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Friday, 11 December 2009 19:21

Howard McKim

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Its hard to talk about serious kayak fishing without the name Howard McKim.  After giving up his spots on the beaches and jetties, McKim took up kayak angling in 1996 and hasn't looked back.  Just a few years later, in 2003, McKim started Ketchian Kayak Company in the heart of salmon country.  Here he offers kayak based eco-tours and kayak angling chargers.  They'll pick you up, take you to one of their kayaks, and get you on the fish.  From four hours tours, to multi-day remote fishing trips, McKim and Ketchikan Kayak will surely not disappoint!

 

We recently had the chance to ask McKim a few questions that we just had to share.

Snow CoveredYak Angler (YA): When did Ketchikan Kayak Co get started? What made you think people would want to hop onto a kayak up in Alaska to do some fishing or eco-tours?

Howard McKim (HM): Ketchikan Kayak Co got started in 2003, mostly as a privately guided kayak fishing business. It was the first kayak fishing business in Alaska. We've now expanded and do a variety of tours and multi-day trips.
I thought people would want to do this for several reasons. All our local salmon fishing is trolling with downriggers from power boats. You don't get to hold your rod, present the bait, or even set the hook. This is hardly even fishing to me, and I know others agree. We provide the whole fishing experience, and from kayaks to boot. We also have protected water with no surf, and great fishing right next to shore for all our species. Cruise ships dock here every single day, so all these things combined seemed like a perfect fit.

YA: Can't even set the hook? No, that's not fishing.  How many people do you have on staff?

HM: We run a small operation. Usually 3-4 people is all it takes. I still do most of the guiding myself, and we make things very personal as opposed to the other big companies that run tours more like a machine. We're really excited to have well known kayak angler Joel Lotilla aka 'Mooch' joining the force for 2010.

YA: That's awesome, and I know Mooch is excited for next season.  Speaking of seasons, when would be the best times of year to fly or cruise up to Alaska and go fishing?

HM: May through September is our season. September is my favorite, but all summer is good. We have a different kind of salmon each month, with bottom fishing consistent all summer.

187# HalibutYA: I can't even name that many types of salmon. That's awesome stuff.  Now, you've caught 400+lb salmon sharks, almost 200# halibut, and likely tons of Chinook and Coho.... What is your favorite fishing?

HM: My favorite fishing has more to do with time and place now, than a particular fish. My favorite fishing is to be somewhere new to me, untouched, and with an unknown result. I love the unknown, and figuring out a new spot. To drop a line where I never have before, and where I haven't seen anybody else fish, is the most exciting to me. Alaska has lots of opportunities for this.

YA: But what if you couldn't fish Alaska anymore, where would you want to fish?

HM: Baja for sure.
Billfish and tuna, what more could you want? I'd really like to guide down there during the off season in Alaska. You listening Jim Sammons?


You can find out more about McKim and Ketchikan Kayak Co. at www.yakfishalaska.com and www.ketchicankayakco.com.  You can aslo catch him on Kayak Fishing Game On! and on YouTube.
Surf's Up!
Read 8001 times Last modified on Wednesday, 28 July 2010 20:01
Isaac Miller

About the Author: Isaac Miller considers himself an "equal opportunity angler" and will fish anything that will take a hook. Isaac often makes live internet video broadcasts when fishing from his kayaks, giving up-to-the-second reports on conditions and tackle choices. He also blogs at www.isaac-online.com and is a YakAngler.com Pro Staffer as well as Co-Host for Kayak Fishing Radio's Wild West show, PR Director for Recycled Fish, and co-owner of Green Tackle.

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