One thing that has been on my bucket list since moving to Alaska is to go halibut fishing. So, for my 27th birthday my wish was granted! My parents were in town visiting from the Lower 48, so the four of us went out on an afternoon charter to soak up some sun, wind, and catch some fish.
In Alaska you can catch a maximum of 2 halibut per day, one over 20″ long and one under 20″. The DNR regulators are super serious about that, so there is a game you have to play with when you fish to where you have to decide “this fish is 25″, do I think I can catch one bigger?” If you keep the 25″ fish and catch a bigger one, you have to throw the bigger one back – it’s like gambling with a fishing line!
We chose to go fishing out of Homer, the Halibut Capitol of Alaska. We booked a charter through Bob’s Trophy Charter and took off on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. We were on a ‘six-pack’ boat, so there were the 4 of us, plus 2 others who were super nice and fun to fish with. Matt & I caught our 2 fish maximum, with my parents catching one each. Unfortunately, my dad got sea sick during our fishing charter but I was still impressed with his ability to catch fish.
One of the best things we chose to do after fishing was pay to have our fish processed. Last year when we went dip netting, we processed (filleted, cleaned, de-skinned, vacuum sealed) our salmon ourselves in our garage. It took hours and our garage smelled like fish for well over a week. The Homer Fish Processing company met us at the dock, took our fish along with our instructions to de-skin and pack in 1 lb. bags, and then we were done. The next day, we picked our fish up, vacuum sealed and flash-frozen – perfect for putting straight into our freezer. Amazingly, it only cost us $37 for 30 lbs. of fish!
Speaking of fun adventures, last week I had the opportunity to meet Dan Bigley and attend a Lunch & Learn where he detailed the story of his bear attach. See, Dan is one of two known people in Alaska to be mauled by a bear, have his face ripped off and go blind, and survive.
His story is amazing, not just of the attack but of the recovery process and how he’s not only survived but thrived – he’s gone on to marry the girl he started dating before his accident, have children, and grow professionally at an organization that helps children.
I’ve been reading his book non-stop since I got it (autographed copy too, baby!) and find it amazing! I felt it appropriate to share with you guys on this post because Dan loves fishing – lives & breathes it. If you’re up for a story that gives you shivers and tiny tears of joy, check it out: Beyond The Bear.
How would you eat 30 lbs. of fish? What book would you bring with you for a long boat ride?