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While recently visiting my mother’s home I found a copy of the State of Alaska’s sport fishing regulations and bag limits from 1974.

Back then it was one booklet for the whole state. A resident sport fishing license was $5.00 and combined with a hunting license cost you $12.00.

Reading the 1974 regulations is interesting as they reflect a simpler time.

The booklet also brought back many memories of what it was like to go fishing back then.  I recall seeing Coho salmon in Chester Creek in Anchorage.  I can’t tell you how many times my friends and I headed up to the Montana Creek area after work.  We would fish until one or two in the morning then head back to Anchorage and be to work by 8.

My Father also had a 28 foot boat down at Whittier.  That was well before there was a small boat harbor there.  We would take it in and out of the water every weekend during the summer and of course bring it back to Anchorage via the train at seasons end. It seems to me he had a buddy named “Smitty” that let us park on a piece of his property.   I remember once we were fishing outside of Shotgun Cove when a salmon spit out the spoon lure as I was trying to net it.  The hook flew up and went deep into my arm.  My Father and one of his buddies got it out and poured whiskey on it for sterilization.  My youngest brother David, who was about 9, remarked “what a waste of good whiskey”.   Not sure where that came from.

  We also had a slip at Seward.  As I recall it was “C1”.  I wonder how long it would take to get that spot back.  That boat helped us put a lot of fish in the freezer.  My Father loved that boat so much that he actually built a balsa wood replica of it before he sold it.

I remember going to the Army Navy store for lots of our gear and clothing.  I specifically remember buying a rod and reel and a crab pot.  I never would have guessed that I would soon be working there and never dreamed I would have the opportunity to become one of the owners.  Alaska and where it can take you!  

I am an avid fisherman today and proud to say  that both of my “Kids” are too.

-Monty Rostad

Owner, Big Ray's

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