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As long as I have been chasing fish, I have always been a fresh water angler. In the great Pacific Northwest, we count our fortunes by counting fish entering the river. I genuinely have never had much of a desire to go anywhere else! Home has always treated me well. I met Kiley, my boyfriend, two years ago and knew fishing horizons would be opened. Tuna fishing has captured me the way Steelheading set its hooks into me.

I’m happy to say it again, a life of salmon and steelheading is a darn good life. Exploring further than you have before to find new fishing grounds, trying every cure and color under the sun to trick your prize is a skill engrained in us.  Even if you are new to salmon/steelheading, the days on the water among our evergreen home is nothing short of memorable.  

Tuna fishing let me be new at something, and go further than I had before again. That is an experience I hope you give yourself too. 


The crew you have tuna fishing can very much increase the quality of your trip. This crew was gold. I must start with Erica Wells. Erica fished and worked as the deck hand. She was sharp, tough, and if you don’t laugh after spending an afternoon with her you may need to check your pulse. Not only was she a blast, but she had a particular knack for hooking into tuna on the “slide”. Captain Lawrence trolled swim baits for only a few minutes before a tuna was on the line. As the boat slid to a stop, Erica would skillfully drop a Shimano Flat Fall, or Shimano Butterfly Jig and allow it to creep back behind the boat at exactly the right pace to get another fish on the hook! Among her skill, patience, and gaffing skills- I had lots to aspire to.


The rest of the crew consisted of our friend Dave Anderson, a well-known and talented salt captain, Tony, Corey, and Rob of Sportco, and finally Kiley and myself.  We left Westport around 7am (a little late, I had a radio interview with Tom Nelson of The Outdoor Line) and arrived at our fishing grounds an hour later. We travelled 35 nautical miles in about an hour. That is hauling!  The ride in the Lumacat was smoother than any boat I have ever rode in. Even when we slammed larger waves there was no need to brace yourself for the slapping impact, the catamaran style of the Lumacat made everything cloud comfortable.

With each episode of trolling swim baits, sliding to a stop and dropping Shimano Butterfly Jigs and Flatfalls, we had three to eight fish converted and hooked up on the stop. With skilled anglers and a killer captain, we had turned around and headed home around 1:30pm.. with 41 fish aboard. Opps, we found two more in a box after we cleaned the boat. Our wrecking crew killed 43 Albacore Tuna, everyone on board reeled in a fish and then some. Each of us took a delicious bite home to our friends and families.

Another star of the show, besides Erica, was the new Shimano Tranx. Think of how many times I’ve gushed over fishing tools. I generally don’t. I am more of a “show” instead of “tell” person. I and much of the crew fought our albacore on a low-profile level wind reel. Click here for detailed Tranx information. When I help people find the right fishing reel for them, I ask them “what are you using this for?” More often than not, folks want a reel they can use for everything!  I will confidently use the Shimano Tranx for Olympic Peninsula Steelhead, Salmon in any water, and Albacore Tuna out in the salt. As I sit now I am on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska listening to fisherman talk about 40, 50, 60, 70, and even 80-pound Chinook Salmon. Take a guess as to what reel I have on the E6X rod.


As I mentioned before, being new at something fishing related is fun for me. The experience of meeting new friends, chasing a new fish, and banking more good times in this one life I have is something I keep close to my heart. As you chase what makes your life full, add tuna fishing to the list. There are many amazing captains up and down the west coast that can take you out. Personally, I must recommend Bret Dickerson of Oregon Tuna Charters first and foremost. Bret is a captain that is versatile in his approach to fishing, makes the ride comfortable with custom built 40’ boat, and has a relentlessly fun positive attitude for his customers.  



Mention Bad Ash sent you, and I hope as you trek on you’ll find the best parts of our great home too.


Bad Ash



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