F/V Wahoo

This run of excellent fishing weather just seems like it will never end. The local Cod jig fleet has been taking full advantage of the favorable forecasts and as a result making steady deliveries of fresh cod. The McCarthy brothers each made deliveries yesterday and the night crew was busy cutting and freezing rock sole until the wee hours of the morning.

The big offload of the day was a full load of halibut and some of the biggest yelloweye rock fish I’ve seen this year, from Captain Mark Thomas and his beautiful halibut boat, the F/V Wahoo.

F/V Wahoo

The 55 foot Wahoo was built in 1993 and was designed to troll for tuna in the South Pacific. The original owner fished the high seas and delivered her catch to such exotic ports as Mid Way Island, Samoa, and various ports in New Zealand. The Wahoo boasts extra large fuel and fresh water tanks, which enabled the vessel to make the extended journeys out to sea in search of tuna. Captain Mark bought the boat 2 years ago and retrofitted it to catch halibut in the unforgiving waters of the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. Capt. Mark and his 2 man crew made up of Silas Gnaedinger and Adam Schacht, are planning on finishing up with their halibut quota in area 3A in the next month or so and after that they are heading out west to fish their quota in area 4A. 3A is the Federal fishing area closest to Kodiak Island and the source for much of the halibut landed here at Island Seafoods. If you look at the map below, you will see the F/V Wahoo has quite a long boat ride ahead just to get to the 4A fishing grounds. Once they start fishing out west, they will spend the next few summer months delivering their remaining quota into the ports of Dutch Harbor and Akutan.

Halibut Map

On board any fishing vessel, there is always work to do. On the back deck, Silas and Adam are busy fixing broken snaps, replacing bent hooks and worn ganions and bundling up ganions that are organized and ready to fish. Capt. Mark says Silas and Adam are the hardest working guys he has ever had fish for him and the order and condition of the gear and the cleanliness out on deck shows it; nothing is out of place.

Silas ties up a coil of groundline

Adam fixes a part in the main ground line

Adam removes old bait from ganions

Down in the icy fish hold, the offload crew steadily loads brailer after brailer full of perfectly chilled halibut. With Mauricio in the stern of the hold, Renee to the port side and Santiago on starboard, the three create a rhythm as they each take turns placing fish in the waiting brailer net in the center of the hold.

Mauricio with a little halibut

Santiago ready for the next brailer net to come down

Renee takes a breather between brailers

The deck of the F/V Wahoo

Well iced Halibut

Up on deck, Adam takes a break from his duties and poses with a nice 35 pound halibut.

Crewman Adam with a 35 pounder

Meanwhile outside the halibut processing room, Capt. Mark shows off one of the many gorgeous yelloweye rock fish.

Capt. Mark Thomas with a dandy Yelloweye

As soon as the fish are off the boat and the ticket is stamped and signed, Capt. Mark pulls away from the dock, rounds the green can buoy at the end of the breakwater and eases into his slip in St. Paul Harbor. Mark says he is going to give the guys the weekend off so they can enjoy the Crab Festival, but after that it is back to sea.

Heading back into the Harbor

Keith Moore from the set net site Long Beach arrived in town this morning along with numerous pallets of household items. When Keith and his 2 sons returned to their Uganik Bay site last year, they found a bear had nearly destroyed their cabin looking for food or shelter. The pesky bruin even dragged the toilet over a hundred yards down the beach!! Let’s hope the condition of the cabin is more welcoming when they return this year.

Until next time, Enjoy!