Tuesday, August 1, 2017


That's how I feel every year after King season ends July 31st. I've done it so long that I really should do it gracefully but when you do it like I do and being a 100 % guy, it's just one hell of a lot of work. The funny thing is that most people just don't know that, the prep work the pressure to catch ( which comes from me ) and the attention to safety etc....Chris told me one time that it's like flying airplanes in that you are always scanning looking at gages, looking for other airplanes, for anything unusual, I think that's a good analogy. BUT, the fish are simply gorgeous and the people, my people, the best....

And boy did we go out with a bang, King season 2017. We batted exactly 750 . One day we had 4 fish in the first hour, Al Kline released the last of them to fish for a larger which is the same thing I would have done and then...the rain came. Miserable, but you know me, we soldier on.....heres me and Bill Burris with one of them.
It was a week of locals and for me that is sooooo rewarding . Here is Karen Humel's daughter Anya who went to school with Sam and her husband Andrew. Congrats on a wonderful life and a new baby you two.
Jeff Fuze gets the pose of the week award....he fishes all over the world as in kinda automatic on this King deal.  Based on how he has that ' guide look ' down I can only imagine what his trophy room is like .
But the story of the week goes to my friend Seth, a twelve year old who is Kath's son who is Jim Bennett's daughter making Jim his grandfather. You might remember Seth from last year as he's a fisherman for sure and by far the most capable and entertaining 12 year old I've ever met.
Don't think all Seth catches is logs and laughs. Me and his uncle Jim put him on the back bounce and like most he missed the first one but it wasn't long until he swang for the fence and set the hook on a dandy....this fish jumped eye level, it pulled off 50 yards of line, it was just exciting and like the pro he his Seth needed no coaching, and that's no kidding.
It was cool and foggy when I snapped this pic to let you get a feel of what I call the ' fracas '  when the bite is on. Some like to be right in the middle of it all, I think they like to talk and compete but me I usually nibble around the edges is I'm with the fleet at all.....pretty cool eh ?
Here's another pic that gives you the feel of what my July life is like....
Jim Bennett Jr.  here with a nice slimey that he back bounced comes down every year with his own boat.  The day after he fished with me he was enthused to do more back bouncing so I kinda did a ' virtual guide ' deal and walla...sister Kath caught her first King ever and Jimmer got another. Ya know I think when I retire next year there might be a future in this.....on-line guiding, boy howdy....here's Jimmer and a wonderful E-mail he sent MP about his successful trip.


Jim Bennett's children, Kathleen Lochmann and Jim. Doing what Jeff recommended - when, where and how. Also using his eggs (Jim) and a quickfish (Kath). Not a boat around us. Only a few in the distance each time. 

Kath near Cunningham park in the first 20 minutes. I was back bouncing eggs at the top of the grass hole just below the bluffs a couple hours later. Nearest boats were a couple hundred yards away easy. 

Never would have tried these areas at these times until Jeff suggested I do what he did during our charter on 7/29. He also said I should stay below the bluffs - top of grass hole due to the lower tide. He also gave us some of his eggs to use. 

No one around and a beautiful morning. All the space to fight the fish and net them to insure rookie success. We packed up and headed in. As we rounded the corner above the ADF&G station in the lower river we ran into the "fracas" as Jeff refers to it. A hundred boats stacked together. It was that way all the rest of the way up the river. 

Thank Jeff for Kathleen's first king ever and for giving me the opportunity to share it with her. It was just the two of us and a matching set of kings on a quiet river. Couldn't ask for anything more. 

I love that pic of me and Seth....hey buddy, ya wanna have my guide business ? You'd be rock star material for sure.....and here's his mom Kath were he first King ever caught on the virtual guided trip...😊
So Saturday night with King season over we always do the same thing....party. We had a great barbecue with all the campers at our boat launch and I played a few of my new songs and it was a special celebration...as we used to say commercial fishing, we've 'made our season '. And low and behold some of our oldest and best friends showed up. Ray and Cindy Olson have been out of Alaska since the 80's but we stay in touch and some day Raymond.....we're going fishing. It was so great to see them on the tail end of their Alaska Cruise....
Bear with me, I've only got one more thing but in Jeff's world it's semi-important. If you wonder like most of us do how government got so screwed up take a look at this from our Soldotna branch of the U.S, Postal Service...If you got time to worry about something like this we got waaaaay to many of ya, and what in the world ya doing selling magnets anyway,,,,hows about delivering a little mail, like on time even....but them again I got to thinking about our refrigerator here at Mile 14... I guess I kinda hate it  when those magnets get shuffled around and Max's high school grad pick is in the wrong place or that 20 year old recipe for root beer funnel cake is upside down or I have trouble finding the Park Rangers business card.....gawd, them Park Rangers, ah, that's another story.....
See ya next week and thanks for reading Mile 14.

1 comment:

  1. Jeff!!! One hell of a finish. I need to add cousin Freddy's fish to the list. Sure miss it up there during this time of year and now that the trout season is picking up, oh boy, I might cry missing it. We will see you soon friend!! Maybe next season.