The editors and publishers of Sport Fishing magazine had never gone so far for their annual editorial-planning retreat, nor with higher anticipation, than on June 11. That day we made the trip of 3,250 miles from Florida to Sitka. That morning, we left hot, calm, sultry temperatures in the upper 90s. That evening, we found ourselves in 30-knot winds and cold drizzle in 50 degrees.
Fortunately, over the next few days, the weather improved and everyone caught fish. For many, this trip marked a first in Alaska, and along with that came many milestones - first salmon, first halibut, first sightings of sea otters and puffins, and so on. Perhaps even beyond those milestones was the opportunity to simply experience the majestic, austere beauty and drama of the Alaska coastline. There's certainly not much like it on the Eastern Seaboard.
We stayed at one of the state's largest fishing resorts: Kingfisher Charters (www.kingfishercharters.com). It was obvious why the operation, run by Seth Bone, is so successful. Everything is run smoothly, efficiently and personably. No hitches, no glitches. Joining us were two enthusiasts with Pure Fishing, Senior Marketing Manager Hunter Cole and Senior Marketing Director John Bartow. They brought plenty of Penn conventional and spin gear for us - spooled with 10- to 30-pound braid. Heavier gear wasn't needed, and light tackle made the catching more fun. (Try hooking a 30-pound king salmon and 10-pound braid for an exciting challenge.)
The images speak many words, but for the full story, watch for the feature in Sport Fishing magazine early next year.