Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pandora

Well I guess I must be a little more old school than I thought. Up till now the biggest innovation in communications for me was the stamp that you didn't have to lick. But boy oh boy what I've been missing by resisting the smart phone just because I couldn't find one that works in Mexico. But me and MPeasy have them now and for me on a lot of levels it's a life changer....I mean I got apps that keep me up to date on Mariner trade rumors, watches my stock numbers, tells me where I'm at and might even help get me where I'm going. I've got my tide tables right on the machine, my boarding passes, my translator and it's even teaching me Spanish ...although real slowly. BUT, the coolest thing by far is Pandora, wow.

Anybody that knows me will tell you that in the last 15 years my music has come a long way from the days I could empty out a bar room...in more ways than one. I had a breakthrough when we first saw Gary Allan in Las Vegas during the National Finals Rodeo. His tickets were way cheaper than Brooks and Dunn and I left soooo inspired. Then it was Ray and Jeana's wedding where I discovered Kevin Fowler on a CD that was given to all the wedding guests. And now it's Pandora. I'm sure most of you know how it builds a radio station for your musical preferences and even for your everyday moods. Being more than just a music listener I need to be exposed to new styles, new ideas and though I might 'cover' many of the songs I'm drawn to it also helps my singing and hopefully acts as background for me to write and complete more music. Just this morning I got Pandora going on my Samsung Smart TV and then run it through the  surround speakers and boy howdy...we're cooking with gas. I just love what they call the ' Red Dirt sound ' that is a pretty traditional type of lyrical  country swing that comes out of Texas and Oklahoma, I'm hearing artists and sounds I never new existed. I feel like I did when I first heard the Beetles some 50 years ago....Here's the front page of my song list, I'm heading upwards of 200.
It makes  you dreamy, we all seem to know,
that play the music, who make the show.

That stand with courage and belt out your life,
close your eyes real tight  and  fly,
over the years the tears the tragedies,
the joy  the kiss the smile, your wife.

So perfect and simple so wise all along
like we make sense of it all, in one little song.
                                                                                                   JK


Sunday, November 17, 2013

It just takes time

Yesterday my nephew Mitch said something to me, like we were on the same wave length when he said " why can't time just slow down" ?  Well it seems to me that if anything it actually speeds up as we travel along this program . I just received my 7th five years of Coast Guard Merchant Mariner endorsement which will keep me guiding until I'm sixty five years old. Wow. Here's a couple pics of my first brochure, it's a long way from a professionally maintained web site. It was printed on an old type setter print machine at the Cheechakoe News run by my old friend Loren Stewart....who misspelled rainbow trout.
Then in the mid 80's I got in cahoots with a guy named Carl Butcher. Carl was an event. Anywhere you went with Carl something was sure to happen, and not necessarily something good.  Carl was a business guy and always scheming on how to turn the dollar...I learned a lot from Carl, what to do and what not to do. 30 years later it occurs to me that a big reason for our 'partnership' was to help defray the cost of  10,000 of these brochures. It was me, Carl and the Riverside House Hotel, and we did some huge business for sure and you know we had a ton of fun doing it.
Then in that time frame where I saw the Internet would be the future but we weren't there yet I still needed to have something visual to send out to people so I came up with this little collage. They cost me a buck a piece and I'd include a form letter that I would personalize for each inquiry that had specific questions. This collage has all my favorite characters from the 80's and early 90's.....Johnny Burnett, Jacques Lizin, Bill and Sally Brook, Pop Reeves, Marty Holleran , Geno and Mrs Robert Mundy in the lower left who caught that 74 pounder on the same day her husband caught a 76 pounder....I love ya all....
Here's a pic of us hard at it on a typical day in the early 90's...putting the plan to motion. Having been selected to represent Honda Marine was one of the highlights of my carreer, so far.  For 15 years I had the best equipment money could buy and took pride in keeping it clean and professional. I'd help Honda at Boat shows, I'd help fisherman with propping issues, I helped write press releases and in turn was given product to showcase....ahhhhhh.....America, what a great place.
Young wonderful people, my relatives, people I love the most in this world have been dealt a crappy hand. It's tough news that we all got this weekend. I thought I'd sing them this song that I just worked up like I'd do if we were there with them.  It's going to be alright you guys, we love you....it just takes  time.

video

Sunday, November 10, 2013

This is serious stuff

Me and my fellow Team X members take our surf fishing serious. Last year I took 800 fish hooks and as you can see from this years pile the theme for 2014 is Fireline. I feel kinda bad that our local store had it on sale so cheap as it reflects their failure to sell it but it's yahtzee for us...1/2 a dozen 1500 yard spools for 'almost free' as they say in Mexico.
Years ago when I started in Mazatlan it was almost impossible to find fishing gear, especially terminal tackle. But now our friends at Pesca Maz have surf fishing tackle in all shapes and you know how I am about loyalty so this years pile has less tackle...I'm buying from them. What it mostly has is good deals and of course the few things that we still can't fine there, like licorice and Old Bay seasoning. As you can see I've got line and leader, a couple new surf rods, a few swim fish and some P-line jigs that were on sale. I also have a new back pack because it seems every year I give my back pack away to one of my beach vendor friends who needs it for work.

Our fishing team with the exception of Ernie are people who live in Mazatlan and I'll never in my life know the local fishing like they do...But, being a professional fisherman I know and have access to  any and all technological advances. Through the years I've pioneered the use of lighted lures, fuel injected baits, scents with pheromone technology, I've used Kwikfish that emit an electronic pulse, bobbers  that flash in the night and even spinners that sent out acoustic sonar murmurs to lure the fish to bite....and now I got this baby.
Just another fishing reel you might say. But look closer. This baby's got an on board energy core that sends an ionized electrical charge down the line to where your lure probes the depths for old slimey. We all know that fish have a sensitive lateral line area that responds in aggressive strikes when stimulated...why didn't we think of this before? My old friend Craig Berg sold hundreds of lures that only had a BB rolling around in it to create this positive energy, he'd be so proud of me , because, ...well this baby has pooooooower, enough to make the braided fish line act like a 300 yard extension cord.
I know, I know, you're thinking this baby is some 'as seen on TV' gimmick and you wonder why it would need to flash light to emit this strike inducing force field. Well, the lights you see are only to let ya know it's working, just like the monitor light on my Peavey amplifier or the red light on the Mr. Coffee. If you're not convinced by now this next pic will do it for you, c'mon this is fishing magic. You can feel the energy when you crank, it leaves a slight humming in your ears and the hair on your for arms stands up a bit....man oh man....
So, with the use of this cutting edge technology and of course the hard work that I'm known for and maybe a few Pacificos  it ought to be easy to catch that 20 pound Robalo I've been wanting. Here's a pic of Team X co founder Slah with exactly the fish I intend to catch....watch out Mazatlan, the fishin musician is headed your way. And oh, I only got one of these reels, they're in very limited supply as the plutonium fuel core it uses is in  short supply and of course it's prohibitively expensive. But hey, I'm a generous guy, I'll lend it out after I catch that Robalo.....

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Everything you ever wanted to know about Kenai Kings...I hope

For any of you that don't live here or do and understandably don't subscribe to our newspaper and want to know some about our King Salmon now's your chance. Today the Peninsula Clarion published the 1st of a 10 part series about our King Salmon with today's story titled ' Running in Cycles'. Today's story mostly outlined the historical use of these wonderful fish and explained the cyclical nature of anadromous fisheries in general. I'm always on the side of information and I'm really hoping that this series will help us locally here to confront and deal in a reasonable and respectful way with future management of this fishery. It seems that with a bit of a down turn that could be entirely a natural fluctuation we seem to assign blame as a community, and that does absolutely no good....It's my fondest hope that this series helps take some of the mystery away and fairly portrays the situation and maybe even fosters some solutions. So if any of you are interested it all can be seen at www.peninsulaclarion.com
As I've told people all along, I have no doubt our King fishery is in a temporary down turn. We've seen this before. It was only a few short years ago that the Deshka River was on it's knees and within two years they were increasing the bag limits out of abundance of King's. Our habitat is pristine and that's our ace in the hole. All we need is to find out where our mature Kings are going and get them where they need to go. Keep in mind that although it's been a rough spell we have met escapements. I'm one that always thinks that good comes from bad....it's the only way you can make sense of some things in life. So, here's my 10 part series on what we sports people can do to frame this fishery into something we can all be proud of when it does recover....I guess this is my dream list, how it could work so all of you and your grand kids can keep catching fish like this gorgeous one my friend Dick Hahn is holding.
1. We need to quit killing so many fish. We need to keep the sport limit 2 a year but make it so only 1 can be from the early run and one from the late run...I think one 50 pounder is a lot meat for people who like to eat King salmon like I do.

2. We need a limit on guides on the Kenai River. It's a resource related business and we need a sustainable guide community. Right now with a downturn in business we as a community should say yes we want successful business people on the river....but we also want a quality of experience for all people not just the ones who chose to use a guide. A guide permit would have no value and we would have a fair way for young people and new people to enter the fishery. 

3. We need to use the river in a gentler fashion. We should encourage more use of drift boats with more drift boat only days and incentives for guides to use them instead of the powerboats. We'll cut down on harvest and at the same time increase the quality of the experience.

4. We need the community to come together. This commercial / sport division has gone on long enough. We need people in leadership that want all aspects of the community to succeed. In order to solve problems we need to create an atmosphere for that to happen....I wish I new how we change these decades old animosities but maybe it's as simple as not listening to or involving the same old same old people year after year after year.....

5. We need to involve our people in the management of these fisheries more, and I mean hands on involvement....I t seems to me that the most cautious approaches would come from people who need it the most....us.

6. To help with number 4, we need fair allocations between the users. So I'm thinking whats fairer than splitting the available harvest fairly, 50 / 50, even Steven.

7. We should encourage and embrace catch and release fishing, maybe set aside a day just for that like we do drift boats. For some reason people in Alaska don't think these King Salmon should be handled and released....It's done ALL over the world with great success, there are places where they attribute C+R to 'saving' the fisheries. Obviously the Alaska Dept of Fish and Game doesn't see a problem with it as they routinely handle these fish. We have science that shows less than 10% mortality and that was with bait and treble hooks. Take away those 2 things and add barb less hooks and a better educated fishing public and I'd bet you anything C+R mortality is almost non existent.

8. We either need to close the river to King fishing at night or we need enforcement out at night. Knowing State Parks like I do I think that closing the river is the only viable option to stop the unfortunate poaching and cheating that goes on....we all know it and do nothing.

9. We need our guides to be truly be stewards of this wonderful place. They need to set examples. So, we need a zero tolerance policy with guides....if you're caught party boat fishing, if you're caught using bait when no bait is allowed, if you cheat you're done. Period. 

10. We need our community support organizations to think about what they're doing. Do we really want the Chambers of Commerce around here involved in nothing more than a body count ? Do we really think that more visitors right now is better? Maybe they should focus on improving  the product (the river and our fishing) over improving just the promotion and then visitation will take care of itself.  

Well.....I wanted to keep it to 10 things and you know what? I could keep going. But I guess the short version of all this and what I expect we can all take from the Clarion when the series is done is this. We just all need to foster respect for all the users who are our neighbors and respect for these wonderful creatures that are our neighbors as well. Once we're in that mode, the rest is 'duck soup' if you ask me.
OK, that's my Kenai River wish list for the year, thanks for bearing with me. Can ya tell I care ? But real soon we'll be down doing what I do best, not the politics....the fishin. I hope you come back and keep reading Mile 14, we'll make it fun.