Picking in the boat
“Picking fish,” is getting the fish out of the net and into the totes for transportation to the Cannery or Processor that buy our fish. Most of the time we leave the nets in the water and pick fish in a skiff. The process is quite simple:
Motor out to one end of the net and lift it over the bow
slide the net back onto the rollers, pull a section of net into the boat
and let the picking begin….
Some fish are easy to pick. They are just caught in the “bag” of the net and fall out as soon as the net is turned into the boat.
Others are caught by the gills and it is a simple task of placing your fingers just right, giving the fish a little jerk, and it slips right out.
Other fish though, like to make things difficult. They twirl like a ballerina, or wedge themselves through the net all the way to their bellies.
After a fish is picked, it is thrown into a large plastic container or “tote” in the back of the boat.
If the tote is full, fish are kept on the bottom of the boat.
When the stretch of net across the boat is picked, the process repeats. Turn on the roller, pull in a bunch of fish, and pick.
The boat moves along the net until all the fish are picked.
When we’re finished picking, we drop the net off the bow,
motor back to the beach.
toss any extra fish in an additional tote,
lift the tote out of the boat with the tractor,
load the totes on the back of a truck, and they are off to the processor.
Next week: Picking on the beach