The thing about an overnight fishing charter that should be abundantly obvious, but sometimes isn’t, is that it lasts all night and into the next day.
During my last trip to Alaska, in the summer of 1995, my halibut charter captain used small chunks of cut bait and we caught small fish. Apparently it is common practice among many of the day-trippers to head out to a known “chicken hole,” load the boat with small fish and head back as soon as possible.
With a few hours between our arrival at the King Salmon, Alaska airport, and dinner at the Bear Trail Lodge, our hosts took me and Keith Combs on a tour of that portion of the Bristol Bay Borough. In other words, we headed 13 miles to the end of the area’s longest road, down to the borough seat of Naknek, which as of the 2010 census had a year-round population of 544, down from 678 in 2000.
When I was in law school 25 years ago, I had a 13 inch television in my apartment. If I got home from class and wanted to veg out with a little Beavis and Butthead, I had to look carefully to tell which one was which. If I left the library on Sunday to tune into an NFL game, it was a challenge to read the numbers on the jerseys, at least from across the room.
Any casual fishing fan can name the marquee figures of the sport – tournament champs like KVD, media kings like Mark Zona, and innovators like Gary Yamamoto – but behind the scenes there exists a network of “connectors” who bring the whole deal together without sharing in any of the glory. My friend Clifford Wiedman is one of those “glue guys.”
I just spent five whirlwind days in Texas, fishing three different lakes with four different Classic qualifiers – Clark Reehm, Keith Combs, Albert Collins and Lonnie Stanley. Frankly, I’ve always believed that bass fishing sucks throughout much of the country in November, but the bass in the eastern part of the Lone Star State must not have gotten the memo, because the numbers of fish were absolutely insane, and while my hosts kept complaining about the lack of big ones I really didn’t notice