Friday, February 24

I went crabbing with 2 friends near Juneau of Friday
afternoon. The weather was beautiful. Snow bound
mountains all around, calm waters, and the temperature
near freezing. We used crab rings – a circle of rebar
with web stretched across. We put a mesh bag of
herring tied at the center as bait, and tossed the
ring, with line and buoy, overboard and waited. Over
the course of the next 3 hours, we caught 2 king crab
(one a mammoth), several dungeness crab and couple
tanner crab. My friends lamented that fishing was
slow with only the 2 king crab, the species we were
targeting. I was just happy to be on the water
again, even though we were just a stone’s throw from
the dock.

About sunset, another little skiff came into the bay.
The fisher drove around with a gps, searching for his
“spot”. He stopped, threw over his rings, waited
about 10 minutes, then pulled his rings….and had a
king crab in each one! He caught in 10 minutes what
we’d tried for half the day. He came up to the boat
smiling, and turns out he’s an old friend, Ed, who I
didn’t recognize under his float suit. He almost
apologized for his luck, and said the crab had been
hanging out where he set his rings – a place we had
set our gear all around, as it’s just a small cove.
Ed’s gaining legendary status as stories like this
grow – he’s younger than we are, but has spent a long
time studying and harvesting fish, game, and
furbearers. I laughed for days at his swooping in and
catching 2 king crab right next to us. It’s days like
today that snaps me out of the winter doldrums and
remember I live in Alaska.

Mark Stopha and Sara Hannan
Alaska Wild Salmon Company
F/V Dutch Master
Hook and Line Fresh, Frozen, and Smoked Wild Salmon
Salmon Pet Treats
4455 N. Douglas Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801

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