I just got back from Trip five to the Charlotte Queen. As usual, it was a fantastic trip. I am fortunate to be able to fish wherever I like and I do so frequently. My annual destinations include Alaska, Brazil, the south Pacific, and Haida Gwaii. If I could only do one trip each year it would certainly be a trip to the Charlotte Queen.
The new schedule will take some getting used to—you get to sleep in on both the outbound and return portions of the trip. Lunch at the Sandspit InterGalactic Airport was surprisingly good. There is enough time for some quality hours on the water that first day and I returned to the ship with my daily limit of Chinook, the biggest weighing in at twenty-six pounds. Most Chinooks brought in on Trip five weighed in the high teens and twenties.
It’s good to see numerous halibut around Hippa. Several good-sized fish were caught on the trip and three fish over one-hundred pounds were released. Ten to fifteen pounders were an absolute nuisance in some areas. Out near the “Hali” marker my buddy Mike and I released seventeen small ones before running off to another spot. That included seven doubles and one triple—Mike caught two fish at the same time on his two-hooked jig. I limited on halibut with my largest weighing 44 pounds. The maximum length fish you can keep is fifty-two inches and that one measured 46 inches.
Chefs Marty and Pierre continue to outdo themselves. The food is outstanding, as usual, and I’m sure that I’d gain weight on the trip except for all the exercise that I get. I wear a Bodymedia armband that measures all sorts of physical data and uses that data to calculate calories burned. If I sit around all day I’ll burn about 2,000 calories. A day with a visit to the gym and four or five miles of walking will burn 2,600 calories or so. At Hippa, I regularly burn more than 4,500 calories and sometimes even approach 5,500! Just keeping upright in a pitching boat is hard work and I engage in some strenuous jigging when bottom fishing. What a weight-loss program!
I didn’t go out at all on the last day of the trip although the new schedule leaves plenty of time to do so. I was limited out on everything except Coho and there were very few of them around—only one was landed by our entire group during the trip. Believe it or not, I was tired of fishing (for a couple of days, at least.)
One lucky fisherlady on our trip, Linnie, spotted a huge Japanese glass fishing ball near her boat and brought it aboard.It’s the largest I’ve seen, probably sixteen inches in diameter. That’s a really lucky find because I think they quit using glass ones in the 1950s, but I’m not certain of that. I just know that I’ve never found one.
I can’t wait for my next trip to the Charlotte Queen.