From Fillet Table to Fishing In Alaska

From Fillet Table to Fishing In Alaska


We are thrilled to feature a valuable member of our smokehouse team, Bear Yates, who is not only an excellent filleter at SeaBear, he's also a 4th generation fisherman who takes time off from SeaBear each summer to join his family's small salmon fishing operation in Craig, Alaska.  Bear shared a few thoughts about his fishing life, along with some photos from his work.




QUESTION #1 - How long has your family been fishing? How did they get started?

BEAR - The F/V Julie Kristine is a family owned business based out of Craig, Alaska that started in the spring of 1970.  My grandfather George Yates who is one of the oldest of 17 children started fishing at a young age to help provide for his family. 

My mom, Julie fished with him for over 40 years. I was fortunate to fish alongside him for 20 years before he retired.  He spent 60 years on the ocean learning his trade where he became a highliner. He passed on his knowledge to my family and I.  We are continuing his legacy. 

Trolling is a way of life for my family and I.  I learned the value of hard work and developed a deep respect for the ocean and all it has to offer at a young age.  I take pride in every fish I catch and care about the quality of our product.  I do my best to deliver the best fish possible every delivery. 




QUESTION #2 - Tell us about these Coho and the way that they're caught. What makes them so delicious to go after?

BEAR - Coho are caught by dragging lines of up to 60 or so hooks behind the boat at trolling speed. Fish will follow and bite onto the gear and we will then go run our gear and pick the fish out and being to gut and ice the fish to maintain the best quality of salmon. Coho like most salmon are very healthy and good fat in the meat to help give that salmon a better taste. One can bake, pan fry, bbq, or smoke these fish into many different variety of meals. For example, dicing up bites and pan frying the salmon and mixing with your favorite pasta. 




QUESTION #3 - What's your favorite part about fishing in Alaska and the Alaska waters?

BEAR - My favorite part about fishing is being in a good bite where all my hooks are full and salmon are flying all over the boat, that’s when the adrenaline really starts pumping and morale is at its best. Some of the best memories in my life are fishing on the ocean with my family.


Bear Yates Fishing