This recipe is another one that is always welcomed here at our house. It works great with halibut, cod, lingcod, rockfish, sheefish, or just about any other white-meated fish fillets. It prepares and cooks very quickly and easily for those times when dinner is “in a hurry.”
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10 min
2-4 fish fillets cut in 1 1/2 inch squares or strips (halibut, cod, sheefish, rockfish, etc.)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup bread crumbs, plain or Italian flavored
1/2 cup olive oil OR melted butter
1-2 teaspoons sliced or minced garlic
Put oil, parmesan, and bread crumbs in three separate bowls. Add garlic to oil bowl. Dip each piece if fish in oil, parmesan, and bread crumbs in that order. Place breaded fish on a baking sheet so that they don’t touch each other. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper if desired. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 450F until golden brown. Do not overcook. Fish is done when is breaks easily and is firm and white through.
Serve with Homemade Tartar Sauce, lemon juice or wedges, malt vinegar, or your own favorite dip or topping.
*The purpose of the garlic is to give the oil or butter a garlicky flavor. Personally we use Garlic-Infused Canola Oil from our local Pampered Chef lady and it tastes great!
This tartar sauce is another favorite at our house. We have been making it for many years. It is great with any kind of fish including our Battered Alaskan Halibut fish and chips and grilled Alaskan salmon or trout.
Homemade Tartar Sauce
1/2 cup mayo or Miracle Whip
3 Tablespoons chopped pickle relish
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated onion
Put all ingredients except mayo in blender and blend. Stir into mayo. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
* Serve with halibut, salmon, trout, cod, etc that has been fried, baked, grilled, or whatever!
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
This is part two of a two part post. To access part 1, CLICK HERE.
In the last post we discussed some of the pros and cons of the guided trip. This post will address some of the ins and outs of a self-guided trip.
A self-guided trip can be as simple as a boat rental or as complicated as a semi-supervised adventure. It all depends on the company that you choose to work with. Some supply the boat, rods and reels and that’s it while others offer training or coaching, room and board, and even chase boats to check on and assist you throughout the day.
Some of the pros of a self-guided trip are:
- You call the shots. You decide where, when, how long, and which species of fish you want to fish for. If you want to start early, stay late, take a nap in-between, whatever,… you are the boss.
- You decide how you like to fish. If you want to try something new or different, you have the option to do it. If you want to switch to another species in the middle of the day, you have the freedom to do that. Many times I have targeted salmon early, halibut through the middle of the day, and then finished up with salmon again in the evening. With a guide, that normally wouldn’t happen.
- I have found it to be very thrilling to go out and “do it “ by myself. I have taken a gps unit, driven to the chosen coordinates, dropped a line and caught halibut all on my own with no prior knowledge of the area. I have found this to be extremely fulfilling.
On the other side of the equation, the cons might be:
- No ready source of help or information. No one standing by with tips, suggestions, ideas, when what you are doing doesn’t work. Guides that do this every day do learn how to catch fish. They are good at troubleshooting your setup or presentation.
- Sometimes rented boats, rods, reels, etc. aren’t the best. Someone else used this equipment yesterday or last week and didn’t treat it that well or forgot to report a problem so that it could get fixed.
- Sometimes we just need the boost in confidence that comes with having someone experienced along for the ride. Sometimes we don’t trust ourselves enough to try it on our own.
These are just a few of the questions that one must answer for him/herself when deciding on a trip. Sometime a person just isn’t comfortable going out by themselves for the first time or even ever. There isn’t anything wrong with that. It is all a matter of personal preference.
Personally, I have always fished Alaska on my own (self-guided). I will admit that I was a little nervous about it the first time. One of the guys in my group had done it before and he encouraged me to try it. I DO have a couple of good lodges that I like that offer the self-guided trips. They offer all that they can in the way of support. They are located in the Inside Passage and so one is never out of sight of land. I believe that anyone who can take their own boat out for a trip to the local lake or reservoir for the day can do the same in Alaska with one of these great lodge services AND BE SUCCESSFUL at it.
I have fished other places with guides. Guides also have an important place and also offer a great fishing experience. You must weigh the pros and cons and decide for yourself what works for you and what will provide your ultimate experience.
Whether you choose guided or self-guided, ask lots of questions when booking. Know exactly what you will be getting when you arrive and throughout your stay. Don’t be afraid to ask for references from past customers. Don’t hesitate to have them explain everything before you pay out any of your money on a booking.
For part 1 of this post, CLICK HERE
Categories: Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut, Salmon Tags: Alaska, Alaskan Bottom Fishing, Alaskan fishing, Alaskan halibut, Alaskan Rock Fish, Alaskan salmon, family fishing, fishing, halibut, Jim Kell, rock cod, salmon, Salmon Fishing, saltwater fishing
This is part one of a two part post. To access part 2, CLICK HERE.
One of the most important decisions that must be made when planning a fishing trip to Alaska is the choice of guided trip versus self-guided trip.
With a self-guided trip, basically you will get a boat, fishing gear, and hopefully some good advice to get you started. On the other side, the guided trip will have a guide there to advise and assist throughout the day. Both options have pros and cons.
First, let’s talk guided trip. Some of the pros are:
- The guide drives the boat and chooses the spot. This may be good because a good guide is out regularly and knows where to find the fish.
- He/she will know the location, the bait, the depths, etc. that have been working well recently. The guide will handle the fishing equipment and sometimes even bait your hooks for you.
- A good guide will know his equipment and will have it in good operating condition and will be able to handle any malfunctions/breakdowns that may come up either with the poles, reels, etc. or with the boat.
- A guide will assist in landing and taking care of the fish. Some experience and expertise can be helpful in this area.
On the other side of the equation some of the cons are:
- Most guides work on a preset schedule. You will fish for a certain time frame and then the trip is over. For most guides, this will be a 4-6-8 hour day. If you limit on halibut in an hour, in some cases, you may head back to dock and be done for the day. You definitely won’t have the option to start early or stay later to get “just one more” or the “last one” or whatever the case may be.
- The guide is the boss. What he says goes as far as location, presentation, fishing tactics, bait, etc.
- You don’t have the freedom to do as you please. Maybe the halibut just aren’t biting today. A guided trip may not give you the option to switch to salmon or another species of fish to try to salvage the day.
Guides are definitely a good option. They are in the fishing business and they want you to return. They will do all that they can to keep you happy in most cases. At times their experience can be invaluable, especially if the weather or the fish aren’t being cooperative. While most of my Alaskan experience is with self-guided trips, I can see times where I would have found a guide a handy guy to have around. However, I once went salmon fishing (in Oregon) with a guide where we limited on salmon in an about hour and he was finished for the day. I ended up spending a lot of money for a couple of hours on the water.
to be continued
Categories: Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut, Salmon Tags: Alaska, Alaskan Bottom Fishing, Alaskan fishing, Alaskan halibut, Alaskan Rock Fish, Alaskan salmon, family fishing, fishing, halibut, Jim Kell, rock cod, salmon, Salmon Fishing, saltwater fishing
Modern technology has definitely affected all of us in many ways in our lives. The use of technology in fishing is no different. Sonar and fish finders have been around for a while and were amazing inventions in their time, but now we have added gps (global positioning satellites) and the development of systems in which all of these technologies work together.
One of the great modern “marvels” in the deep-sea fishing industry has to be the use of gps. This one invention has made fishing into a whole different game.
The first time that I ever used a gps unit for fishing was in Alaska. I had owned a handheld gps unit for a couple of years and had used it in hunting for elk and had experimented a little bit with geo-caching. I knew how to operate my gps unit and was comfortable in using it but I really had not ever considered using it for fishing.
When I was preparing for my first trip to Alaska, the lodge where I was going emailed me a packing list of what I needed to bring with me. On the bottom of the list was a gps unit. It was optional. They stated that we could bring our own or rent one from them for the week for a few dollars. If we were bringing our own, we could request a list of their way-points by email so that we could pre-load them on to our gps unit. If you are not familiar with gps terminology, a way-point is a bookmark or a pinpoint on a map that has been saved. I requested the list which they promptly sent as an Excel file by email. I plugged my gps into my computer and within a couple of minutes I had 45 or so halibut humps showing up on my gps screen as little fish icons, spread across a little section of the Inside Passage of Alaska.
These little points all had fancy names given them by the lodge. When someone caught a big halibut at the “Water Fall Hump” or “5 Mile Hole”, we all then knew exactly where that was. Also included were the depths of the water at those locations, and by the workings of the gps unit, distances to and from the lodge and to and from other hump locations.
On arrival in Alaska we were given a short orientation after which I was handed the keys to boat #17, a box of frozen herring, a couple of poles, and a lunch box. We motored away from the dock, turned on the gps unit and headed for our chosen hump where we were told that the several nice halibut had been caught the previous week. Literally within minutes, after coming from thousands of miles away and having no knowledge of Alaskan waters, we dropped our lines and started catching fish. To me, that was simply amazing.
Gps is just one of the reasons that I have come to prefer self-guided trips over guided trips. It makes fishing more of a science and less of a guess. I have started to use gps extensively in all of my fishing. I now have several “secret” locations marked among the lakes and rivers that I regularly fish here at home.
Click on the link below for more info on the different types of handheld gps units available along with current pricing for these little “marvels.”
If you are planning a trip to Alaska or even if you just fish for crappie, perch, trout, walleye, or whatever at your local lake, I would encourage you to get familiar with gps and learn to use it where you fish. I know that it puts more fish in my cooler.
Categories: Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut, Salmon Tags: Alaska, Alaskan Bottom Fishing, Alaskan fishing, Alaskan halibut, Alaskan Rock Fish, family fishing, fishing, halibut, Jim Kell, rock cod, Salmon Fishing, saltwater fishing, trout
How this happens varies GREATLY from lodge to lodge. Be sure that when you book a fishing trip, that you know, understand, and agree with the procedure to be followed on your trip. Ask if you don’t know their standard procedure. If you fish with a guide, they may gut each fish as it is caught, or they may go into the fish bin as is to wait for the return to dock. At the dock, you may be handed your fish with a “see ya later,” or the guide may unload them and go to work on them, or there may be arrangements made with a 3rd party service to take care of them for you. All of this could be included in the price that you paid for the trip, or it may all be additional cost that you will have to pay.
Also to be decided is how and what you want to have done with your fish… fillets, steaks, or maybe even smoked. Do you want them fresh, frozen, or possibly canned? I have fished in a couple of places where your fresh fish could be traded for an “equal” amount of already canned fish. How do you prefer to cook and eat your fish? What is the easiest and most convenient way for you to handle the end product? Most of your preferences can be accommodated with some planning and arranging.
Also, you need to know if your guide service or even your motel has a cooler or freezer for your fish until it is time to go home. Many do but you need to know ahead of time what the plans and expectations are.
I wish that I could just say “Do this” or “Do that,” but there are just too many different circumstances and conditions in Alaska. Some places are close to town and services and some guides are in their own world, far from anything. The best policy is just to ask. Don’t just sign up and assume that things will all be OK. They may be OK in the end but you will have greater peace of mind if you know ahead of time just what is expected. The guides forget that you are new to this and that you don’t already know all of the answers.
When it comes time to travel home, will you take the fish along as checked baggage, or will you have them shipped? Again, these may both be options depending on your preferences.
Personally, in Alaska, I have always fished with a lodge that handles the fish for me. They unload the fish from the boat, fillet them while I watch (if I choose to), then they package them in vacuum bags and freeze them. My fish will go into a basket in their freezer with my name on it where they will stay until I am ready to go home. The lodge will then pack them in a travel box up to the 50 lb. airline limit. When I leave, the boxes accompany me to the airport where I will check them as checked baggage. All of this is done at no extra charge to me above the original cost of my lodge booking. The only extra charge that I pay is to Alaska Airlines for the additional baggage (currently $2 per pound but may change anytime).
There are many options and possibilities. My purpose in this article is to make you aware of what is possible and which questions you will need to ask when booking your trip.
I wish the best of luck to you and I hope that you need your own plane to haul all of your catch.
Categories: Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut, Salmon Tags: Alaska, Alaskan Bottom Fishing, Alaskan fishing, Alaskan halibut, Alaskan Rock Fish, Alaskan salmon, fishing, Jim Kell, rock cod, salmon, Salmon Fishing, saltwater fishing, trout
Just how big is a humpbacked whale. The answer is… a LOT bigger than the boats you will be fishing in! Whales are one of the most impressive side shows that one can imagine seeing while fishing in Alaska. At 40 to 50 feet long and weighing in at up to 40 tons, they are just plain impressive. There is no other way to describe them.
I remember my first day fishing the Inside Passage of Alaska. We were doing a self-guided trip. They put us in an 18 foot boat and sent us out to fish. One of the guys with us had been there for a week prior to my arrival. He knew where all of the halibut were being caught the week before. We headed out bright and early Monday morning. On arrival in the area where we were to fish, we used our gps to move in to the right spot and drop anchor. We dropped our lines and waited. And waited. And waited some more. There were a few small hits and a couple of small fish but nothing impressive.
Finally, one of the guys decided that we needed fresh herring instead of the frozen stuff that we were using. He pulled out a herring rig and set it up on his pole. “How do we find herring?” we asked. He pointed out the seagulls dive-bombing the water a half a mile or so away. We pulled anchor and motored over.
As we approached the area, the surface of the water was literally hopping with herring. It looked like being in the middle of a rainstorm with raindrops splashing everywhere. Actually, it was the herring popping up everywhere. We saw that not only were the birds feeding on the herring, but so were the whales. They would come up, breech, and then go under again. This school of herring was a large one, covering an area the size of a couple of football fields. Plenty of room for everyone to catch herring…birds, whales, and us.
We dropped our herring rigs and began to fill our bait bucket rather quickly. We were just minding our own business when a great big humpback came straight up out of the water within 15 feet of our boat. He shot straight up out of the water and then flopped over on his side. WOW! I think that our hearts stopped. Suddenly, several others joined him. We watched in awe as they moved in and out around us, feeding on the herring, oblivious to us. Many, many times, we could reach out with our fishing poles and touch them as they glided by. What an awesome experience. After a while, we started our motor and chugged back to our anchoring spot and began to fish for halibut (with much better success I might add).
Many times I have been anchored over a halibut hump, fishing away, only to have a whale make a beeline for me. Just when I would think that the collision is inevitable, the whale will dive only to pop back up a few feet on the other side of the boat. All of our lines dropping straight down under the boat remaining un-touched.
If you have never heard the song of the humpback whale, be ready for the shivers that it will send down your spine. One will hear them all day long. A scan of the horizon can show little groups of whales all around.
There truly is no other place on earth to fish that equals Alaska.