Are you ugly or double ugly?

Trip Start May 20, 2009
Trip End Jun 02, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We met Patrick and Shannon for breakfast, with entertainment provided by a humpback whale right in the bay, and then it was down to Deck 2 to catch the tender for Icy Strait Point.

Our fishing guides, Dreamfish Charters, had asked us to try to catch the first tender off the ship and we were able to make it, so we were there by 7:10, Margie was picking us up at 7:30 AM. We were entertained while we waited here by a bald eagle. Okay, he wasn't actually doing anything beyond sitting on the top of a pole, but we were entertained!

Margie picked us up and we were off to the dock. The town of Hoonah is very small and this is the newest port we've been to. Ships have only been coming here for about 5 years, it was definitely the least commercialized of any port and a very neat place. Her husband met us at the public pier with the boat and off we went on our quest for 'the big one'!

After we made it to our first spot, our Captain went over the technique of fishing for halibut. As bottom feeders, you let your line out completely to the bottom until you feel the weight hit and then thump it on the bottom a few times, short thumps, long thumps, followed by my fish call "here fishy, fishy" and you're ready to go. The thumps allow the fish to find the bait as at 300 feet deep, it's pretty dark.

I was the first to get a bite but unfortunately it was a type of flounder that they say is not edible, plus he was pretty ferocious looking with some nasty teeth. They called him an 'ugly' and he went back in the water. Patrick was next and he and I did pretty well in catching fish, but he ended up catching halibut and I kept catching 'uglies'. Man! Then Shannon started getting bites and ended up with the most halibut for the day at three.

LJ caught one and Patrick caught two but one was thrown back as he was on the smaller side and we felt like we could get something larger. I did end up catching the most fish for the day and finally got a keeper, a canary rockfish which was a wild orange / pink color. He went in the live well and I finally got on the board.

Back to other food, Margie had made muffins for us for breakfast and delicious ham croissant sandwiches for lunch, with homemade chocolate peanut butter cookies for dessert.

Our entertainment? Humpback whales all around us - they were just phenomenal. Patrick and Shannon hadn't done a whale watching trip while on the cruise so this was perfect for them to get to see also.     LJ got some more great photos - no breeching today but there was another mother / child and the little one (who am I kidding?) was playing in the kelp beds turning round and round.

Shannon and I agreed the whale watching was the perfect break for our arms also - we didn't exactly realize how tiring reeling in 300 feet of line with a fish on the end, well most of the time a fish on the end, would be!

We had some light rain off and on but overall, it was a beautiful day to be in the middle of the water, surrounded by gorgeous mountains, wildlife and new friends. 

After photos of our catch, off we went back to the pier, to catch the last tender back to the ship - first off, last back - what rebels we are!

A quick nap and then LJ went to the thermal suite and I was lazy in the room, then dinner. Afterwards we went to the casino, doubled our money and left - a perfect ending to the day! 
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