Didn’t really bury the lede with that one did I? Whoops! Oh well. In mid-July, we dipnetted, as we do annually, for a new freezer load of sockeye salmon. We told the kids we would stay two nights unless we caught everything the first night. We set up camp just in time for a twenty minute torrential downpour and then had lovely weather the rest of the time. We played. We sat. We watched. We ate.
Around 6:30pm Mr. T and I finally hit the water. We fished for almost 4 hours (remember it stays light most the night this time of year) and caught 29 salmon! My last pass I got a triple (which means 3 fish in the net at the same time!). It was thrilling! That was when Mr. T said we should probably be done (it gets so addicting, we really try to be reasonable about when to quit when the fishing is so good!). Later that night, a lady passed me on the beach and said: “Triple girl!” and winked at me. Totally made my year.
So, long story short, we had to go home the next day and not stay two nights. The kids were fine with it when we promised them they could watch movies while we processed the fish and then we would all go swimming at the YMCA.
The numbers this year have been really high and they actually opened it up to all-night fishing the last week of July (usually you’re not allowed to fish between 11pm and 6am). I was so tempted to go back down just to do it, but decided against it. Because sometimes I’m reasonable. 😉
We ended with a total of 29 sockeye salmon! (though our household limit is 65, we never need that much!) That equals 80.6 lbs of fillets!
Biggest fillet this year: 31 oz (a pretty small year)
Because you know I like to calculate all of our costs, here is everything we spent for this year’s dipnetting trip:
- $45 – The cost of camping on the beach and dropping off our stuff an picking it all back up the next day.
- $35 – Gas for the car for the roundtrip – it’s about a three hour drive from our house.
- $3.49 – Ice to keep the fish cool.
- $21.90 – The annual Blizzards at DQ for all five of us post-dipnetting on the way home (Mr. T and I split a large to cut costs, but 3 smalls for the kids is still spendy!).
- $19.65 – Replacement pole clips – Mr. T lost quite a few of the connectors to his poles last year. So, he had to get some new hardware to connect the lengths of pole to his net.
- $58 – Fishing licenses for Mr. T and I.
- $8 – A new tire tube for Mr. T’s bike. We bring an old bike so we can pay the drop-off fee and then park offsite to save $25.
- $21.99 – Giant tarp to cover our tent because we’ve discovered it leaks pretty badly in the rain. Bonus: it keeps it much darker in there (again, light all night makes camping in Alaska tricky).
Total Costs: $213.03 – Usually we pay a significant amount for professional smoking. The place where we usually take it went out of business, so our friend said he would smoke them this year for us. Saves us money this year. Yay. We’ll see what we decide to do next year.
Total Cost Per Pound: $2.64/lb
Thanks to not paying for smoking of the fish or freezer bags (we had enough left over), it was our cheapest per pound year ever! Check out Dipnetting 2015, Dipnetting 2016, Dipnetting 2017, and Dipnetting 2018 to compare. If you end up with some salmon, be sure to check out Mr. T’s perfect salmon recipe!