Salmon Annie’s – An Invigorating Healthy Choice

| July 2, 2015 | 1 Comment

by Jenny Chissus

salmon annies logoAnnie Ridgely, along with her husband Paul and their three little ones, Joy, Obi and Azariah have opened a new hang out on the slough called “Salmon Annie’s”!  It is so much more than a fishing charter office – she offers fresh squeezed fruit juices, smoothies, “green” shakes, wheat grass shots, fishing pole and paddle board rentals, hiking tours, yoga, music nite, massage and the main stay of her operation – Salmon Charter Fishing with set nets in Seldovia Bay!

Anniewheat grassRight north of the bridge, located along the slough, the shop is open from Monday through Friday 10:00 to 5:00 Saturdays 9:00am to 6:00pm, closed on Sundays,  from Memorial Day to Labor Day!  The opportunity to fish with the guided trips will be available into August, but will definitely slow down as summer draws to a close. 

Annie has been fishing since 2001, and in Seldovia Bay since 2006 at her set net sites.  Her family loves to spend the summers in Seldovia, and Salmon Annie’s is the result of looking for more ways to bring in income so that Paul can stay in Seldovia all summer!   Annie also wanted to find a way to spend more time out on the water!   Paul is the land lubber and Annie is the water baby, so with the help of a nanny and shop helper, Annie is able to get out to fish almost every day!    Paul will stay with the family in Seldovia for the summer until the fishing slows down and then he’ll have to return to his plumbing profession in Homer while Annie finishes up the season.

I asked Annie what it was like, to book a fishing charter with Salmon Annie’s!  “This is a different fishery all together.  It is not at all like fishing with a pole.  When we fish, we catch LOTS of fish, lots of species, so it is really exciting!  Customers who have trolled, or fished Kenai with a pole or gone halibut fishing are commenting that this is a very exciting, action packed fishing experience.  It is also the historic and traditional way that the natives have fished in Alaska, so folks are intrigued to get a glimpse into that style of fishing!  The customers also get the bragging rights to say that they have “Commercial Salmon Fished” in Alaska!”  As part of the guided tour package for $125 per person, the customer gets to take home a gift fish (one salmon that Annie will filet up for them), and she will provide a lunch for them in between the fishing outings.  Annie also has an agreement with the restaurant Captain Patties over in Homer on the Spit so that customers can bring in their fish and Captain Patties will cook it for them in the restaurant!

Annie SkiffMany of Annie’s customers are coming over on the tour boats around noon.  First, they come in and purchase their 30 day commercial fishing licenses. Then, they will go through and get set up with all the necessary gear.  (Customers can come as they are, as she’ll provide all the rain gear, boots, etc. to make the adventure comfortable and warm!)  They come back from the first run and have lunch, coffee or tea, and then they’ll go back out to pick the nets again!   The last part of the tour is filleting up the fish, and then Annie will send them on their way.   She has three nets out in the bay, so depending on how many fish are in each net, it may be just one, really heavy run, or it may be two runs to empty and reset the nets.

AnniePaulBoatKiddosIn June, the nets are full of King Salmon, then the Reds come in very heavy in July.  The Chums and Pinks will come in July and August and then the Silvers will follow!  So, in July, a customer could go out fishing and pull every species of salmon from the nets – so that is a super unique and exciting experience for them!  This is a great educational experience for these customers.   In lower Cook Inlet, the nets are always wet – which means they are always fishing!   Annie explained that they actually fish all daylight hours, 4am to midnight!  Because this is a family operation, they are coming and going from the nets all day long, back for coffee and warm up breaks – but it is a full-time job!   Wednesdays and Saturdays at 6pm, they pull the nets, mend and clean them, then they will go back in the water on Thursdays and Sundays at 6pm, but the family takes Sundays off.  Now that the regulations restrict halibut fishing on Thursdays, all Salmon Annie’s Thursdays are booked!     It is great to have this option for fishermen who are here on a Thursday!   So, call ahead to book your trip before they fill up for the summer.

Every day (except Sundays) they have an easy Otterbahn trail hike from 1:30 to 3:15, that explains the history of Seldovia.  This is another great option for folks coming to Seldovia for the day on the tour boats!

They also have fishing poles for rent at $10 a day – and they keep them in great working order (there are kids poles too) clean and ready to go!

Annies RentalsI also noticed that they have stand up paddle boards.  The type that Annie decided to carry are called Bounce Boards, and they are plastic – durable and light!  They are also nice and wide so they are very stable, and for those who request it, Annie has life jackets available as well.  Paddle Boards are super easy to learn how to use, and Annie and her crew will do a quick safety briefing, and folks can get on their way!   This sport will offer an amazing core workout as you’re focused on balancing every second!   Annie offered:  “I can do a head stand on these boards  - they’re so stable!”

You can also purchase fresh salmon, you need to get your name on the list, and on Wednesdays and Saturdays Annie will call you when they’re down on the dock to pick up your whole salmon while they’re cleaning and mending their gear!   Salmon Annie’s has a catcher/seller tag, so they can sell fish whole off the dock.  They can’t process them, however they do have some frozen filleted red salmon available for purchase, packaged from Smart Source Seafood from Homer.

Annies PotteryAs I looked around the shop, there was a lot of local nautical artwork for sale.  Annie wanted to create a nautical/ocean/commercial fishing theme, and most of the artists are from Homer.  There is pottery, paintings, jewelry, music and clothing available from Alaskan artists!  This is a great stop to find a gift for yourself or a friend!

Annies MenuFresh raw juices are available here at Annie’s!  Get your day’s nutrients in a glass!   Fun nautical names like Mermaid Tail (Banana, Mango, Kale, and Coconut milk) or the Trade Winds (pineapple, mango, strawberries, banana and coconut milk) are hard to resist!   It is often hard to eat well when traveling, and Annie thought folks traveling would be excited to get a boost of raw energy!  It is also a welcome treat for locals, as many folks don’t have access to all the fresh fruits and veggies required to make these drinks/smoothies!  For a Fresh Juice drink after a long night fishing, you may want to try the Drunken Sailor Remedy (cucumber, carrot, lemon, dandelion greens)!

Salmon AnniesThere are plenty of espresso and coffee spots in Seldovia, so Annie chose to focus on healthy and different fare!  She does have french press coffee and quite a selection of teas, like local blueberry tea for the tea/coffee connoisseurs!   Another fun activity at Salmon Annie’s is their special bicycle powered blender, so customers are able to blend their own smoothie!

For locals – on Wednesdays Annie generously offers 30% off!  She also has a beverage card, so folks can purchase a card and not be concerned with having cash on hand!  Gift certificates, punch cards are great gifts for your friends, and for anyone who rents a paddle board, goes fishing, or participates in a hike, they offer a coupon for 15% off a beverage!

Besides great art, jewelry, juice, paddle boards, hiking tours, fishing charters and smoothies, Annie will also have yoga on the deck – multiple times a week with different instructors!

ErikWhile I was there, I had the opportunity to get a sample shoulder massage with Erik who is the owner of Wilderness Wellness and Reflexology, who is providing chair massages on the deck for $1 a minute – what a deal!   Based out of Homer, he and his family have a summer home in Seldovia and therefore is able to provide this great service to our community.    Erik will be available on Tuesdays almost every week at Salmon Annie’s, and is also available to schedule a table massage, and you can connect with him directly at 299-0449.  Erik also offers gift certificates, and will take cash, checks and also credit cards!

Salmon AnniesA trip down the enchanting pathway to Salmon Annie’s means you are in for a real treat: great boost of energy, healthy food, stimulating activities, educational experiences as well as invigorating massage, yoga or a turn on the smoothie bike!    The best part of all is being able to interact with the owner, Annie, who besides being absolutely charming and beautiful, she is an authentic Alaskan girl who’s excited and willing to share a fantastic Seldovia experience with you!  Give a call at 907.399.2105, or stop by and see Annie today!

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  1. Salmon Annie’s in the Seldovia Gazette | Salmon Annie’s | July 3, 2015

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