Homer, Alaska, the Halibut Capital of the World. Me, five men, a fishing boat and some bait. Early Saturday morning, we got up early, just for the halibut. My step-son arranged with his father-in-law for us to go out on a halibut boat, the Alaskan Dream, with Captain Verne and his buddy, Don, Jeff, Lil Rich and Big Rich and me. The rest of them were buddies from work, they were kind enough to include Big and I in the day.
The drive from Kenai to Homer was uneventful, we left the dock a little after 8 in the morning on our way to “Compass Rose.” Verne’s honey hole. The place where the fish were hiding. The rain was just spitting, the wind was creating some wave action, but nothing serious. We were on our way. We made a couple of stops before we caught the turn of the tide and the fish started biting. Lil’ Rich had explained halibut fishing before we went out, he said it was like reeling up a barn door, and he was right.
Techniques in fishing are as wide and varied as the kinds of fish you want to catch. In halibut fishing, you drop your bait (ours was small fish – I don’t remember the kind and squid) to the bottom hoping to bonk the halibut on the head. Your bait just bounces along the bottom hoping to attract their attention. Halibut are a lazy fish, so you have to be close.
My first fish on, I was still dropping my line when he hit, I probably continued to drop another 50 feet because I didn’t recognize I had a fish on. Capt. Verne played the Fish On song for me as I started to reel him in. It took a while, it’s not that he was very big, I’m just not very strong and I wasn’t going to ask for help. By the time I got him on the boat, I was pretty pleased with myself. I had caught a fish. First fish for me in a very long time, first halibut ever!
By the end of the day, we had caught 9, all pretty good size, good enough to create a nice freezer package and have some to eat fresh. The Captain and his crew filleted them right there at the dock and we packed the cooler full. We had a blast, Jeff caught the biggest fish, I caught the most and we laughed all day long. The stories told were outrageous, just what you would expect on an Alaskan fishing trip, I can’t wait to do it again.