Here it is August 2nd - and I am reflecting on this year's dipnetting...Fish Camp 2021. My heart is full. We weren't sure I'd be able to go with the family this year. Dad needs more care, care that is impossible in the RV, and he really didn't want to go. Will flying up was an answer to prayer. Dad had a great time with Will. I had a great time with family. It looks like we will be taking this one trip a year for a few years - and it is so refreshing to be together - in the RV - exploring Alaska. I'm thankful I didn't have to miss it.
The first year we joined another group for a 3 day trip. It was great fun. That year it was us and Cory and Arielle. The next year more family joined, we were moved to a new campground, Dad was with us, and the dynamic changed. We miss the fun of being with friends but SURPRISE - Fish Camp has become as much about family getting away together to connect as it is about fishing. A 5 day stay allows us to take a more leisurely pace. Michael's health really pays when he fishes 2 tides in one day. Five days also allows our working family more opportunities to join us. And so...we met again this year...in the five day span members of all the out of home Gherkins families (with the exception of JaRissa in Juneau) made it down. We had never come down on a Friday before...but it turned out well for us. But I'm getting ahead of myself....
Michael and I slept in the RV Thursday night. Everything was packed. Will was prepped. CoRielle showed up at our house at 0830. They drove Michael's truck down for us. We need a truck to haul big nets to the beach and back. We met Izaak at the local gas station and headed OUT OF TOWN. Oh how we've MISSED camping/traveling/exploring.
|On the road again...he WAS happy|
It's a four hour drive to Kenai....how many men DOES it take to level an RV. Does something seem "off" with the plan they've come up with?
|Izaak, Cory and Michael plan to level the RV|
|8 months - first dip netting trip|
|My Beach Buddy for the 3rd year...|
|2nd from left...Carrie, Izaak, Allie, Cy, Livie, Cory, stranger, Stacia|
Soon after this things got to busy for photos! I've never seen the fish pop like this. We had several tell us this was either the best tide they'd "ever seen in 50 years," or this is the "2nd best I've seen." How good was it?
In less than 2 hours we had 134 fish...we could have gotten all our fishing done that first tide if we'd had more coolers. We didn't think about sending one of us back for more coolers. We filled our coolers, buckets, trash bags and finally we had to stop as there simply was no other way to carry the fish off the beach. Cory caught 28, Izaak 27, Stacia 21, Carrie 20 and I lost track of the other numbers.... Michael caught several as he was walking OUT to the current - they jumped in his net. Stacia brought in several with two fish in her net...and someone had 3.
|These 2 caught 35 fish in under 2 hours|
|Allie, Stacia and Michael caught 44 fish in 1 1/2 hours|
Reality slammed us hard when we got back to the camp and had 134 fish to clean....they decided to wait and go down in the a.m. to fillet them. We got to bed at about 2 a.m. When we got to the cleaning station on Saturday morning every station was full. We waited for a good hour to get a spot....we began to process as we waited.
|Auntie Co-co and Benny|
|KrUke will eat will this winter|
|Shore crew - I loved having them on the beach|
|Michael helps Jamin get his net ready|
|We LOVE the beach!|
|📷 via Arielle|
This brought the fishing part of fish camp to a close! We were amazed at how easy it was to catch our fish this year. I believe the group total was 278. Our freezer is full for another year. All of CoRielle and our fish was safe in the freezer, resting safely in the RV. There were still two more nights before we had to leave the area. I know this much fish seems excessive to some of you....but this keeps us eating well in the winter. We have it for dinner. We smoke it, and jerk it for snacking. We can it and use it for lunches and chowder. We were HAPPY to have it when the supply lines were disrupted in the last year and a half.
I've decided this is quite long enough. This covers Friday - Sunday. I'll do another post of the more touristy part of fish camp. LOL