Last week we saw what it takes to commercial halibut fish. It is not an easy job and certainly not for the squeamish. After getting the fish on the boat, they had to hit them to stun them and then cut their gills to get them to bleed out. They then were stuffed with ice for the trip to market.
This episode features Track, the Palin’s son who has arrived safely back from Iraq. They are in Dillingham, Alaska where they spend their traditional 4th of July weekend fishing. Todd is the master fisherman of the family and wants to teach his son Track all he knows. They go to Todd’s favorite fishing site in Bristol Bay to set their nets. Everyone who fishes must take care of the gear, if it breaks, or you break it; you fix it.
Todd is descended from the tribe of Yup’ik Indians and his grandmother is still around and matriarch of his family. There are lots of cousins and family members. It was especially poignant to see Cousin Matthew who is ten years old and like baby Trig, has Down syndrome. Sarah got teary eyed when she realized how much Matthew has learned and also taught his family and could see down the road her own son grow up with a loving family.
Watching the family gut and bone the fish is something that I could never do, but if I lived in Alaska, I probably would have to. They celebrated Willow’s birthday by enjoying a visit with Todd’s Yup’ik cousins and the rest of the clan. They learned how to hang fish in the smokehouse of the fish camp.
Piper learned how to keep up with the rest of the gang cleaning up the fishing gear and being a responsible fisherman. Track has taken over his father’s fishing site and knows how much he wants to prove himself as a qualified fisherman. He has big shoes to fill, because Todd has the experience and is a legend in the area. Track wants to become a legend like his father, after all, he was taught by the best.
Todd and his fishing buddy Becker come across a sunken net while fishing with Willow and Piper. The net was so full of fish that it sunk and was pretty hard to pull into the boat. They caught about 3000 pounds of fish from those nets and at a dollar a pound that sure adds up. The Palin family sure has a great work ethic.