First of the season

Hooter hunting ends tomorrow, and king salmon are just starting to show up. I caught one with Kurt last night near the road-side rocks that people fish from last evening. We were off the rocks a ways in the boat. The king hit hard, and then jumped 10 times or so – cartwheeling 3 feet in the air. The fishermen on the rocks sighed “ooohh” everytime the fish jumped. And we thought he’d throw the hook with every jump. We finally got him to the boat and there’s no feeling like that first king of the year. I told Kurt I always feel like it’s the last one I’ll get on and maybe never get another one. Most years I catch just a few sport fishing.

This morning I arrived a couple hours before low tide, and Jeff and Kurt (in their boat) were just netting their first king of the year. I put my two lines out. One deep with an 8 oz sinker and one near the surface with a 3 oz. I’ve been using whole herring on a trolling hook with bead chain, and getting a nice troll roll. As I was checking the deep line, the shallow line took off, and I couldn’t believe I had another one on. This one didn’t take near the time the one did last evening, and was bigger. As I told Kurt, I think I take more care getting the fish tired before I try netting it when I’m alone than I do when I have a person on the net. I got this one in the net the first try. I called my coach from Bolivar, who left a few days ago, and said he’ll have to come for 2 weeks next year.

Tonight we’ve invited half the town, it seems, over for a salmon cookout. It’s in the high 50’s, and we’ll be happy if the rain holds off as forecast till late tonight so we can use the deck I built last year.

Mark Stopha
Alaska Wild Salmon Company
4455 N. Douglas Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801

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