Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dip Netting

Matt's parents just left after coming to visit and see Maddie in all her cuteness.  We drove to Homer (a fishing village about 4.5 hours south), played golf (I drove the golf cart and watched), did a little shopping, played cards and went dip netting.
As Matt's mom put it, did I ever think that three years ago I'd be asking Matt to take me fishing in Alaska?   That'd be a resounding no.  However, I had to practically drag Matt out there.  All you catch is pink salmon and he doesn't like salmon, so I can understand his lack of desire to get all nasty and tired for little reward.  Dip netting is only open to Alaska residents for about 2-3 weeks during the summer while the fish are running.  There are all these rules about how non-residents cannot handle the fish or even touch the cooler we use.   We had to get permits and could only catch as many fish as this year's limit (25 head of household and 10 for each additional member = 45 fish for us).

So on our way down to Homer we stopped at the mouth of the Kenai river, in the pouring rain, and gave it a shot.  We borrowed some equipment and got bundled up (while Matt's parents were on Maddie duty).
about to head down to the beach at the mouth of the river in our waders and dip net
thankfully the rain stopped just as we were getting started.
It was a mad house - so many people!
You can see all the people in the water just 5 feet from each other - on both sides of the river.  
That's me in the green jacket.
Don't I look like such a pro as I wait for a fish to find it's fate in my net?
Matt came to help me after I caught one.  I'm clubbing it on the head to kill it.
I couldn't do it at first, but quickly got over it.  Those poor fish.
Where we set up, we had to walk back and forth with the fish in these mud flats.  It was exhausting, especially after standing in the cold water fighting the current with this gigantic net the size of me.
I'm pretty sure Matt is headed up to cut off some fish heads and gut them.  Clearly, that was his job...because I sure wasn't going to.
Some of our future dinners!
Most people go and camp out for a day or two and stay til they catch their limit on fish - which depending on the family size can be 200-300 pounds of fish!  We stayed for about 2 hours and caught 6....all 27 pounds of them.  I take a lot of pride in our 6.  We then dropped them off at a processing place to get filleted, vacuumed sealed and flash frozen.  Much to Matt's surprise, it was actually a lot of fun.  Maybe next year we'll try to catch a few more, depending on how many I can eat or how creative I can get in hiding the salmon in recipes for Matt.  Six maybe all we can hold in our freezer.

I officially feel very Alaskan.

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