Went dipnetting for sockeye salmon with my 2 college friends and one of their friends on the Kenai River this weekend. I flew up to Kenai after driving the whale watch boat here on Friday, we dipnetted the afternoon tide on Saturday and the morning tide on Sunday and got all the fish each of us wanted. It was the usual madhouse of 200-300 boats of every size and power, with boats drifting under power along the banks and then running back up the thalweg to get back in line to drift again, creating an egg beater with 2 to 3 foot waves at times. But everyone seems a good neighbor and I’ve yet to see anyone yelling at each other in my 2 years of fishing there. Some people you can tell are not as good at running boats as others, but they at least seem to try to stay out of other’s way.
I dressed the fish at the river at Keith’s Beaver Creek Cabins and Guide Service and then chilled them in ice and water for the trip to Anchorage with Todd and his parents. I planned to just send the coolers down on air freight and was stunned to arrive at Alaska Airlines Airfreight on Sunday. And find it closed. In the middle of the summer. Wow. So we scrambled for fish boxes at Fred Meyers (sold out) and then to Walmart, where I bought 3. I first each box with fish and gel packs and Todd dropped me at the airport. I then took fish out of each box at a vacant airport luggage scale until they were 50 lbs per box, and put the extra fish into the soft case cooler with gel pacs that I carried on. To round it off, I somehow lost my boarding ticket from Security to gate C4, walked all the way back with the back pack and heavy -ass soft cooler and did not see it, so went back to C4 and the agent issued me another ticket. It ain’t easy bein’ me.
I ran whale watch boat on Monday till 9 pm, and then Sara helped me fillet, portion, vac pack, and freeze the fish about 3 hours. We are set for salmon for the year. I watched Keith a little closer this time when he was cleaning his fish on how he filleted and noticed I was better at it when I did it last night. I also noticed how he bagged the portions as we cut them, which saves another rinse as the portions can get slimy if they are are sitting in a bucket all together.