The Florette C doesn’t look like any charter boat I’ve been on, and the captain is also quite different—she’s a lady, Dianne Dubuk. The boat doesn’t have the traditional rack on back with broomstick-like halibut rods hanging overhead. Other boats’ decks are flat at the back, allowing six anglers to belly up to the rail while fishing. Instead, a 5-foot-square, 2-foot-high hatch occupies Florette C’s deck’s center and opens to a large hold underneath.
The hold, unused for its original purpose, contains odds and ends, everything from spray paint to garden hoses. Anglers, not fishing, can comfortably sit on the hatch cover or a fold-out deck chair placed on deck between the hatch and a utility tower near the boat’s stern. The utility tower is a communication radio antenna base, the boat’s second power, and steering control center and holds brackets for fishing rods.
At the edge of the boat’s stern, instead of the traditional rail, there’s a 3-foot deep well where two anglers stand level with the ocean and tend two fishing rods apiece. Most charters allow six anglers to fish at once, giving this fishing the six-pack title. Not so with the Florette C. Six anglers rotate in teams of two for 20 minutes of fishing. At first blush, it seems to cut down on the fishing time, but given the way Dianne fishes her clients, it may cut down on the fishing time, but it increases the catching time.
The Florette C is a Southeast Alaska commercial troller converted to a luxury sportfishing yacht, with long trolling poles on either side of the boat and hydraulically powered downriggers.
And this is where Regina Monaco took her first fish—her first two fish. Alaska newcomer and TV reporter, Regina was filling her assignment of covering Alaska’s sportfishing arena without ever having been fishing. But fortunately for Regina, her charter boat captain, Dianne Dubuk, had been fishing and provided Regina with not only the fishing technique lessons but the opportunity to apply the newly learned knowledge on two feeder kings and a respectable halibut.
Like most novice anglers, Regina couldn’t keep the rod tip up, let the line go slack, and made all the other mistakes, allowing fish to escape. But again, like with most novice anglers, the fish gods took pity and allowed the mistakes and the fish to be taken. So it was with Regina. She took her trophies home to dinner and her TV report to the nightly news broadcast.
When asked about her first Alaska fishing experience, her first two fish, and the ultimate charter aboard Alaska Saltwater Charters’ Florette C and lady captain, Dianne Dubuk, Regina answered with one word—the meaningless word that means much to many—awesome!