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I once caught a fish THIS big…

May 24, 2011

This past weekend Howdy and I went with our friends Mike, Mary, and Kati down to Seward to go halibut fishing. Hoping this time around nothing would interfere, and we’d actually be able to catch some fish!

We drove down to Seward on Friday night after we got off work and put the dogs in the kennel. We met up with our friends and went to dinner at a place called Ray’s.

I haven’t eaten at any other restaurants in Seward (other than Subway), but I wasn’t very impressed. The food was just okay and it was WAY too expensive for what it was. I had the halibut fish and chips which was $28 and I only ate about half of it – but don’t worry, Howdy wasn’t letting that food go to waste – he finished it and his dish, which he said was really good.

After dinner we went back to the townhouse where we were staying to have a few drinks and play a game of Guesstures. We stayed up until midnight, which probably wasn’t the wisest choice since we had to be checked in at the dock by 6am the next morning…

Saturday morning we were up bright and early at 5am, had some breakfast – scrambled eggs and an english muffin for me – and then packed up and drove over to the dock. We were on the boat with about 20 people by 6:30am, and you know it’s going to be an interesting ride when the captain says “we’ve just come off a week of gale-force winds, so the seas are going to be pretty lively”. Apparently “lively” means 6-7 foot swells. Luckily, I don’t get any kind of motion sickness. I didn’t take any medication or anything, but a lot of the people with us (including Mary) who took something and/or had one of those seasickness patches on, were hanging over the side of the boat quite a bit throughout the day.

But none of that was going to stand between us and our delicious fish!!

Hey, we’re on a boat!

The boat took about 3 hours to get to the “fishing grounds”, and I found a seat and slept the whole way out. Apparently the sound of the motor plus the motion of the ocean knocks me out.

We fished for around 5 hours, and it was pretty frustrating in the beginning until we figured out the technique for keeping them on the hook. I caught one little 8-9lb halibut pretty early on, but I released him. The halibut limit is 2 per person, per day, so we really wanted to get some good ones – no wimpy 8lbers for me! 😉

When it was all said and done, I ended up catching/reeling in 5 halibut. I caught the little guy I released early, and then the last 4 were within a 15 minute period near the end. I kept the first of those 4, and then released 2 in a row, and kept the last one. I was exhausted by the time I reeled up the last one and had decided that I would keep it no matter what size. Luckily it was decent-sized catch!

This is a look into the hold of the boat. The fish caught by our group of 5 were given orange tags:

All the fish in the picture above are halibut. In case you didn’t know, halibut are like flounders in that they live on the bottom of the ocean, and both eyes are on the same side of their bodies. The white you see is the underside, and the brown side faces up.

Most of our catch out of the hold:

In the middle on the right-hand side of the above picture there’s a larger fish, although it’s hard to tell just how big it is in that picture. The average size caught on our boat was about 25lbs. That guy was 70-80lbs!! I definitely did not catch that one – I don’t think I could have reeled it in, honestly.

As it was, I started to notice that my arm was hurting on our drive back to Anchorage. After I got home and took a shower, I discovered it was hurting because the fishing pole had given me a huge bruise where I was trying to hold onto it under my right arm while reeling in the fish! They are very heavy, and it’s a killer workout!

I had a great time and really enjoyed halibut fishing. I was also very thankful that I don’t get motion sickness! The 10 halibut our group caught ended up giving us 60lbs of halibut fillets – which was divided up into 5 portions – meaning Howdy and I took home ~24-25lbs of fresh fillets (that are now in our freezer). So excited!! I love halibut, and since it runs around $19-20/lb at the store, I’d say that’s #WINNING 😀

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 25, 2011 11:46 am

    Yum! That looks like so much fun! I am just adding more and more “to-dos” to my Visiting Alaska Agenda!

  2. Lauren Coburn permalink
    May 25, 2011 11:51 am

    so awesome, MM! i love the pictures of you and howdy! i hope to be eating halibut with you soon… xo

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