Yesterday I did some bartering and trading, the Alaska way. Since I sold my commercial Dungeness crab permit, I no longer had a use for the commercial crab pots I had. When I sold the pots to another fisherman he started eyeing all my good junk at my boat yard. Didn't take long for him to realize he wanted a nice Canadian built anchor winch I had. He mentioned all the good junk he had and soon this deep drop hydraulic reel was mine. I have been wanting one of these for quite awhile, but never wanted to pay for one. Those days of subsistence halibut and yelloweye fishing is going to be lots of fun. I will not be coming home nearly as tired as I used to after a day of fishing. Better go buy that commercial rockfish permit now. Maybe Ketchikan locals who don't fish, but love red snapper, will be able to buy them off the dock now that Captain Tony will be catching lots.
Today with a little help from Captain Ross, the Valhalla is ready to fish. Since spring is here, I decided 1 boat needs to be ready to fish. I haven't used the Valhalla much this winter due to the leaky raw water pump. The jabsco pump is around $700 was my reasoning for not fixing it. I have received a few calls from locals who want to go crabbing, bottomfishing, and hunting for a King Salmon. Figured I better be ready for those local Ketchikan Alaska people. Going to haul a couple downriggers and some fishing gear down tomorrow and do my first Ketchikan fishing charter on Sunday afternoon. Those sneaky little herring that were making the water boil the other day haven't been around. We should have jigged as many as we could the other day when they were here. The Herring we buy in Ketchikan are no where near the quality of fresh fish. It is nice to get ready for Ketchikan's busy charter fishing season now rather than later.
We went to Anchorage Alaska for spring break. Normally vacations for us are southbound not northbound. Sometimes you need to be a tourist of your own state. Seeing Lake Hood in person for the first time was awesome. Lake Hood is the largest seaplane base in the world. Since the lake was frozen all the floatplanes were off of their floats and sitting in the middle of the lake on skis. Our trips are never in the midst of summer because of our busy Ketchikan charter fishing season, so spring break is our major trip every year. Upon our arrival home we realized the herring were very thick. Krill were also washing up on the shore in front of my house. With a couple herring sabiki rigs, Captain Ross and I filled a bag or two in short order. In Ketchikan we pay around $5 per dozen frozen herring. I have always wanted to catch my own but too busy. The quality of these fresh caught herring vs. frozen, there is no comparison. Beautiful weather had us pulling dead engines out of the Ketchikan charter boat Ketch'em. We have a set of used engines that are going into the boat and will bring it new life. Even saw a couple deer while working on the boat.
Been working on Ketchikan Charter boat "Valhalla" the last few days. Since the days are getting longer here in Ketchikan I am itching to catch a Halibut, King Salmon, Crab or something. Have a group of guys that are in Ketchikan, working at the Vigor shipyard. Told them it wasn't the right time of year for a charter but that we could get some crab and try hard for a King Salmon. You can always catch a couple rockfish, and crab without too much trouble so that is my plan. The boat has to be ready though, so that meant tackling a couple projects that I have been putting off. Replacing raw water pump and some engine room cleaning, was definitely in order. Also reinstalling my downrigger's for King Salmon trolling needs to be done. Stripped all fishing gear off the boat so we could do our Sea Cucumber season, and haven't done much to the one boat in the water since. Soon I will have some pictures of actual fishing to post on my daily page. Keep in mind winter time in Ketchikan Alaska means fixing boats and hibernating time.
Hauled one wing out to paint booth today, and hauled home some freshly painted parts. Might look like junk pile but this is Captain Tony's little gold mine. I am hoarding all my painted parts inside of peterbuilt freezer truck. I bought the truck with intentions of hauling fish south. Eventually we will use the truck for its intended purpose but for now it is Cessna 172 plane part storage. Been working hard on this Aurora Sportfishing page. I want not only the Never Enough as the envy of the Ketchikan Charter Fishing world but also the website too. Thank you, Cannons for booking fishing trip on July 8, 2015. Nice to see this calendar filling up. Note to fisherman; call and book now only so many charter boats in Ketchikan.
The Aurora Sportfishing plane is getting work done. The wings are on their way to the paint booth. While hot water pressure washing, I was talking with a friend about my fly out Halibut fishing idea. He told me about another friend who flies out to his halibut hole often, catches one nice halibut in about 10 minutes and flies home. Cannot wait for those days to come. I don't think Alaska Department of Fish & Game has rules against it. Fly out Halibut fishing charters might be drawing that fine line. This is when the lumber rack on my pickup comes in handy. Ordered the new reduction gear for the Never Enough today. You can see it in all its glory in the background of the wing picture.
Aurora Sportfishing's Never Enough is not going to fix itself. Todays work required me to suit up with overalls, respirator, eye protection, and ear protection. Tearing out old stringers is more of a job than I expected. Glassing in the new engine bed will take some work too. The 8.3CTA Cummins plus Hurth ZF280 will weigh around 1900 pounds so it better be strong. While working I saw Captain Clay on the Killin Time fishing the narrows in front of my house. Don't know if he caught anything but another friend caught a beautiful 25 pound King Salmon Sunday in front of my house. I hear and see all from my little beach Casa! Year round, and all times of the day I see Ketchikan boats and transient boats chugging past my house. Someday I will be the "Old man by the sea!" For now I am just the "Middle aged man by the sea!"
Ketchikan's favorite charter boat "Never Enough" is getting the engine bed replaced. This big repower, fiberglass, paint job, etc. is coming to completion. As many of you know the Never Enough has been a 4 year project, but will be worth the wait. Currently the engine bed (stringers) are getting cut out and new ones put in place. By changing engines and even placement of the engine, the fiberglass over wood stringers need attention. Captain Tony will work on this boat everyday for the next couple months and should be running May 1. There are around 100 charter boats in Ketchikan. Some are very nice comfortable boats, some are not. The Never Enough will definitely be in the Top 10 as far as boats are concerned. Remember it isn't all about the boat. Some boats are shiny new tools, some are rusty old tools. A nice new tool can make your job a little easier however. Ketchikan has some real nice charter boats with bad Captains. Some really nice Captains with bad charter boats. Haha!!
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