terry perensovich, skiff fisherman
In the late 1970's, Perensovich had just graduated from high school and had a construction job when he heard about the great income one could make fishing. So he transitioned to fishing for halibut out of a Boston Whaler and hasn't changed boats for over 30 years. This income was supplemented for many years with a shipwright business.
Terry loves the solitude this lifestyle brings, though he usually has a deckhand, either wife Joanna or friend Joe D'Arienzo, who both have their own pounds to fish. Fishing trips involve camping on shore and are usually 3 days duration. The first day they set up camp and bait up. The second day they set the gear early, hand-haul in the afternoon, bait the gear and reset. The third day they haul in the morning. in the fall, they hunt while gear is soaking.
They have such small quotas to catch the fish are easily taken care of. They're slung off over the side to bleed outside the boat; they'll hang there until they're done hauling the set. This prevents bruising and keeps the fish cold. In the summer, fish are iced in a tote. In the cold fall weather, wen they combine fishing with hunting, the halibut will remain slung over the side overnight. Only once have they had a loss from a sea lion.
Perensovich has considered upgrading at various times to a larger boat, but the low-stress operation is appealing. He always looks forward to the camping, fishing and hunting available in his own "backyard."
Profile and photos by Mim McConnell