Todd finds out that not all the gangsters are in his hometown of Chicago when he goes to visit his sixteen-year-old cousin Buff in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Actually the two boys are really roughing it; Buff plans to earn college money by salmon fishing this summer and Todd is his game junior partner. As they set up their site Todd learns to ""eat, sleep and work by the tide,"" which can run up to thirty feet, as well as the exhausting intricacies of ""gillnetting."" In the meantime a mysterious taciturn neighbor, Pete Vimri, disproves Buff's claim that ""Alaska fishermen are the friendliest people in the world."" Todd, intrigued by Vimri's Obvious lies, does a little spying and soon the boys realize that they've netted something bigger than a King Salmon...an international gun smuggling Operation. A formula and trifle too fishy plot anchors this to the ranks of minor mysteries.