Leaving worries, Kodiak and a wake behind, we head out into Chiniak Bay for a day of halibut fishing.
Kodiak is about fishing. The Port of Kodiak is one the top three commercial fishing centers in the United States and the largest in Alaska. Sport fishing is also big. People come from around the world to try their luck. The odds are if you are in Kodiak for any amount of time, you’ll get hooked.
Kodiak Harbor is home to one of the largest fishing fleets in the United States.
Peggy poses with our youngest grandson, Cooper, in front of the Harbor Master’s office in Kodiak. The large fish is a sculpture made from trash collected from the ocean. Hopefully Cooper will grow up in a world with less trash.
Our son Tony caught the fishing bug. He grumbled when he left San Diego that all of his Coast Guard friends in Kodiak had become fishermen. He didn’t like to fish. Now, according to his wife, Cammie, he’s just like all of the other guys on the island. “Gee, honey, would you like to go for a nice romantic walk or go fishing?” Guess what…
But Cammie is right there with him. She can walk out into the water in her hip waders and cast her line for salmon with the best of the guys.
Cammie demonstrates her salmon fishing skills.
Peggy and I certainly don’t qualify as fishermen. I had fished in my twenties for several years but that was a while ago. We won’t talk about how long. As for Peggy, she had fished off a dock in Lake Erie with a bobber as a child… twice. But the temptation to go fishing was too great. Off we went to buy our out-of-state fishing licenses. We were about to get our feet wet.
Our first adventure was to try our luck with halibut. Guess who caught the only one? It wasn’t Tony, Cammie or me.
Coast Guard Kodiak has a dock for small fishing boats on base and makes rental boats available for Coasties (Members of the Coast Guard).
Our brave crew prepares to head out to sea on our halibut fishing expedition. Connor, Chris and Tony are in the first row. Peggy and Cammie are in the second row.
“Um, Dad, is that dock supposed to be there!?” Before we headed out to into the Bay, we tried our luck at catching herring for bait fish near the Kodiak docks. Three-year-old Chris, sitting in Tony’s lap and pretending to steer, apparently has concerns about where the boat is headed. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)
Having no luck with the Herring, we headed out into Chiniak Bay to fish for halibut.
Connor found time to play ‘now you see me, now you don’t’ with me. The reflection was a bonus.
Chris enjoyed some kind of healthy snack, but given the expression of bliss on his face, I’m guessing that chocolate was involved. (Photo by Cammie Lumpkin.)
Cammie caught the first fish on our trip, a colorful rockfish. (Photo by Tony Lumpkin.)
A close up of the rockfish. “My what big eyes, you have.” Tony unhooked and released Cammie’s catch. (Photo by Tony Lumpkin.)
Peggy and I pose for our “official” halibut fishing photo. (Photo by Tony Lumpkin.)
A second “official” photo. I was leaning out to be in the picture. Had a large halibut chosen that moment to strike, I may have gone swimming. (Photo by Tony Lumpkin.)
Peggy caught our first, and only halibut, a 15 pounder– and had a smile to prove it.
Here, the boys take a close look at the halibut. Connor appears quite curious about the fish’s strange eye arrangement while Chris keeps his distance.
Tony has become quite expert at filleting fish. Here, he takes on the halibut. Halibut has always been my favorite fish for eating and nothing can beat one fresh off the boat.
A note on photo credits: I always try to give credit to the person who took the photo. Where no name is mentioned, I took the picture. Peggy and I were passing our cameras around this time between ourselves, Tony and Cammie. I could have missed something.
NEXT BLOG: Having landed a halibut, we join the Kodiak Bears in fishing for salmon.