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Thread: telling guide you want to keep fish

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Default telling guide you want to keep fish

    Is it considered rude to tell a guide that you want to keep a fish he doesn't want you to keep? I was Halibutt fishing recently and we got into a bunch of cod. I had heard that many people like them but the guide I was with didn't want to keep them and just atomaticly threw them back. About half of them died any way and It seemed like a bit of a wast.

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    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Was this recently? I don't think Cod season is opened until July 1st.

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  3. #3

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    I don't think sportfishing anglers are subject to any season (or limit) on cod (unless AKBassking, you mean ling cod? I understood the question to be about Pacific cod). And I would not think twice about asking a captain to keep my cod. They are great eating, and especially if the halibut fishing is a little slow (or even not), can provide some healthy fillets. They might have worms, though, but they can be picked out or cooked if you're not finicky. Too, they make great halibut bait. I had a captain complain that they make a mess when you fillet them and are too wormy to eat. The mess came when he filleted one and cut through it's stomach, spilling the contents all over the deck (and fillets). But no messier than halibut blood. And good thing he was cutting it for bait, as I don't care for that stuff on the fish I'm going to eat. I figured he just didn't want to bother with the effort. Bottom line, though, they are your fish and you have the right to do what you want with them. A good charter captain will respect your wish.
    Last edited by nickster; 05-01-2007 at 10:38. Reason: ling cod thought
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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default there is no "cod season".

    you might be thinking of lingcod, but pacific cod are not related at all, p-cod are a true cod and lings are big greenling. no limit or season for p-cod.
    as far as keeping cod when the skipper doesn't want to, i would guess that first and foremost he didn't want to clean them. filleting is included, but that is based on a couple halibut. in the future you might just offer to "make it worth his while" and tip accordingly. or, make it clear before you leave the harbor that you want to keep a few cod.
    when you do, make sure to bleed them, and either fillet or ice them asap.
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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Cod

    Quote Originally Posted by AKBassking View Post
    Was this recently? I don't think Cod season is opened until July 1st.

    In PWS Cod are open all year with no limit.

    If you are the only one renting the charter, you should be able to have the captain take you after whatever you want to target.

    But if others are on the boat and expect a halibut charter, and the captain desides to move and target halibut, then you probably are not going to have a say unless 100% of the charter agrees to target the fish.

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    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    It was lingcod! Opps

    You are paying bigg $$ for your trip and if they are in season and you want to keep it, the charter captain should respect that. If not demand he take you back to port and get your money back!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Maybe offer to fillet it yourself. Someone pointed out that charters typically come with cleaning the fish included, but that's usually assumed to be a couple of halibut. If the idea of the mess is the captain's objection, bring your own fillet knife and deal with it when you get back to port. Personally, I FAR prefer filleting cod within 15 minutes of catching them to keep the worms from moving to the meat, but either way they're worth keeping - especially since they often can't re-submerge.

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    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    I once had another guide criticize me for keeping a small pink salmon that a client wanted. Even on a shared or mixed charter, FISH BELONG TO THE ANGLER, AND THEY'RE YOURS TO DO WITH AS YOU PLEASE. If you want something, speak up. It's not rude. It shouldn't even be an inconvenience, and a good guide shouldn't "huff" or give any sign that it's too much trouble.

    I'm still not clear if the OP meant true cod or ling... The lings this year have a terribly small slot limit in effect, so if it's not 30"-35" it's going back (if you're non-resident.)

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default slot limit for lings?

    not around here as far as i know...it would be news to me!
    gotta be 35" inches anyway....
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    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    not around here as far as i know...it would be news to me!
    gotta be 35" inches anyway....
    Aaah, the 2C/3A double standard rears its ugly head again! EO # 1-LC-R-01-07 gives us a 30" min and 35" max for non-residents and guided resident anglers. It's only in certain areas, but those happen to be the areas I fish!

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    Default

    On a charter several years ago, I brought up a huge skate after a major battle and the charter reacted as if it was a horrible thing, junk fish, along with other french used to describe it. Of course it was released in a less than friendly manner. I asked, are they good to eat and was told in no uncertain terms - Absolutely Not! However, after the fact, I find YES they are good eating. In fact, I found out that they are served as a substitute for scallops. I'm a bit confused that on these halibut charters, everything but the 'buts are rated as junk fish. I would have loved to have brought that skate home and given it a try. What harm could it have done. The way it was released, I doubt it survived. It would have done more good on my dinner table if, in fact, it was good eating. Next time, I'm keeping them, along with any cod I catch. Lord knows the charter rates only continue to climb.

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    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    I've had the same experience as Sketch when hooking a skate on a halibut charter. I would think that the charter captains and deckhands should understand that, for some people, catching untargeted species might be considered a bonus on their trip. Others may consider it a nusiance. They should ASK their client about such a possibility at the dock so that all parties understand what is expected. Also, since some of their clients WILL want to keep other fish, they should get themselves informed about the proper/best methods of cleaning/filletting likely bycatch (skate, octopus, cod, whatever...) and be prepared to deal with it before it becomes an issue out on the water. It's called professionalism.
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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Thanks
    Yea I went out on a charter once that we caught a few skates. The captain slit their gills then threw them back. I never really liked that.
    We were targeting halibutt the whole time we were just accedently catching pacific cod, and the guide automaticly threw them back. I asked him about it and he said he wouldn't recomend eating them, but I had only heard good things about them.

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    Default Unbelievable-

    Quote Originally Posted by big_dog60 View Post
    ...The captain slit their gills then threw them back. I never really liked that...
    Wow. Talk about gross disregard for life. I would be having a chat with the skipper over this one, and I would not be spending any more money with them either. Really, what's the difference between this and shooting an animal because it got in your way while you were hunting something else?

    Sheesh!

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    I've had non target species thrown back, and have also had them cutup and used for bait, without being asked if I wanted to keep the fish.

    It seems unfortunately that most charter boats have the mentality that their goal is to get each fisherman two buts that the fisherman will accept with as little effort as possible.

    The key is to talk to the deckhands before you start fishing to let them know you want to keep anything you catch that is legal. I doubt any of them would have a problem with that if they know beforehand. When the boat is on a bite and the deckhands are busy keeping lines untangled, hooks baited, and swinging gaffs to bring in fish, is not the time to mention you want the cod you caught.

  16. #16

    Default segment of society

    Guides make up just another small subset of our society, and there are going to be plenty like those that have been highlighted in this thread. Fortunately, there are plenty of others who respect the customer's wishes and the ocean's resources. Having weeded through a couple of the former, I've found a couple of the latter and will stick with them.

    Three that come to mind in the category of "never fish with again," are:

    1) The guy I mentioned earlier who didn't like cod because they were "too messy" and told me I didn't want to keep any because of the worms. He also yelled at his deckhand regularly and pretty much blamed the customers when we didn't catch fish - never gets my business again.

    2) A guide who "released" arrowtooth and undersize ling cod by holding the leader above them as they hung above the water, dropping their weight quickly, then yanking up as hard as he could, effectively ripping off the entire upper and lower lips of the fish. Some may argue arrowtooth are trash, but I don't buy that argument. And ling cod are a managed sport species - I not only won't fish with that outfit, I wrote an email to the owner of the charter business. He at least seemed concerned about his captain's actions.

    3) My second halibut charter in Alaska, we caught a number of skates, and much like has been mentioned above, he would cut them up before tossing them back. Really pissed me off. He also took over my friend's mom's rod and reeled in her halibut.

    I've found this site to be a great place to get recommendations for quality, conscientious, professional charter services, and have passed on those recommendations many a time. In fact, I'm fishing with one of of those guys a week from Friday - can't wait!
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    I did not go back to the guy that slit the rays gills again.
    The charter where I caught the cod would have allowed me to keep them if I had asked before hand but I did not think about it. I talked with hime afterwards and he said he didn't like them and would not recomend keeping them but if I wanted he would have allowed me to keep one, but I had already caught my Halibut and was no longer fishing and no one else wanted to keep them.

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    Member slimm's Avatar
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    i caught a couple skates one time and the deck hand just took out a fillet knife and cut a big hunk out of the mouth where it was hooked,,
    seemed to me he could have just as easily reached out with some pliers and pulled the hook out,, i offered to do it but he said no way..
    on the same trip we were catching a bunch of real little chickens, my buddy and i kept telling the deck hand to throw em back, we would take our chances on catching some bigger.. and that we would just keep the little ones in the last hour of fishing, or go home emty handed..
    well he kept some for the other clients that were seasick.
    well the next thing you know the captain is pulling anchor and getting ready to head out. this is about noon, it was a full day charter..
    we asked if we were going to another hole, the captain said no we all have our limit, i asked how could that be my buddy and i haven't even kept one fish yet..
    the capt. just laughed and said i dont know how that could be cause,there is 16 fish in the box, and gave us a look like just say something boys i dare ya..

    so it is a pretty good idea when charting a boat to ask what is expected of you, and let them know what you expect of them..

  19. #19

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    I'll keep anything legal that the client wants, but will warn them, worms in Cod (sometimes and don't show the women, if you want to bring it home), cleaning a Slate? Your on your own, I seen it done once on a 70 lber it yielded less than 5 lbs of meat from the wings and took the guy over an hour to get it (now thats a waste of time and a fish).
    Alot of times its personel perferance, like Pinks and Cod, some people love them and some act like its a trash fish, so they end up in the box or as bait, I think they make the best deep fried fish (Cod) and I don't mind cleaning a few for my customers.

    "Quote" "on the same trip we were catching a bunch of real little chickens, my buddy and i kept telling the deck hand to throw em back, we would take our chances on catching some bigger.. and that we would just keep the little ones in the last hour of fishing, or go home empty handed..
    well he kept some for the other clients that were seasick.
    well the next thing you know the captain is pulling anchor and getting ready to head out. this is about noon, it was a full day charter.." End quote"

    This can happen when you are fishing on a day with large minus tides. You are limited to fishing when the water has slowed enough for your weight to hold the bottom (an hour or two before and after the tide change). Once the water has sped up it will not slow down till the next tide change (once every 6 hours or so).
    This may have been the case or just a lazy guide.
    On these days I like to do combo trips for Salmon or rockfish to give it a full day. If you want to maximize fishing time pick Halibut trips on days without minus tides.

    Being a guide I hear all this when the phone rings, its the guy who got screwed last time out. So if you learn anything from this thread its to ask questions first, not after the charter. Sometimes even this won't help as there are guides who will say whatever you want to hear to get your money, so go on a recommendation if possible , its how I get a major portion of my new business.

    Hope this helps you on your next trip.
    Frank
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  20. #20
    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up "Keeping em"

    I went last weekend on a Halibut charter out of Nanilchik with AFISHUNT charters. The captain put us on a large amount of halibut and Pacific cod. The first three fish caught were P-cod and we said we wanted to keep a couple. The captain said there was not much meat and tasted bad, but he said we could keep as many as we wanted to. He asked me every time a P-cod or Halibut came up if I we wanted to keep it. We ended up keeping three P-cod and throwing back over 30. We threw back over 20 halibut also. The P-cod were filleted up and I will eat them this week and let you know what I think about them. The Captain also said, "P-cod are a stinky fish." I noticed no odor or worms. This was my first Halibut charter. I took the whole family and a friends family. We had a blast to say the least. We had between 2 and 4 fish on the lines at all times for 3 hours straight. Great bunch of folks and a trip to remember forever. The crew gave more effort than I expected and they were having as much fun as we all were. Rod

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