Posts Tagged ‘rock cod’

Breaded Baked Halibut Recipe

Breaded baked Alaskan halibut recipeThis 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
Serves: 4-8

 

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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!

Great eating,

Alaska Jim signature, fishing trip to Alaska

 

 

 

 

 

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - May 29, 2013 at 2:45 am

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Take a Kid Fishing

fishing with kidsHow many of you out there can remember your first fishing trip? How old were you?  Can you remember where it was? Did you catch any fish? Who else was there? Spend a minute and see if you can answer these questions.

I don’t know if I can remember exactly which was my first fishing trip. I DO have little bits and pieces of several trips when I was very young. I can remember exactly which fish were caught and while I don’t know the location, I can vividly remember some of the scenery and the details of the location. I also remember my Dad and uncles who also were there.

I know that those early fishing trips were very important in shaping my future as a fisherman but also as a person. Some of the lessons that I learned were very important to my future as I learned lessons about not always winning no matter how bad you want it (the fish didn’t always bite) or about being prepared both physically(gear and clothing) and mentally (learning how to do things the right way). As I grew older, the lessons were more advanced and more personal.  I learned that if you were prepared, you were also more successful.

Fast forward a couple of decades… Now it is the memories of my own kids and their first fishing trips. What will they remember? What legacy have I built for them? Will they come to have the same love for fishing that I have? Will they learn and keep a respect and reverence for Nature and all of her accomplishments? Will they be willing to do their part in saving and preserving the birds and the animals and the fish for their kids? Will they learn to live in harmony with all that is out there in the world? Will they learn the same lessons that I have learned? Or, will theirs be different?

I believe that we have a duty to our kids and to all of the kids out there to give them the same opportunities that we were given and to plant in them the seeds that will allow them to develop a confidence in themselves. I believe that fishing should be required for all kids. I think that fishing can bridge a gap between where they are and where they need to be… in many different aspects of their lives.

I would encourage you to take a kid fishing. Teach them how it is done. Give them opportunities to experience nature. Help them learn that the fish aren’t biting every time but that they will bite next time or the time after that. Allow them to lose and to win at the game. Show them that fishing is just like life. Teach them to apply their fishing lessons to their lives.

I believe that fishing can make our kids into winners at the game of life.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - July 3, 2012 at 12:29 am

Categories: Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut, Salmon   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Catch a Crab in Alaska

Alaskan Red King CrabMany newbies to Alaskan fishing may not be aware that there are lodges, guides, and charters that cater to crabbing.

 

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 in AlaskaThe following quote comes from the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game website:

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.

 

Alaskan Tanner Crab or Snow CrabOne 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.

 

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=animals.listinvertebrates

 

Consider giving crabbing a try on your next Fishing Trip To Alaska.

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - June 30, 2012 at 12:49 am

Categories: Alaskan Tourism, Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut, Salmon   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fishing Alaska: Guided Versus Self-Guided part 2

Planning Alaskan Fishing TripThis 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

 

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - June 8, 2012 at 12:41 am

Categories: Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut, Salmon   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fishing Alaska: Guided Versus Self-Guided part 1

Planning Alaskan Fishing TripThis 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

CLICK HERE for part 2

 

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - June 7, 2012 at 12:18 am

Categories: Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut, Salmon   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Using GPS to Catch More Fish

Garmin GPS used for Alaskan fishing tripModern 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.

 

Handheld GPS Units

 

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - June 4, 2012 at 12:32 am

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Processing Your Fish

King Salmon Drying on Racks- fish processingOne of the necessary tasks that come with any successful fishing trip is the processing of the fish. The fish must be cleaned, filleted, and preserved.

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.

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - May 24, 2012 at 12:06 am

Categories: Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut, Salmon   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Flying to Alaska

So, you are serious about this Alaskan fishing trip, huh? If so, lets take a few minutes to get acquainted with traveling to Alaska.

I have searched the internet and I can’t find it in writing anywhere but…. I am pretty sure that Alaska Airlines is the only airline that serves Alaska from the lower 48 states. (If someone out there knows and would like to leave a comment to this post, it would be appreciated). Sometimes lack of competition isn’t good for service but in this case, you can’t go wrong. Since they are the only choice, let me tell you a little bit about them.

Travel on Alaska AirlinesI really have to compliment Alaska Airlines on their service and commitment to taking care of their customers. They know how to cater to fishermen and they know how to handle the boxes of fish.

I have seen the check-in agents bend over backwards to help switch and arrange seating, connecting flights, etc, sometimes way above and beyond the call of duty. I have experienced first hand their know how when it comes to getting the fish packed up properly so that there will be no accidental spillage of frozen fillets. When the plane pushes back from the gate, the captain will always assure everyone over the intercom that “Yes, the fish are ALL on-board”.

They are well known for and in fact, they advertise the fact that they are the #1 airline, for being on-time and on-schedule. This is very helpful to know when the belly of the plane is full of your frozen fish boxes. :) It is nice to have an on-time airline so that they get home still frozen.

I have never flown an airline that I like as well as Alaska Airlines or that has taken better care of me and mine. They have always been right on top of things. This isn’t intended to be a commercial for them, just my own experience. Your experience could vary (but I doubt it).

If you have downloaded and read my free ebook, you already know the BIG SECRET about Alaska Airlines. I won’t give it away here, but I will say that it can save you hundreds of dollars with a half price ticket. Yes, I said half price ticket to Alaska. Get the free ebook and find out how. Do it now! Easy, free, and worth its weight in excellent tips to help you and even to save you money.

When booking a flight, you should always have bookings made with your lodge or guide first as quite often they will have certain time requirements for your flights in order to get you to and from their place on time. Many remote fishing areas require a connecting flight with a bush plane or a boat to get you in and out. It is easier to get it right the first time than to come back and change everything later.

Alaska Airlines even has a price guarantee that if you find the flight cheaper later on, they will refund you. See their website for details.

I won’t quote baggage rules and prices as they change too frequently but I will say that the last time I went, they were charging $2 per pound for the extra boxes of fish. To me, it was way cheaper to bring any extra fish home than the $3+ dollars per pound that hamburger was selling for at home. Hmmm $2 for halibut or hmmm $3 for hamburger…….. It wasn’t hard to make that decision. I brought 5 boxes at 50 lbs. each. And, I enjoyed every bite!

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - May 15, 2012 at 12:00 am

Categories: Alaskan Tourism, Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut, Salmon   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Alaskan Lingcod, One Ugly Fish

Underwater Lingcod

Picture from Wikipedia Commons

One fish that I had never heard of until I fished Alaska for the first time is the Lingcod. When I saw the first one on the dock, caught by another fisherman, I thought,  “That is the ugliest fish I have ever seen.”

The Lingcod is a not a cod, but is a member of the greenling family. Lingcod are brown (think mud) with brown spots. They have a massive head that appears to be all mouth. Did I tell you that they are ugly? They have very prominent sharp teeth.

The lingcod is a voracious eater and has been to eat anything and everything. I have read stories of them latching their jaws into halibut or rock fish that are being reeled in and having to be pried off by the fisherman.

Lingcod grow to be over 80 lbs. and 60 inches in length. Their lifespan is up to 25 years. They can be found at depths of 1000 feet but prefer and are more commonly found in the 30 to 300 foot range.

When their eggs are layed, the male will stand guard duty over the nest until the babies have hatched. Lingcod are mostly home-bodies, never moving very far from their chosen home territory.

Lingcod are only found along the West coast of the US. They are very common in Alaskan waters and can be found as far south as Southern California.

The meat from lingcod is very white with large, firm flakes. It is said to be more tender than halibut and is preferred over halibut by some people. It is a very tasty and nutritious meat.

Lingcod in Alaska are most often caught by jigging in areas with a rocky bottom. A baited hook with a jig skirt would be a likely choice. They are aggressive at taking the bait and provide a good fight. Just be ready for… ugly… when they break the surface.

Included below are a couple of links with more information about these great fish.

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http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=lingcod.main

 

http://www.fishwatch.gov/seafood_profiles/species/lingcod/species_pages/lingcod.htm

 

 

 

 

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - May 14, 2012 at 12:00 am

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Rockfish Deep Water Release Device

Many of Alaska’s Rock Fish are bottom dwellers. The scientific name for them is non-pelagic rock fish. They may also be called Demersal Shelf Rockfish. They make their home on the bottom of the ocean. They like to hang out near the reefs and other rocky structures that protrude from the ocean floor.

There may be as many as 15 to 30 species of these fish that make their home in the waters of Alaska. Some of them can live to be 80 to 100 years old.  They grow and mature slowly and reach reproductive maturity late. They produce lots of young but the young have an extremely high mortality (death) rate. Few of them survive to reach adulthood and reproduce. Because of these reasons, rock fish are a species that could easily be over fished. Regulations have reduced the bag limits on these bottom dwellers to reflect these concerns.

Another concern and threat to these fish comes from the fishermen themselves. Most non-pelagic rock fish are caught by accident while targeting halibut. When the fisherman gets the fish to the surface, he releases it. Herein lies the problem. These non-pelagic rock fish have an air bladder that can’t vent itself. When they are brought up from the deep, this bladder is often pushed out through the fish’s’ mouth. Upon release, they no longer are able to make themselves dive back to the bottom. If they are left at the surface, they will soon die.

Many studies have been done and the results show that most will survive if they can be returned to the bottom. The pressure equalizes for them, allowing them to once again control themselves. These studies have shown that a simple homemade device can greatly improve their chances of survival. This device should be kept on hand at the ready before fishing begins so that no time is lost when it is needed.

This device is built from a large fish-hook. The barb is removed so that the fish can be released easier when it reaches the bottom. A lead weight is attached to the eye of the hook. The weight should be 3 lbs. or more. A fishing line is then attached to the curve of the hook. This makes the hook hang in an upside down position. The hook is hooked through the bottom jaw of the fish and the fish with the apparatus attached is placed in the water. The weight will carry the fish to the bottom. The line can be jigged until the hook comes loose from the fish’s jaw. The upside down hook and sinker are then retrieved back to the surface.

This device when properly used can save many fish that would have been lost.

The Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game has an article on this device along with pictures if you would like further information. This article can be found here.

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - May 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Categories: Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut   Tags: , , , , , ,

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