Read Kodiak seine skifflady Mia Alexson's take on fishing skills, gear hacks, taking breaks and closures, getting dressed and staying clean, and fishing family.
ON FISHING SKILLS AND GEAR HACKS:
Keep a Journal - We circumnavigate Kodiak island multiple times throughout each season, fishing new areas and sets almost every day. As a skiff man it's important for me to remember every shoreline, set, and snag. The past couple of years I've kept a journal specific to driving skiff. I record everything; oil changes, doodles of shorelines, which weather patterns push fish where, opener dates, and poundage caught. Kodiak is expansive and I have a lot to learn as a crew member. The journal helps me to stay one step ahead, and track similarities between seasons.
Udderbalm - It might not be great for the complexion, but a swipe of udder balm to the cheeks before stacking gear will have those jellies sliding right off!
ON TAKING BREAKS / CLOSURES:
It can be pretty hard to find personal space on a fishing boat. Closures don’t happen too often in Kodiak, but when they do I like to take full advantage. If I can get to shore i'll spend my time hiking and beachcombing. Land can feel pretty freeing after a couple weeks of constant swell. When I can’t get to shore but still need some time to myself i'll catch up on journaling, old knitting projects, and of course reading (reading's the best because then people really leave you alone).
ON GETTING DRESSED AND STAYING CLEAN:
The lack of showers and laundry mixed with hard physical work can lead to a pretty smelly crew. I'm a big advocate of the sink wash: aka soaking and scrubbing my socks + underwear in the sink between sets. I usually run a string across the ceiling of my bunk to create a curtain that doubles as a great drying rack. Wet wipe showers also come in handy, especially after a slimy delivery!
ON FISHING FAMILY:
I grew up surrounded by strong men who ran a seamless fishing operation. As my fathers crew tied bowlines and stacked gear, I watched with the intent to learn. They could tell my interest in fishing was growing and enjoyed teaching me. They taught me basic concepts like how a salmon seine net functions and the most efficient way to stack corks and leads. But more importantly they taught me how to enjoy working on the water as a team.
Now I am a full time crew member for my father and I get to watch my 12 year old brothers love for fishing grow much like mine did. I feel fortunate that my parents never forced my brother and me into the fishing industry, but instead constantly give us opportunities to be involved.