Monday, April 12, 2010

Boat-shaped hole

They say that owning a boat is like having a hole in the water you throw money into. They aren't lying. Slapping the word 'marine' onto something drives the cost up at least 20%. Also, tDF has very expensive tastes. He wants a marine monitor back in the pit so he can watch the Novatech outputs and stay on course.

Hey, look at all the new frickin' terms.

Here is a picture I got from the Oregon's Choice Albacore page. It's a nice illustration of the various parts of a salmon troller. The outriggers dangle the gear away from the boat and you hook 20-foot long leaders 2 fathoms (6 feet) apart along the cable (Below). The gear is controlled by stabilizers, big wing like things that keep the gear more or less in check.

Our permit allows us two lines in the water, so the above illustration isn't quite accurate. (Power trolling allows 4 lines, more like the above picture but you get the point, right?)
Anyway, each hook is baited with herring or you drag plugs or hoochies. DO NOT google image search Hoochie. Search for Fishing Hoochie instead.

Those are hoochies of various colors and patterns. Some glow in the dark. I love the hoochie isle at the gear shop. So pretty. There's also plugs and spoons. I don't know what works and I couldn't find any good pictures. A plug is a conical chunk of wood or plastic with some hooks. A spoon is a flat piece of metal bent so it wiggles in the water. Salmon can be finicky so you drag a variety of tackle.

At the end of the lines are heavy lead balls. These provide the weight to pull the lines down and keep them from fouling. "Fouling" is nautical for tangled. Once you get your lines out you sit around and watch the sky. Until your cowbell at the end of your outriggers (or poles) starts a jangling. Then you reel in.

We have to hand-crank gurdies to bring in the lines. Gurdies are like big, brass fishing reels. We crank from the pit--a lowered section in the stern (Back) of the vessel that puts us closer to water line. Then, as the lines come up, you gaff the fish and swing them on board. Then the lines go back out, rigging them with the most successful lures do maximize your gear. Then you clean the fish.

Cleaning commercial fish is pretty straight forward. Canneries buy fish in the round, meaning whole but gilled and gutted. It's important to take the time to clean out all the viscera and the long vein along the backbone. Blood causing spoilage so removal is necessary. They then get iced down in the hold. Trolling is a quality fishery so you want your salmon to be as pretty as possible. Plus, you get more $$/lb the nicer the fish are. Crummy looking ones get number-two'd and bring less per pound.

This is only the very basics. The electronics on board are astounding and very, very costly. We're trying to get the Novatech chart plotter up and running on 12v power. This little program is a GPS enabled mapping thing where the background is nautical charts, thus eliminating the need for a frillion paper charts.
Look at the Leona!

All new adventures soon. Right now, we're working on the foc'sle (folks-ole) trying to get it ready to take out for a week at a time. The foc'sle is the space forward of the engine and under the bow to sleep/eat/cook in. She is a teeny space. New bilge pump goes in today. Whew.

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