have a ways to go to get to our needed quantity of fish and I may stay in Alaska an additional week in order to put up more salmon for your enjoyment!-Lance
Monday July 25th
We fished today from 7-7pm and got two more totes of sockeye. The day started off rainy, windy and cold but ended very warm and sunny. We worked at the cabin today also. I have some low spots in the floor that I'm trying to jack up before putting in some partition walls. The best news of the day came at 10:40 this evening with a call from the processor saying that we can bring in all the fish we want for custom processing!-Lance
Sunday July 24th
Due to the large numbers of sockeye salmon returning to Cook Inlet, we are getting more fishing time through F&G Emergency Openers. The original forecast was for around 5.5 million fish to return to Cook Inlet but that count has now been raised to 9.9 million. We will now most likely fish straight through to the end of the season on Aug 15th only missing "holy" Fridays which are days we commercial guys can not fish due to guides in the Kenai river wanting lots of weekend fish available to their clients paying 210.00 for a half day of king salmon fishing!
We fished today and got 3 totes of fish, giving us a decent total for the season but again, have not been able to get any processed for our California markets. The processing plants are still "plugged" with fish and they won't let little guys like ourselves bring fish in to be processed. We are hoping the "glut" is soon over and we can get some fish in!-Lance
Thursday July 21st
We fished yesterday by F&G Emergency Opener. More fish than the biologist want are coming back to the river to spawn so we get to fish more than usual. We set our nets about 9am and went back to pick them around 3pm. We got two more totes of fish (about 350 sockeye). Upon returning to the processor however, we got bad news. Our processor had three days worth of fish sitting on the docks to process and they ask all us to pull our nets out of the water immediately. This was bad as F&G had extended our fishing time until 7pm the following day!! The news changed this morning however as we were told that they had caught up with the processing overnight and we could put our nets back in the water. We fished the mid day ebb tide and got another tote of fish. Tomorrow is a "no fish day" but we'll most likely go back in the water on Saturday.-Lance
Tuesday July 19th
Today, my youngest son Luke got to go out on a commercial gillnet boat. It was scheduled to be a 10 hour fishing period so I hope the seasickness medicine worked! We are thinking of selling our setnet operation and buying a driftboat/gillnetter so I want the boys to get a feel for this type of fishing before we attempt to make the move.-Lance
Monday July 18th
Fishing today was decent. We fished the ebb tide from 7am - 1:30. We launched the skiff and picked the fish out of the nets into the boat and ended up with about two full totes of fish. During the flood tide cycle we normally don't fish so we waited until 8:30 pm to set our nets again at high slack tide. The period ended at 11pm and we picked fish until about midnight. Fishing during this 2.5 hour block was great and it was worth the effort to set the nets for such a short period of time.-Lance
Saturday July 16th
Today we had an emergency opener due to the large numbers of fish near the beach. We set two nets at 7am and pulled them at noon when the tide changed from an ebb to flood tide. We then put the nets back in at about 7pm as the tide cycle changed from a flood to ebb. The opener ended at 10pm and we picked fish from our nets until about 11pm. We ended the day with around 4700lbs of salmon. Unfortunently, we were unable to get any custom processed for our CA market as all the processing plants were "plugged" meaning that they were still processing fish from Thursday and had no ability to accept a custom processing job like ours. Matter of fact most processors here in the Kenai area put their fisherman on limits of no more than 5000lbs of fish due to the huge catches over the last few days.-Lance
Thursday July 14th
Today was our second day fishing with very little catching! We only caught about 16 fish. Not to worry however as that is about to change. The drift net fisherman here in Upper Cook Inlet had a huge day with guys getting over 1,000 fish in the first few hours and many catching over 2500 for the day. We watched many of the boats come in to unload sitting very low in the water. This catch is good news for us as they were fishing about 40 miles south of us and the fish should be here in the Kenai area in a few days meaning that our next fishing day on Monday could be big! Stay tuned! -Lance
Monday July 11th
Today was our first day fishing for the 2011 season. The fishing was very SLOW and we only caught 27 fish! We weren't surprised however as everyone caught little which is the norm for opening week. We go back in the water Thursday morning at 7am and I'll post an update later that day.-Lance
Thursday July 7th
We took the boat to the beach today and... it didn't go so well. -Caleb
Sunday July 3rd
Today was our second day going to the beach. It was a very low tide and we needed to find our anchors that were out in the ocean. Last year we put a line and some marker corks on the anchors but we made the line short so it would not be ripped off by icebergs. So since it was a low tide we went out and tied an extension line to the corks along with a buoy. However, we didn't have time to get our boat down to the beach so we borrowed a canoe and used that. I don't think that has ever been done before. -Caleb
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