Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Just when you think that spring might be here in Kodiak, Old Man Winter rears his Frosty Head and knocks you back into reality. Bright, clear and sunny on Sunday not a cloud in the sky and by Monday we were socked in with blizzard conditions.

With no fish in the plant this weekend, I took advantage of a beautiful sunny day and went for a walk with my dogs down on the docks. The whole waterfront is buzzing with activity. The Pollock Federal B season closed on Saturday and every boat was at the dock waiting their turn to offload their catch.

In this photo you can see “Cannery Row” from Near Island. Just about every space is taken up by the Pollock fleet.

Cannery Row

Early Last week, many of the Bering Sea Opilio crab fleet home ported in Kodiak started returning after several months at sea. The F/V Incentive, featured on the upcoming season of Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” is in this photo tied up alongside over a dozen pollock trawlers. The Incentive returned to town last week after finishing up with their Opilio quota. The boat is now geared up to tender Herring in Sitka later this month.

The “Dog Bay” harbor on Near Island is now full of sleeping giants, waiting silently to return to sea for a new crab season. Kodiak was once home to half of the Bering Sea crab fleet. Since Bering Sea Crab Rationalization, that number has been reduced significantly.

“Dog Bay” harbor on Near Island

“Dog Bay” harbor on Near Island

Saturday March 21st marks the start of the 2009 Halibut and Black Cod fishery. Captains and crew are busy making preparations to head out for the opener. The roads are full of rusty pickup trucks hauling large trailers loaded down with tubs of hooks, buoys, and coils of line. While most of the long line fleet heads out to start catching their share of the 54 million pound quota of halibut, Seamus Hayden, captain of the F/V Clyde is heading east in search of Black Cod.

I caught up with Seamus today during a blizzard and had the opportunity to hang out while the Lads overhauled tubs of hooks and organized skates of gear.

The Clyde

Organizing skates of gear

On top of the slippery, snow covered shelter deck, Seamus helps Jason and Ben lift the newly inspected life raft back up onto the top of the house.

Seamus helps Jason and Ben

Back inside up in the wheel house, Seamus pauses to talk with another skipper on the VHF radio.

Seamus pauses to talk with another skipper on the VHF radio

The next few weeks around Kodiak’s waterfront are going to be action packed. I will keep all of my customers up to date on what’s on the horizon. Expect to see some specials for fresh halibut and black cod from Captain Seamus and the lads on the F/V Clyde in the coming weeks. Until then…Enjoy!