Awesome, incredible, and outstanding are some of the words that I would use to describe our entire experience at the 2017 “Hook It & Cook It” event at Angling Unlimited in Sitka, Alaska. It’s 4 great days of fishing and 4 great evenings of three-course gourmet dishes, all consisting of local fish, prepared and cooked by Chef Ludger Szmania and his Sous Chef son Lucas. Everyone that I interacted with at Angling Unlimited was extremely helpful, caring, and personable. You didn’t feel like a customer, you felt like a part of their family. The service from everyone on the staff was professional and outstanding. My daughter and I didn’t have to worry about a thing. Every single detail, things that you wouldn’t have thought about, was taken care of. A big shout out to Emily our hostess, Sarah our deckhand, and Eric our boat captain. They really worked their tails off for us so that we can have a great time. And we certainly did. My daughter and I have wonderful memories that will always be treasured and talked about. And yes, the fishing was incredible. We caught our share of king salmon, halibut, rockfish, and other ocean critters as well. Great job by the fish processing folks to vacuum pack our fish, freezing it, and boxing it for a long flight back to NYC. The fish fillets were still hard as a rock after 16 hours in transit. Many thanks to Tom Ohaus and Chuck McNamee, co-owners of Angling Unlimited, for interacting and engaging with us at a very personal level, hosting a fabulous event, and running a great Team. The caring and helpfulness starts at the top. I think you can go to any outfit in Alaska to catch fish, but if you want to have an incredible experience of great fishing, great food, great fun, great service, and great people, you have to go to the “Hook It & Cook It” event at Angling Unlimited. There’s nothing like it. And yes, I definitely will be going back in 2018.
P.S. I was totally surprised on my birthday with a wonderful birthday cake made by my wonderful hostess Emily at one of the “Hook It & Cook It” dinners. Emily made the cake in the shape of a halibut. How awesome is that!! And, after catching our first salmons ever, my daughter and I joined the “salmon heart” club. Just ask Sarah, out deck hand, and she’ll tell you what that is. Eric our boat captain always made the right calls. Fishing is not exactly a science, it takes a lot of experience and some gut feel goes along with it. On our last fishing day, he picked the right spot in 650 feet of rough waters and our group caught 4 large halibut in less than 30 minutes, and we caught our last keeper king salmon on our way back to the dock on a “hunch” spot on our very first cast. Again, how awesome is that!!!