Chef Jack Yoss Fishing in Alaska

Fishing in Alaska From Hook to Table

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Chef Jack Yoss goes for the big catch - fishing in Alaska

We start off trolling for King Salmon, using fresh herring and cured salmon eggs as our bait. After a few hours without a single bite I start to question the validity of the Captains claims. Sensing my, and everyone else’s developing frustration he barks out orders for us to reel in the lines and pack up the gear.

fishing in Alaska, Alaska seafood, Alaskan Halibut

An hour later we drop anchor at what he calls Ling land, which I assume is named after the Ling cod located below. An hour passes-nothing, another hour passes, same results. At this point I am silently cursing Alaska, daydreaming of warm beaches and ironically craving sushi. As if on cue Meghan’s rod starts bobbing excitedly, she reels-and the fish fights, after fifteen minutes of battle the fish appears. To my surprise it is neither a halibut nor salmon but what looks like a cod. Steve walks up, issues a few curse words and throws it back. Astonished I question his motives and he waves me off, muttering something under his breath about    grey cod and fish sticks. Before I can argue, the rest of us have fish on our lines. All of them cod, back in the water. Meghan has another bite and soon lands a beautiful sixty-pound plus halibut. Her smile makes the day worth it.

fishing in Alaska, Alaska fish, Alaskan seafood

Soon after that first fish, everyone is at attention, working the reels furiously, landing black bass, yellow eye rockfish, skate, lingcod, black cod, red-banded rockfish, sole and even an extremely rare white king salmon. Not a minute passes that we are not catching, reeling in or gutting a fish. I had no idea that this many varieties of fish resided in these waters. To look at menus around the country you would think that halibut, salmon and king crab were the sole (forgive the pun) species here. All summer, in almost every fine dining restaurant you see the same thing, halibut and salmon. Even though they are quite delicious, I quite frankly am a little bored with them. So staring down at the colorful, kaleidoscope of fish in front of me my mind is racing with the possibilities, I can’t wait to get to a stove, but before that Steve points out we will be coming in at low tide, the perfect time for digging razor clams.


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