June 18 and 19: N 59.84094 – W 152.30657

014This is where the big event unfolds.  Wildrose Charters is located on Wildrose Lane at Mile 122 of the Kenai Highway about 25 miles south of Soldotna.

029Frank Casey, the boat owner and captain, allowed us to park on his property the night before the fishing trip. He spends 6 months of the year in Alaska working as a fishing guide, and the other 6 months (winter) he spends in Washington where he works as an engineer in Research and Development for Freightliner.

T034The Wildrose Charter sign helped us locate Casey’s house.  A mother moose and her calf crossed the road just as we entered onto his property.

030This is one of the cabins that customers can rent.  Aren’t the wildflowers pretty?  These are lupines, but I photographed some others for a later post that I will have to look up.

018The aforementioned and world renowned  Moose Cabin. This is pretty appropriately named since there are many moose in the area.  This is calving time and the mothers are very protective of their young.   The newspaper warned readers not to get close or be prepared to suffer the consequences.

021Below is the front of Capt. Casey’s house.  See the snowshoes? We think they are strictly decoration but he says he hunts here in early winter.

022The captain requests that hippies use the side entrance.

T035This is the captain’s boat.  Notice the name.  I’D be intimidated if I were a fish!  It is a 30 ft. aluminum boat with an enclosed cabin with all the electronics he custom ordered.

025This rear view of the boat shows the rods they take to use while on the fishing charters.  The boat is powered by the twin 150 hp Yamaha motors.

019This is the hanging post where the fishermen hang their catch.  Hopefully, it will look a lot different when they return.

018Captain Casey has a dog named Jean who looks a lot like another dog that we still sorely miss.  I took some more photos of her which I will share later.

001These charts provided by Richard and Barbara Hill of Del Rio  helped to determine the day of the charter since the tide chart shows the most favorable  tide movements to be in the middle of the day for the month of June.

002This book of tide tables will also help us determine the best days to go clamming.

013Large skidder tractors are used to launch the boats because of the really dramatic amount of tidal flows here in Alaska.  Many of the tides change up to 30 feet in a single day’s time.

001Captain Casey at the helm headed out to the fishing grounds.  Note I took a GPS location of where we fished in case you have a canoe and pass this way or you could look at Google Earth if you are not in the area. I am not sure how far we were from the launch site but the run time was about 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to the “honey hole”.

I004It’s a group effort to get the fish into the boat. We fished at a depth of 265 ft. and used 4 lb. weights to get our baits to the bottom.  This type of fishing can make a small man out of a big man by the end of the day.

005The captain uses a gaff, a large hook on a long pole, to bring the fish aboard.

006Another nice halibut. Once in the boat, the fish slaps his tail wildly until the capt gives the fish a rather hard knock to the head with his baseball bat.  They are then slid into the hold of the ship and the deck rinsed of the slime, and we return to our routine to catch more fish. The capt cuts identifying marks into every fish so that we know who caught which fish when we return to the dock. My identifying mark was an “X” on the gill cover.

007The big one!

014After a full day of fishing,  we return to the launch site. Five minutes out, the captain calls in to Marine Services to have the tractor ready the trailer to pull us out.

022This is the group Jerry fished with.  The captain is on the far left.  Now the fish hooks are more than full!  There are even fish that have had to be placed on the ground for lack of hooks.  Jerry caught a 42 lb. and a 47 lb. halibut that he kept, but released 5 smaller halibut, 4 cod, and a salmon shark.

029After a long day of fishing, there is still a lot of work to be done.  The boat must be rinsed to get the salt water off.  And of course, the fish have to be cleaned and filleted. The captain is wearing a mosquito net over his head because there are millions of the darn things.

030What a beautiful fillet!003This helpful chart lets the fisherman know how much his fillets will weigh by using the fish’s length as a guide.

The boat got back to the house around 7:30 pm and by the time the fish were cleaned we were one tired group of fishermen.  We spent the night and this morning returned here to Soldotna and took the fillets to be vacuumed packed and frozen.  Tonight we will go to see friends for Panko fried Halibut  and Apple Crisp – will report on the table fare tomorrow!!!!

And finally, congratulations to our niece Jacque for correctly translating “un poquito boracho”  It means “a little drunk” which describes our friend on Cohoe beach the other day.

1 comment
  1. mary lea wallace said:

    WOW! said Charlie. Congratulations on a day to remember. ;-}

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