My Fish Was This Big!

Ahh, summertime. Soaking up sunshine, swatting mosquitos, taking road trips. Telling the teenagers to get off the internet. Taking the teenagers to get driver’s permits. And watching my son catch a fish nearly as big as I am. This pretty much sums up my summer so far.

I have never been fishing in my life (unless I went as a small child and don’t remember it). I have also never really cared to go fishing, but when you live in Alaska, it’s something that everyone should try at least once. I also don’t like to eat seafood at all (probably one reason I never wanted to go fishing), but again, in Alaska, salmon and halibut are served everywhere, from restaurants to dinner parties to outdoor barbeques, so if you don’t eat seafood there is a very good chance you will go hungry in certain situations.

I know the health benefits of consuming fish are numerous, so shortly after moving here I decided to give fish another try. I’m still not that fond of salmon, but halibut is actually good – it’s definitely the least fishy tasting of the two. So when Mark told me about a halibut fishing charter that someone from his office was organizing, I agreed to give it a try. At least I wouldn’t mind eating our catch.

Last weekend we packed up and headed to Homer, a small town that proclaims itself to be the halibut fishing capital of the world, and prepared to get up early the next morning to head out on our adventure. I was a little nervous about a couple of things – spending six hours on a small boat with no bathroom, and getting seasick. So I only drank half a cup of coffee that morning and took Dramamine, and thankfully neither turned out to be a problem.

In case you don’t know (I didn’t before actually experiencing it), halibut fishing is done out in the ocean, and the fish are bottom-feeders. Which means that you need a lot of upper body strength to reel in your fishing line all the way from the bottom of the ocean when you feel a tug on your line. Unfortunately I have spent zero time in the gym working out my biceps and triceps, so I was sore for about three days after fishing. But Kyle’s been working out so he could handle the catch of a lifetime.

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Mark and Sarah, waiting for a bite.

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The deckhand whacking Kyle’s fish on the head to make sure it was dead. Next to it is the largest fish caught up to that point, which we all thought was huge. Before Kyle’s catch, anyway.

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Here’s Kyle and the captain, who struggled to hold up the 95-pounder.

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Our family posing with some of the halibut that we caught. Kyle is next to his fish, and Sarah is next to her big one – a 50 pounder.

I have to admit, I had a lot of fun and it was tremendously exciting when we all realized the size of fish that Kyle had on his line (there were ten of us on the boat, including the captain and deckhand). When the captain yelled at the deckhand to get the harpoon ready and then grabbed his pistol and donned ear protection, we knew something big was about to happen. And it did.

All of us on the boat caught our limit of fish, which is two per person, and we now have over 100 pounds of halibut in our deep freeze. So if any of you have any good halibut recipes, please let me know. We’ll probably be eating it for the next year.

My post wouldn’t be complete without a remark on more record-setting weather. We broke the record for the most days in June that were over 70 degrees – we had 17 of them. Amazing.

So far, July has been typical – overcast, a little rainy, and in the 50s.  Which made for a  fairly uneventful July 4th. We also had no dark skies for fireworks, so we celebrated inside with good food, fun games, and a lot of family time. Which is not that bad of a way to celebrate.

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About staciemarkcoop

I've spent the last four years living in Africa, now I'm in Alaska. Let the adventures continue!
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4 Responses to My Fish Was This Big!

  1. Of course, you can do all that and more! I just saw a mama moose and two babies the other day, right around the corner from my house.

  2. Uncle Roger says:

    Nice fish. When come to visit that would be a trip worth taking. Love to get to fish on the ocean.
    Also like to hunt, visit glaciers, see moose, oh you know what ever there may be to do in Alaska.

  3. You can probably smoke halibut, we do have a smoker and I know for sure you can smoke salmon. I’ll look up smoking halibut, that’s a great suggestion. I’ve already been searching the internet for recipes but haven’t given it too much effort yet.

  4. Harold Cook says:

    So glad you got to go fishing. Don’t know if you can smoke halibut or not. Maybe the internet would have some recipes. Glad you are making memories and adventures with your family. Way to go! Dorothy

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