We filmed our guide and his clients pulling a crab pot. The guide told us he was sure it would be full, and if it wasn’t, the only reason would be that a passing fishing boat robbed it in our absence. When a crab pot is robbed, it is an unwritten rule that the thief replaces the bait and leaves a six-pack for the owner.
When we pulled our pot, we discovered only a couple of small crab. The bait we had placed there had been replaced with new bait. “Damn,” said our guide, “our pot has been robbed, and the crook didn’t even leave a six-pac.”
The last two days of our filming saw us catching sea-run silvers. The fishing was spectacular, a grand finale to our summer’s shooting. As this was the last shoot, and we were heading home, we decided to keep a few fish for the freezer.
I assisted the guide in putting several big silvers in a box. After packing the box full of fish, I sealed it and wrote my name and address on the top. Then I carried the box of fish to the waiting van and placed it in the back with the rest of my gear. We then left for the Ketchikan Airport in another vehicle, followed by the van of fish and gear.
Back in Anchorage, I told my children I’d brought a surprise. So we took the box of fish to our freezer and opened it. At either end of the box was a George Inlet beach rock packed in newspaper. Sandwiched between the rocks was a six-pac.
Knowing I am a teetotaler, my children looked at me in dismay. They became confused when I began to laugh. It took a minute before I could stop laughing enough to tell them about the crab-pot-robber tradition of Southeast Alaska.
I’ve never admitted the joke to either the guide or my shooting crew. But someday, someway, I’ll get even.