Confrontation at the Ice Shute

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Confrontation at the Ice Shute

Post by Salty »

My partner and I were fishing chums a few years ago chasing schools around Eastern Channel with about a dozen or so other trollers. I noticed some jumps over by Long Island and pulled the gear and moved over there. No other trollers on the drag. We caught a few on the first pass and called in my partner.
He threw in his chum gear and started trolling at 1.3 knots toward another patch of jumps. A third troller, a newcomer to trolling and chum trolling, noticed us move and shortly followed us. For some reason, I actually think inadvertently, he ended up throwing his gear in right in front of my partner. My partner, another young guy, but highly experienced in the troll fishery, took umbrage and called the perpetrator on the VHF. A short, but pointed conversation ensued about the poor troll etiquette of following someone else to another drag and then throwing your gear in right off his bow. A deserved apology was not offered.
I happened to be in position to send the newcomer a message by positioning myself right outside of him and with a pinnacle coming up he was effectively boxed. While I turned before he was forced into the pinnacle a message was delivered. My partner was furious with me for intruding into his business. In essence the newcomer and I had both behaved poorly and my partner was furious with both of us but behaved admirably and while we were jousting he got on the fish and got a couple of line loads.
Months later, the next spring I was at the ice shute at Sitka Sound Seafoods icing up for a spring hatchery Chinook opening. My wife Sarah was with me on deck. I had the ice shute in hand filling a hold when a young guy showed up on the dock and introduced himself. I didn't recognize the name but said something about how happy I was to see young guys in the fleet etc. He said:
"I am the skipper of the ............... the guy you gouged at Long Island last summer. I just wanted to come by and let you know that if you ever try that again you %$#& *&%$# I will take out your #@%$ float bags.......etc. "You don't know what you are dealing with here you %%#^ old fat guy."
Sarah said; "Language!!"

I couldn't believe it, it had been so long since someone had said something like that to this 360 pound 6'3" Norwegian that I went into some kind of shock, or ecstasy, or something insane. I dropped the ice hose with ice streaming out of it, stepped toward the perpetrator and raised my hands and motioned him to come here while I said:
"If you want a piece of me come and get it."
The perpetrator tried to hide behind the ice man who retreated to the ice shack. Ice started spilling all over the deck. I headed for the ladder. The perpetrator, a husky hunk, walked away.
Sarah said;
"Grab the ice hose you crazy old fool."
I was shaking as I took the hose and filled the rest of the bins. Sarah asked;
"And what was your plan if that guy had come down the ladder?"
I said;
"I would hide behind you of course."

After about a year of so the perpetrator approached me in front of Murray Pacific and made a sincere and generous apology and I, in return, apologized for my behavior on the drag. Peace was made and I have to admit to a grudging respect for the perpetrator as he has turned out to be a hard working and mannerly addition to the fleet.
The truth is that while I have two sons who were champion wrestlers and a wife who is tough as nails I am and always have been a big wimp. I couldn't fight my way out of a wet paper bag. I am sure glad the perpetrator didn't come down that ladder.
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