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Gone Fishing


We are headed south to Tree Point to catch some red gold. Salmon that is. For the next two months I will fall off the World Wide Web. As of yet, there is no WiFi where we will be fishing. So you’ll have to manage without me. I have no doubt that you will do so fabulously. While I’m gone, thanks to Word Press there are four more automated weekly blog posts you can check out. Simply go to my website and click on FishTales. There’s a Candied Smoked Salmon recipe posting in two weeks. Be sure to check out The Recipe of the Week for a scrumptious recipe, if you haven’t already.

Here’s to everyone having a great summer! I’ll catch up with you when I return so we can trade stories again. Until then, “Fish On!”

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Keeping it Real


Hard at it!


Hummm…wonder what’s for dinner?


As the 2012 salmon season quickly approaches, the list of things that needs to be done is HUGE!
Because once we leave the dock, I’m not going to be able to run to the store if I suddenly realize I’m missing something — or to the Internet if I need to find out something. Whether it’s provisions, pans, tools or recipes, you have to make do with what you have until next time you are in town.

To some, this is scary…what if I forget something? I have learned through the years to see it as a chance for innovation…what can I do with what I have? I’ve developed some of my “best recipes” simply because I was making do.

I have two basic strategies for dealing with the challenges of being away from town.

#1. Planning and List making. This makes it less likely that I will forget something. It usually takes a few weeks to go through the entire list.

#2. Creativity. If I have to substitute or go without, it’s not the end of the world.

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Commercial Fishing Lifestyle


There is no need to convince the thousands of Alaskans and avid outdoor men and women, who get excited by reeling in a 30-pound King Salmon or seeing a beautiful Coho rise to a brightly colored lure, why they need to start making plans to head outside.
But for some reason, after the long winter off I need a little convincing. As the 2012 salmon season approaches, I try to remember all the reason why I love to fish, because surely it’s not the sleepless nights, the isolation and all the aches and pains it causes.

As I try to remember, I’ve compiled a list of 10 good reasons that might just offer you an excuse to call in sick for the summer and go commercial fishing.


1- Freedom: Ask most Commercial Fishermen why they enjoy spending time on the water and you’re likely to hear the word “freedom.” Spending a summer fishing for salmon helps to release us from our highly stressful, everyday environment. Nothing brings on the sense of being alive and aware to help rebuild our personal reserves like a day spent interacting with nature. You are aware of each minute, what is happening right now, and what is ahead. Your free in that you’ve just done something all day long and then you’re done…When you wake up you’re on the water and in one of the most beautiful places on earth.


2- Not Ruled by the Clock: Having a bad day of fishing still beats a day in the office or tending to house chores. When fishing for salmon, your day is ruled by the tide. Watching the kelp with the tide is pretty neat. You’re not on a clock, your run by the wind, waves, and the tide. In this way you develop confidence in yourself and in your ability to handle unexpected situations.


3- The Thrill: Fishing has a way of fulfilling an age-old need of pursuing and catching. The thrill lies in the challenges, such as finding where the fish are and keeping your boat afloat. But there are many who will be quick to profess that it’s not the catching of fish that’s important, but the immeasurable life lessons that you will experience along the way. This gives me joy because my entire spirit is elevated and this makes me happy.


4- Health Benefits: More than fifty percent of Americans are overweight. Being outside and being active helps to make you feel better and encourages a healthier way of life. Driving to your local grocery store and fast food restaurant might be convenient, but fishing can also help you burn those unwanted calories, increase the quality of your lifestyle, and add years to your life.

5- Physical and Mental Strength: Mental strength sometimes can be more important than physical strength. The summers give you the opportunity to sharpen both. But no doubt, fishing is exercise. Every muscle works on a boat. Even when you are just sitting at anchor your body is working as the boat rocks and rolls, you’re getting lots of fresh air and plenty of sunshine. Fishing really comes down to mental toughness and being physically strong to make it to the end.


6- Fishing for Food: Wild fish are low in fat and cholesterol and high in protein. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends a regular diet of fish. Besides it’s a lot more challenging to catch that plate of fresh fish than to stroll endlessly down a supermarket aisle. We dine on fresh fish seven days a week loving every minute of it. Eating this much fresh fish is the perfect opportunity to lighten up my diet and loose a few extra pounds.


7- Boost to the Economy: The fishing industry is Alaska’s largest private employer and employs over 65,000 people for the summer, seasonal and year round employment. The states fisheries average over $11.2 billion in revenue per year and account for 38% of the dollar value of fish landed in the United States. This gives an economic boost that any state government would be pleased with. I love being a part of this.


8- Self Fulfillment: Fishing offers you the chance to improve your self-esteem through respect for the environment, mastering outdoor skills and achieving personal goals. There is never a day when I do not learn something new or sharpen a skill such as, tying knots, piloting the boat, chart reading, how to anchor and how to read the wind and the weather.


9- Empowerment: There is nothing better than coming back to town after the season, knowing you have just pushed yourself to the limits way beyond what most people could only imagine, and you had an experience of a lifetime.


10-Lifestyle: The industry, the people, the lifestyle. It’s all a part of who I am and I love it. At the end of every season I walk away with a better understanding of who I am and tons of great stories to tell for years to come. After all, fishing in Alaska is an adventure of a lifetime. I love the lifestyle it provides. We fish 15 weeks a year and get to do what we want to for the winter which is traveling, taking pictures and writing cookbooks.

After writing this and reviewing all my pictures, HOW COULD I NOT WANT TO GET BACK ON THE BOAT AND GO FISHING! After all, my bunk does come complete with a feather bed and an electric blanket. 🙂

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Launch Day for the F/V LaDonna Rose


Looks like a really nice day out. It’s not, these are pictures taken from last year. Today it’s raining and blowing 50! Craig from Air Marine Harbor called to tell us it’s still a go! So walking around in the mud taking pictures in the rain is not on my to do list today.


This is the part of the launch where I am hoping Ole remembered to put the drain plugs in, and did he charge the batteries? Everything worked great when we took the boat out of the water six months ago, everything should work fine today right?


I always feel better when the boat is in the water and not hanging in the air two stories above my head.


In the water and ready to start this summers adventures!


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It’s That Time Of Year!


Can you believe it’s that time of year for all us fisher people to start thinking about our summer fishing season? Pretty exciting and nerve racking all at the same time!

Going to the boat for the first time today marks the start of our transition. Tomorrow we will put F/V LaDonna Rose back in the water and start a new year of salmon fishing.

Our lives are about to shift abruptly from a spacious house on land to a cramped cabin at sea.

Ironically, it doesn’t take too long before I’ll view “cold, stinky and cramped” as “cozy and warm” as I stand close to the galley’s diesel stove. I will once again fall in love with our vessel, because for the next four months, it will be my everything.

My home, workplace, entertainment, my friend. I will put my complete trust in it to keep us safe and return us home.

Our 25th season gill netting switching between two separate lives lends itself to the things we are saying goodbye to.

We start reflecting in the truck on the way home. This is what we talked about.

Ole: Why didn’t we go to Hawaii this winter?

Me: No time.

Ole: Vegas would have been nice.

Me: Yeah.

Ole: I don’t think we ate enough pizza.

Me: I don’t think I took enough baths, I think I’ll take one every day until we get on the boat. (Only cramped showers from here on out).

Me: Oh how I’ll miss having coffee and a cookie at The Point and The Green Coffee Bean.

Ole: Lets go have coffee and savor these last few days with friends.

Me: I sure hope Keta (our new kitten) will like her new home.

Me: I am going to miss having my nails done.

Ole: I’m going to miss stretching out on our nice big mattress.

Ole: Won’t it be nice to get back on the boat?

Me: Blank stare!

Me: What will you miss the most?

Ole: Ice cream and sleep.

It’s a funny thing, we go kicking and screaming getting back on the boat. Once we’re all settled in, it’s not too bad really. After all, the season is only a short 14 weeks and that’s it!

I can do just about anything knowing it will end.

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