Darkness fall's, Mother Nature is apparently resting for now,as the sea's have calmed to a large lump. The residue of the two days of thirty five to forty knot winds, as the boat smoothly lumber's up and over each long swell we resume a honest speed of about nine knots. Tonight there is no moon as he's hidden behind the complete overcast we've seen throughout the entire day. This is more the type of traveling weather we need, most importantly, because our schedule upon reaching Dutch Harbor will be tight. For starter's there will be pots to rig, hundred's for that matter.
The King Crab fishery is a difficult one, where to start and how many pot's to fish? more is usually better, and with that in mind I'm sure we'll fish over three hundred. That's alot of gear, and more than most boat's would care to take, but hoping to have three or four hundred thousand pound's to catch it will be required, unable to safely carry more than 200 7x8's (that's 7 feet wide by 8 feet long),it'll take two loads to get three hundred and change in the water. The first hundred and fifty will be hauled out and "set" in storage with the door's open, and no bait,the area set aside to legally store gear is about 150 nautical miles from Dutch Harbor, which make's this at least a two day endeavor, weather permitting of course. The drawback to fishing alot of gear is that once the season end's, you have twice as much stuff to round up!
By the time we reach Dutch, the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game (ADF&G) should be close to announcing the harvest guidelines. There's always alot of speculation, and rumor's abound throughout the fleet. Over the course of the summer three trawl vessel's drop a small net, and drag the seafloor, the duration of the tow is brief and the gear is hauled aboard. All the crab are counted and measured and each size has a classification, female's,legal males, recruit's and juvenile's the tow's are done at the same location every year, and at a distance of every twenty miles,it take's the group over two month's to sample the entire Bering Sea! The data is then compiled,and a total biomass estimated. We are then able to land a percentage of the legal sized males. With a total allowable catch determined, these number's carry with them, great controversy,and the fleet is more often than not, disappointed. It should'nt be long before this information is released and I will pass it on as soon as possible. Thats all for now.. Capt Monte "mouse"