I have had many people ask me “Don’t you get sea-sick while fishing on the ocean in Alaska?” I have to admit to them that I never have. That being said, we are all different and we all react differently to things. While it hasn’t been a problem for me, it could be for someone else although I can’t remember of anyone that has gone with me ever having the problem either.
Sea-sickness is actually part of a greater malady called motion-sickness. Motion sickness includes sea-sickness, car-sickness, air-sickness, etc. Essentially what happens is that our bodies react to certain stimuli that comes from sensors in various parts of our bodies. Some of the main sensors are our inner ear which controls our sense of balance, our vision, and other sensors located within our muscles and joints. When we are moving, our mind processes all of the stimuli that comes in and then tells our body how to handle itself. When the motion comes from outside of our bodies such as waves in a boat, or motion from a car or airplane, sometimes our mind confuses the stimuli and doesn’t know how to process the information correctly. This seems to be especially true if the motion comes in from multiple directions at the same time (up and down plus side to side or back and forward etc.).
The general symptoms of motion sickness may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, nausea, or vertigo. Other common complaints could include a general feeling of discomfort, sweatiness, churning stomach, etc. Normally these feelings or symptoms will end as soon as the motion stimuli ends (as soon as you get out of the boat) but occasionally these ill feelings can last for hours or even a few days.
For my case, I believe that if your fishing trip is along Alaska’s Inside Passage where you never get out of sight of land, I believe that the visual stimuli problem is minimized and I think that you will find that you don’t have a problem. If your trip is to the western part of Alaska where sometimes land disappears, there is a more likelihood of sea-sickness being an issue.
There are several different medications that can help. If you have a history of getting motion-sick from cars, planes, carnival rides, etc, then you might seriously consider bringing along some medication to help prevent having a problem. There are several over the counter type medications available but if you really believe that you may need medication, I would recommend that you check with your doctor prior to leaving home. The most effective medications that work the best require a prescription. They come in pill form or patches that are stuck to your skin a few hours before loading into the boats. Sometimes the Doc won’t even need to see you and will just call in a prescription for you. These medications are very effective and there is no reason for anyone to suffer through a miserable fishing trip when sea-sickness is so easy to prevent.
- Ride in a spot in the boat where you can see the horizon
- Face forward and focus on non-moving far away objects
- Don’t read or look down into or concentrate on things within the boat
- Don’t watch or focus on other fellow fishermen who may be sea-sick
- Avoid spicy or greasy foods before leaving or large meals as these things could aggravate the problem
- Some people swear by Sea Bands which are elastic wristbands that use pressure points to control motion-sickness
We are all made differently and what works for one person will be different for the next person. Use common sense along with knowing your own body and you can have an enjoyable fishing trip to Alaska without the annoyance of being sea-sick.
Categories: Alaskan Tourism, Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut, Salmon Tags: Alaskan Bottom Fishing, Alaskan Crab, Alaskan fishing, Alaskan halibut, Alaskan Rock Fish, Alaskan salmon, Alaskan Shrimp, Alaskan travel, Alaskan vacation, family fishing, fishing, Jim Kell, Salmon Fishing, saltwater fishing, sea-sickness, tourism
One of the newest fads in Alaskan fishing is shrimp catching. If you have ever eaten fresh shrimp in Alaska, you will understand why that is. Alaska’s shrimp have gotten themselves quite a reputation among the locals and the visitors.
Alaska has four species of shrimp that are recognized by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. These four species are:
- Coonstripe Shrimp. Coonstripe shrimp are medium to large in size. They are the second largest of the shrimp found in Alaska, usually averaging 4 to 7 inches in length. They are identified by a dark striped pattern on their abdomen.
- Northern Shrimp. Northern shrimp are a medium sized shrimp, slightly smaller than the coonstripe. They are a solid pinkish color with no other markings. They are also known as pink shrimp or spiny shrimp due to extra spines not found on other varieties of shrimp. They are a different species than the pink shrimp found in the Atlantic Ocean.
- Sidestriped Shrimp. Sidestriped shrimp are slightly larger than the coonstriped shrimp. They are a pinkish-orange color. They have white stripes running the length of their bodies. They are slightly skinnier than the coonstripe variety. They have extremely long antennae on their heads.
- Spotted Shrimp. Spotted shrimp are by far the largest of the Alaskan shrimp, reaching up to 12 inches in length. They are identified by their dark red to tannish color and have a white spot at the beginning and at the end of their body section on each side.
Shrimp are caught in “shrimp pots”. A shrimp pot is basically a cage or trap. They come in various sizes and shapes. A rope is attached to the pot and the pot is filled with bait and then dropped out of the boat. It is weighted so that it will sink to the bottom. A buoy is left attached to the top of the rope so that the pot can be located later. After a few hours the pot is pulled up, hopefully full of tasty little shrimp.
The bait used can be anything from cat food to salmon carcasses to store-bought pelleted bait. Herring oil or other strong smelling fish oils can make your bait work better.
Shrimp pots are generally placed between 400 and 700 feet deep and near rocky outcrops. underwater pinnacles and rock-slides. The experts suggest that an extra 15% to 25 % of length be left on your rope to be sure that your pot doesn’t get lost with the tides and the currents.
Catching shrimp in Alaska requires an Alaskan fishing license and a shrimp permit. The regulations and limits vary widely from area to area with some places being closed entirely so be sure to check the current regulations from the ADF&G before you go. The season on shrimp runs from April 15 thru Sept 15.
As with fish and crabs, shrimp can be flash frozen and transported home but be sure that you try some fresh cooked shrimp right out of the water. You will be glad that you did.
As with crabs, Paralytic seafood poisoning could potentially be a problem with shrimp although it hasn’t been found so far. Shrimpers are encouraged to read the latest warnings about PSP from the ADF&G. That warning sheet can be found at PSP Warning.
Categories: Alaskan Tourism, Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut, Salmon Tags: Alaska, Alaskan attractions, Alaskan Bottom Fishing, Alaskan Crab, Alaskan fishing, Alaskan fishing regulations, Alaskan halibut, Alaskan Rock Fish, Alaskan salmon, Alaskan Shrimp, Alaskan travel, Alaskan vacation, bait, family fishing, fishing, Jim Kell, saltwater fishing
As far as I personally am concerned, crab is probably my favorite to eat of all of the sea creatures that are available in Alaska and as good as it tastes at home, it is even better freshly caught and cooked in Alaska.
Alaska is home to several varieties of crab. They are: Red King Crab, Blue King Crab, Golden King Crab, Tanners or Snow Crab, and Dungeness crab. All of these varieties are found in varying quantities and in varying locations within Alaska’s waters. Most commonly found through all of Alaska’s waters are the Dungeness crab.
Also varying are the regulations on crabs. Be sure to check the regulations for the exact waters that you will be on. Basically, crab can be caught and kept at any time if they are for personal use but there are regulations on size and sex that must be followed carefully. Other than following the rules, the only license or permit needed is a normal regular Alaskan fishing license.
Dungeness crab are distributed throughout the waters of southeast Alaska and can be harvested non-commercially year around. Only male Dungeness crab measuring 6.5 inches may be harvested. Anyone with a valid Alaska sport-fishing license can harvest Dungeness crab. However, you should always check the fishing regulations when planning your vacation, as regulations and harvest limits may change.
Crab are caught by dropping a crab pot to the ocean floor. A crab pot is a large trap. They are normally about 3 ½ feet in diameter and 1 ½ feet tall. They are built from a metal frame and then covered with a steel mesh. They have a container in the center to hold the bait (usually fish carcasses or remains). There is an opening where the crabs can enter but not exit.
When the pots are dropped in the ocean, a rope is left attached to the pot and then is attached to a large floating buoy. This buoy will mark the spot of the trap and then the pot can be retrieved by pulling in the rope. Crab pots are left to “soak” for 1 – 2 days before pulling them in to check them and to remove the catch and re-bait.
After the catch, be sure that you eat some of the crab fresh. You will miss a real treat if you don’t. After you eat a few fresh, the rest of them can be cleaned and flash frozen for you to transport back home with you in your fish boxes.
One caution that is given by the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game and by public health officials is that paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) has been found in the internal organs of Dungeness crab. This is a toxin that is carried by the crabs inside of their organs. There is no problem as long as the organs are not eaten. Legs, claws, and body meat is OK.
The following links to crabs from the ADF&G will provide more information on catching crabs in Alaska. Look in the section called INVERTEBRATES. There is a section for each species of crab found in Alaska.
Consider giving crabbing a try on your next Fishing Trip To Alaska.
Categories: Alaskan Tourism, Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut, Salmon Tags: Alaska, Alaskan Bottom Fishing, Alaskan Crab, Alaskan fishing, Alaskan fishing regulations, Alaskan halibut, Alaskan Rock Fish, Alaskan salmon, Alaskan vacation, family fishing, fishing, Jim Kell, rock cod, salmon, Salmon Fishing, saltwater fishing, trout
The policies (and politics) that affect fishing regulations in Alaska can be complicated and difficult to understand. This is mostly due to the fact that the regulations are made by different entities. The State of Alaska is responsible for some of the species while NOAA is responsible for other species. Some of the species are regulated by agreements with other countries while other species are covered by US federal regulations. Still other species have only state regulations. Then there are different groups who all want the fish. The Native Alaskans, the commercial fishermen who fish for an income, and the sport fishermen who fish for fun, all want to have a share in the catch. It can make for a complicated mix of who has the say and who gets the fish.
I won’t get in to right and wrong or opinions of how it should be. My only goal with this post is to try to explain why the regulations are the done the way that they are.
Alaska has five species of salmon, five species of crab, Pollock, Pacific cod, Pacific halibut, lingcod, pollock, herring, several species of shrimp, several varieties of rockfish and flatfish,… all oceangoing species. In addition there are many species of trout, steelhead, dolly varden char, and others that are regulated in the rivers, lakes, and streams of Alaska. Just listing all of the species and who has a regulatory interest in them could make for a long list.
Basically, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is over all of the Pacific Halibut regulations while the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is over the most of the other fishing regulations within the state of Alaska and its offshore waters. That being said, the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game does have to listen to other groups who help in the decision making and have a vote on the regulations for many of the federally regulated species and species that are of interest to other countries.
Then, one has to consider what is best for the fish. They must be managed in such a way as to keep the species strong and their numbers growing. Their habitat must be protected and their food sources considered.
After all of this, there is the problem of who gets to have the fish that are harvested. The US government has made treaties with the Native Alaskans giving them rights to continue fishing as they have done for years. The commercial fishermen depend on catching and then selling their catch in order to make a living. The sport fishermen like you and I enjoy the chance to go and catch our own dinner. Each group has a legitimate argument and some claim on the available catch.
In all, it makes for a complicated set of regulations in order to give each group AND the fish a fair shake. The end goal is to give Alaskan fishing the best possible future.
Categories: Alaskan Tourism, Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut, Salmon Tags: Alaska, Alaskan Bottom Fishing, Alaskan Crab, Alaskan fishing, Alaskan fishing regulations, Alaskan halibut, Alaskan Rock Fish, Alaskan salmon, fishing, fishing policy, halibut, Jim Kell, Lingcod, rock cod, salmon, Salmon Fishing, saltwater fishing, trout
I once had that dream. As a teenager, I watched one of those travel channel sportsman’s shows one day and the host and his guest were fishing the inside passage of Alaska. They caught fish and talked about the fish and their habitat and how to catch them. I sat and watched, enthralled with what I saw. I decided on that afternoon that someday I too, would go and give that a try some day.
Well, the years pass as they do and many years went by before the perfect opportunity came along. Then one day I got a phone call from a friend with whom I had discussed going fishing to Alaska. He invited me along on his next trip. I jumped at the chance.
We had a wonderful time. We caught fish every day until we were tired out from it. I remember sitting in the boat one day and we all reeled in our lines and sat for a while to eat our lunches because we were tired of reeling in halibut. We hadn’t been able to leave our lines in the water for more than a couple of minutes without having to reel in a halibut and we just wanted a break. We lunched and rested and talked for 45 minutes or so to take a break before we went back to work reeling in fish. An hour or so later, I latched in to a monster halibut that totally wore me out with an hour’s long fight. It weighed in at 168 lbs.
We spent our mornings on halibut but then the afternoons were spent trolling for salmon. The salmon fishing was also superb. We hooked up time after time with jumping, running, fighting salmon. Many times we had two or three on at a time. I even remember netting one guy’s fish and then dipping the net a second time to get the other guys fish in the same net. What a hoot!
How about taking along your kids or your spouse? There is no better way to spend quality time with family members than fishing. There always seems to be time to talk and get to know each other in new ways. The conversation tends to be different (and usually better) when we are out of our everyday setting. I have had some wonderful opportunities to connect or reconnect with family members or close friends while fishing.
Does this kind of fishing trip sound like something you would want to try? I think that every fisherman owes it to himself to go and have the experience of fishing Alaska.
Categories: Alaskan Tourism, Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut, Salmon Tags: Alaska, Alaskan Bottom Fishing, Alaskan Crab, Alaskan fishing, Alaskan halibut, Alaskan Rock Fish, Alaskan salmon, Alaskan vacation, family fishing, fishing, halibut, Jim Kell, rock cod, salmon, Salmon Fishing, saltwater fishing
Fishing in Alaska has become a very popular destination for the modern day angler. The State of Alaska says that it has 500,000 fishermen and women visit their state every year in pursuit of Alaska’s prized river and ocean bounty. These fishermen come from all over the United States and even from all over the world. It doesn’t matter where they come from, the all have one thing on their mind… the excellent sport that comes from catching Alaska’s fish.
The majority come chasing after salmon and halibut but there are also many who have found a favorite in some of Alaska’s “lesser known ” species.
Alaska boasts record numbers of salmon caught. There are five major species of salmon found and caught in Alaska. They are:
- King or Chinook Salmon
- Silver or Coho Salmon
- Sockeye or Red Salmon
- Pink or Humpy Salmon
- Chum or Dog Salmon
These fish provide a great thrill for any angler. They also provide a great healthy meal for all who are able to fill their cooler or freezer with this tasty meat.
Alaska’s halibut fishing also is a great feat to have mastered. There is a great excitement in setting the hook on one of these monsters of the deep. It truly is a lot of work to bring one of these “barndoor” monsters up from 400 feet deep only to have it run out, overheat your reel, and make you start all over again. One must have great arm and back muscles to land one of these prizes. Imagine a fish that weighs as much as you do, hooked in his own back yard and fighting you on his own turf.
There are fewer people who know about some of the lesser known species but some of which are just as fun to catch and just as good to eat. Pollock is a major export from Alaska. It is fast becoming one of the most commonly used fish in many of the processed fish products but it also can be a great treat battered and fried in your favorite beer batter and served along with French fries or coleslaw. There are many fishermen who go to Alaska targeting the black rockfish and yellow-eyed rockfish that lurk in the depths of Alaska’s oceans. They, also, are real treat added to any menu. Lingcod are another species that are being caught quite often by anglers. In the past they were mostly caught on accident by fisherman after halibut but more and more, ocean anglers are targeting these tasty prizes. It seems that if you catch one, you can drop again in the same spot and catch several more. They fight pretty well and make a very tasty fillet in your cooler.
We have all seen the episodes of Deadliest Catch on the Discovery Channel and so we all know that Alaska is the place to go for crab but also due to the TV show, we may have the idea that we could never catch these crab ourselves. In fact, the TV show deals with commercial crabbing which has very different rules and needs than the average sportsman’s variety of crabbing. You and I aren’t trying to fill a ship with crab, we just want a few. Crabs are caught in crab pots, little cages with bait inside. The crab pot is dropped to the bottom with a rope and a buoy to mark its location. It is typically left overnight and then pulled to the surface by the fisherman the next day. The crabs are then extracted.
Similarly, shrimp and prawns are caught in a baited pot. I am amazed at the size of the shellfish that I have seen brought to the surface in these little pots. You have never eaten a better shrimp than these hand-sized little morsels cooked up fresh.
There are many species of the trout family including steelhead, Dolly Varden, rainbow trout, etc. that are also commonly fished from Alaska’s waters. All are great fighters and all make for good eating.
This is just a sampling of what Alaska has to offer. It is well worth making an excursion to give it a try.
Categories: Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Freshwater Fishing, Halibut, Salmon Tags: Alaska, Alaskan Bottom Fishing, Alaskan Crab, Alaskan fishing, Alaskan halibut, Alaskan Rock Fish, Alaskan salmon, Alaskan vacation, family fishing, fishing, halibut, Jim Kell, Lingcod, rock cod, salmon, Salmon Fishing, saltwater fishing, trout
I am an avid fisherman and hunter and have been for my whole life. For the most part, my fishing is confined to within a couple of hours of home. I am lucky enough to have lots of good fishing holes nearby. We have excellent fishing for trout,bass, perch, crappie, and bluegill, all with a couple of hours of home. We load up the kids and the boat and go 2-3 times a month through spring, summer and fall. In the winter we drag out the ice auger and punch holes in the ice.
A few years ago I had my first opportunity to try fishing in Alaska. It was the culmination of many years of wishing and hoping and dreaming of giving it a try. I spent 8 days there and loved every minute of it. We started at 5am everyday and quit at 11pm every night. After we caught our limits, we caught and released over and over and over. We just couldn’t bring ourselves to quit and go sit in the lodge.
At the end of the week, the 4 of us amassed over 450 lbs of frozen fillets to bring home. More than that, I got hooked. What I had thought would be a once in a lifetime trip turned into an addiction. The morning after I came home, I started planning and saving for the next trip.
I have had such great experiences that I think that everyone should try it at least once. I waited a long time to try because I didn’t know how to start. My goal with this website and blog is to give others the encouragement and the basics to go and give it a try.
Check back often. I will be adding info and tips as fast as I can find the time to do so.