Locals Go To Alaska For The Halibut

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For a foursome of Rim country anglers, a jaunt to near Juneau, Alaska turned out to be the stuff from which celebrated fishing fables are spun.

Fishing the icy waters of Alaska's Inside Passage, the catch of Donn Martin, Swede Anderson, Gary Cornette and Claudia Frigo included four species of salmon, rockfish and several halibut that weighed more than 60 pounds each.

The catch, Anderson said, "will be the main course for us, our friends and co-workers for many days to come."

The five-day trip to Alaska began July 7 when the four flew to Juneau where they were picked up by their Anchor Point Lodge fishing guides.

Their daily fishing trips into the Inside Passage were on a fully equipped 24-foot, four-passenger cabin cruiser.

Fishing for trophy-sized species was the main focus of the trip, but the four also marveled at the vast wilderness.

"The scenery of Alaska is awesome," Anderson said. "In between fishing, we enjoyed watching the whales feed and the eagles soar above."

Cornette, a local doctor who was on his first trip to Alaska, quickly learned that fishing the 400-foot depths of the ocean can be a challenge.

"He compared manually reeling in a halibut like dragging a VW Beetle up the Mogollon Rim with a fishing rod," Anderson said.

On a July 12 ocean trip, Anderson and Martin teamed up to reel in a 55-pound halibut that they nicknamed "Frisky".

A day earlier, under the guidance of skipper Ken Fukada, the duo boated a 21-pound salmon. The species most abundant during the summer months are king, pink, chum and silver salmon.

While the trip was the first for Cornette and Frigo, it was the eighth consecutive Alaskan trek for Martin and Anderson.

If Anderson has her way, it won't the last.

"We always want to go back," she said. "It has become a tradition."

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