Fishing

Take a kid fishing

by rudy-tsukada
Monday, February 06, 2017
   Fishing
Monday, February 06, 2017
There's nothing better than sharing your passion for the outdoors with your kids.
Rudy Tsukada
by Rudy Tsukada

An avid angler for decades, Rudy began kayak angling in 2008. His main focus is Pacific halibut and Chinook salmon.

Prior to this past year I had taken my ten year old son Ryu out kayak fishing on small lakes and protected saltwater environments. Places that required minimum protective gear, and the fish were small and easily manageable. He quickly proved himself worthy of joining the adults on the hunt for big fish.

Rudy with his daughter and son- a family day of kayak fishing for Halibut
Rudy with his daughter and son- a family day of kayak fishing for Halibut

The first order of business as always is safety. I outfitted him with a youth Supernova paddling suit, Aries PFD, and Seeker footwear from Kokatat. Having the top of the line gear if anything went wrong was a peace of mind that should be mandatory when taking young kids out.

Ten year old Ryu in his Youth SuperNova paddling suit and Aries PFD
Ten year old Ryu in his Youth SuperNova paddling suit and Aries PFD

The first few trips involve trout and Pollock, smaller but more plentiful fish that allow repeated self-handling of fish. I also allow him to spend an hour each trip just playing in the water with his new Kokatat gear, giving him the confidence that if he did fall off his kayak, that he would be protected. As a ten year old he enjoyed wallowing in the water with his dry suit almost as much as catching fish.

10 year old Ryu playing in the water
10 year old Ryu playing in the water

By summer time, my son was ready to go fishing for bigger quarry, namely King salmon and Halibut off his kayak. When a halibut as big as the angler is towing an over-sized piece of tupperware around Cook Inlet, AK with currents that can surpass 5 knots, you MUST expect that the unexpected will happen.

Ryu hooked up
Ryu hooked up

In July, he manages a nice 35 pound halibut. Then a few trips later, he is battling a 60 pound halibut…a fish nearly as large as he is. The large fish and the heavier drag settings tipped his kayak precariously on several occasions but Ryu manages to recover. After a brief battle, the catch is secured.

Ryu lands a Halibut as big as him
Ryu lands a Halibut as big as him

A month later, he is out-fishing dad for King Salmon. He has even managed a November King Salmon where I have not this year. He has now landed over a half dozen kings off his kayak since October.

King Salmon
King Salmon

Fishing in November off a kayak in Southcentral Alaska is no easy feat. It takes some perseverance, willingness to tolerate the cold, and gear you know will keep you safe if something were to happen. I am grateful for his Kokatat dry suit, PFD, and footwear that insures he can hit these frigid Alaskan waters with full confidence in his safety.


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