Let me tell you about me. My name is Kerry Allen. I grew up on Hood Canal where we would fish crab, bottom fish, smelt and occasionally salmon. Some of my fondest memories are of lazy summer afternoons standing on the neighbors dock casting a light spin rod for cutthroat till I got too hot then jumping in and swimming or musty fall evenings when the tides were huge and the smelt would cloud the beach like a swarm of bees. It was a great place to be a kid.
My grandfather ran a charter boat called the Leigh High out of Westport so I spent many summers there fishing with him. He taught me a healthy respect for the ocean, How to handle a boat and read a compass and as much navigation as a 10 year old can handle. He once got in huge trouble from grandmother because he sent me to the corner store for pipe tobacco, which they gladly sold me. That was back when Westport was booming. They lived right across the street from the coast guard station and the lights from Sourdough Lil’s were the flashiest thing in town and grandpa introduced me to Freddy Steel who I learned was a World Champion Boxer and owned a great resturaunt. When I was old enough to go to work on the boats he had retired for health reasons so I never got to work with him, but having learned from him made me a better deckhand when I did work the boats, a better fisherman and a better man. He didn’t live long after he sold the boat, I think because he didn’t want to.
I had the opportunity to work for some great skippers during the late 70′s and early 80′s. These men taught me more than just how to fish. I learned that weather you catch or not is not as important as the fishing experience. I learned I would rather help others catch than to catch myself. And most of all I learned that fishing is a hell of a lot of fun. I just love sitting in the boat, trying different things and just being on the water. I would rather fish on the ocean than anywhere else but I spend most of my time now in Puget Sound.
I’m a Navy veteran and served aboard the USS Kitty Hawk for almost three years. The ship was stationed in San Diego which was a lot of fun for a twenty something crazy ass that loves to fish. I went on two cruises of the Western Pacific and got to see some places I never would have seen otherwise. The Navy also taught me a career that has allowed me to pursue my passions. I went to Colorado for work and for a kid from the beach high desert was a bit of a culture shock. I met some guys that like to stand in ice cold rivers and cast. I learned the difference between a rainbow, a brown and a brook trout. I learned that it doesn’t really mater if your standing in a river, on a lake or in a boat on the ocean it’s still fishing.
When I was finally able to get back to Western Washington I was ecstatic. I remembered a conversation I had with my parents as a kid. We were on our way home from the big city and we stopped at the Harvester (which was on the highway then) and I fell in love with this little fishing village. I decided then that I was going to live in Gig Harbor when I could. The wife and I rented an apartment and I found someone to take us fishing. The wife caught a 20lb king which got me my first boat. Then we bought a house. Priorities.
I’ve been fishing Puget Sound since ’96. I move around some but I learned from my friend John Keizer that a guy needs to learn one area well then move around. So my specialty became Gig Harbor area and the South Sound in general. The lessons I have learned here have served me well in other areas as well. I joined Puget Sound Anglers and learned to use downriggers. I did a lot of listening, a little questioning and a lot of experimenting. I learned to watch the guys that know what they’re doing, I call them my fish finders, and to listen to what they mean more than what they say. Here’s a little trick to reward you for reading this far; if you ask questions right after they’ve caught something they will give you a gold mine of information. The adrenalin and endorphins are flowing right then and you got to get them before the paranoia sets in.
I started writing the blog as a way to share the knowledge I have gained over the years and to hopefully stimulate discussion among others in the hope that someone will drop a little secret I can steel and make mine. Please feel free to comment, ask questions or criticize, I can take it. If you use some of these techniques and they work let me know. You can share with your friends or link it on facebook or twitter. If you figure out a way to get rich off it let me know or maybe just cut me a little piece. I really have decided I like to write. It’s therapeutic when I can’t get to the boat.
So there it is. That’s me in a bucket. Remember Quarter the waves, keep your line tight and whatever happens KEEP REELING!! (That’s a good metaphor for life really). And, as my Grandpa used to say…
Good Fishin’ To Ya’