Friday, March 27, 2015

The Bites On! Charters in Ketchikan, Alaska; A Charter Fishing Review by ThoseAlaskanGirls

I get a lot of emails from people who find this blog while planning their Alaskan vacation adventures.  It is always one of two questions: Who should I go fishing with, and/or where can I purchase Xtratufs? :)  So, here is my recommendation for a great local charter fisherman in Ketchikan, who I am very fortunate to have fished with many times now! 
If you are looking for an excellent Alaskan fishing adventure, Clay is the Captain to call!  Having been in the business for over 30 years, Captain Clay Slanaker really knows fishing!  He also has a fun sense of humor and exciting outdoor adventure stories to share, along with a wonderfully large, clean and comfortable boat, the Killin’ Time
We did some serious salmon slaying on the Killin’ Time during the 2013 Ketchikan Fishing Derby.  I will let the pictures do the talking for what can happen aboard this boat! 

(This double hit during a lightning storm!)
The credit for all of this fishing success definitely goes to the knowledge and skills of Clay and Tyler!  Years and years of experience and knowledge of the right gear, correct boat speed and the hot spots are just some of the things that make the difference in successful fishing in Ketchikan!    
Besides the fishing, Clay can show you around our beautiful piece of the world.. Here are a couple shots of scenery and wildlife I took on the water during Derby weekends in Ketchikan.



More action on the Killin’ Time.. Tyler and Clay introduced me to Winter King fishing this year..  (I didn’t even know you could eat fresh king salmon in the winter until I met these two).  Clay and I doubled up first thing in the morning back in January with these beauties! 
More success on the Killin’ Time!  On another trip in January Chase caught a fifty pound halibut!  I do believe he will be proud of this monster catch for the rest of his life! (As he should be!)
Chase and Tyler with Tanner crab on the Killin' Time.
One thing is for sure, if the fish are biting, Captain Clay and the Killin’ Time can find them!  If you are looking for a great charter, check out his website and make a reservation.  Bring a couple of your best jokes because Clay likes to laugh, your lucky Seattle Seahawks hat if you have one, and be ready for a fantastic Alaskan fishing adventure
**Random little thing: (I actually posted a pic of this boat on a "boats of the day" post a couple years ago (year before I knew Clay).

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Eagle vs. Seagull

Right next to the road out south of town in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Halibut Earbones ~ Otoliths ~ Harvesting for jewelry

Last year I started harvesting the ivory earbones from our halibut hauls.  They are beautiful, delicate pieces for jewelry!  (It is like finding treasure looking for these!)
I had been reading up on how to locate them for awhile.  Then, when I was ready to try though, there were tons of people waiting at the cleaning station. :/  So.. I convinced Tyler to put all ten heads in a separate bag so I could work on finding them at home.  It took me a bit to locate the first one, but once you get the idea of where they are, it is easy.  (Sneaking back down to the dock to try to casually dump my ten heads at the end of all of this was a whole separate adventure). ;)
A tip:  I did learn yesterday down at the cleaning station with these two, that it is much easier with just the head.  Moving the whole fish carcass around was a little bit trickier!
Anyways, if you want to harvest them, hopefully these pictures will be more helpful than just written instructions.  Start by removing the parts of the fish you are going to eat of course!)  Then you begin by making a cut above the top eye.  (You might end up making a couple cuts following this first one, as you figure out where you are in the fish.)  What you are trying to cut is the top layer of the brain cavity (shown below).  Once you have the brain cavity opened up there will be a hole.  When you lift the fish upright and look inside that hole, you will see two chambers. 
With the fish still upright, I very carefully poke my knife in one side to get things moving around.  (Slow movements are best to prevent breaking the ivory).  Once I see the otolith start to float around, I turn the fish back on its side and work the otolith out with the knife.  (Like lifting up a pizza slice). Repeat in the other cavity for the second otolith. 
Once you get them cleaned up they are beautiful! This one is from an 87 lb halibut Tyler caught last summer. (I kept this one and wear it all the time!)
 Here are some pieces I sold at 2014 Blueberry Festival in Ketchikan. 
*If you do bring the heads home with you, be sure to be ready to dump them back in the ocean as soon as you are done with them! Nothing smells worse than old halibut! :)