We wish all of you, our fishing friends, a Happy Holiday season. The past three years have been a bit choppy out there in the big world, but we’ve enjoyed great stability at AU, which begins with our superb line-up of captains. This group of 10 top-quality guides forms the core of our business. They find fish every day, keep our guests safe, patiently instruct effective techniques, and develop long-term relationships with guests that often morph into friendships. Here’s the 2023 line-up, wonderfully the same as the 2022 line-up with one terrific addition. Captain Jack McNamee will launch his career at the helm in 2023 with great promise.
Captain Chuck McNamee
Chuck and Jen have had a busy fall. Spent several weekends in the woods with family and friends enjoying the great outdoors. The McNamee kids are all busy with school and sports, and now that winter has arrived in Northern Minnesota the boys are ice fishing every chance they get. This winter we are planning a family road trip to Wyoming to visit family and ring in the New Year. After that, we will be getting geared up for another awesome season in Sitka.
Captain Tom Ohaus
I founded Angling Unlimited in 1988 and fished in Neah Bay, Washington for five years. My job titles back then were captain, deckhand, booking agent, garbage man – all of it. During the great arc of AU, including our move to Sitka in 1993, I was owner/operator/captain for 25 years and now I’m captain/consultant/writer. My plan is the same as it has been for the past 10 years – retire next year.
As for this winter, I’m doing my usual – climbing the walls waiting for spring and fishing again. I’m also doing a little consulting work, writing the AU newsletter, walking the dog, and recently watching World Cup Soccer. A trip or to a warm place with good fishing is also in the works.
Captain Ryan Refshaw
I started in 1998 as Chuck’s deckhand, and am working on various carpentry projects for AU and others this winter, as well as running the kids around.
Captain DJ Gross
I’ve been with AU since 2003. I started as the processor for one year then was a deckhand for 2-3 years, getting my Coast Guard License in 2006, and have been running boats for AU since.
This winter I am working on various art projects, painting, woodworking and taxidermy, as well as working in the Island Artists Gallery part-time. Also spending time in Sitka, hunting, fishing and enjoying the little bits of good weather and daylight that are available.
Captain James Baumann
I have worked for AU since 2008. I got the job after Ken and Sue Baumann showed up to my sister’s grad party with halibut – I was interested in working up there ever since! Thankfully Chuck hired me to be a deckhand and I worked in this position for 4 summers; one with Captain Major Tom Ohaus on Ouzel, then three with Captain Ryan on Skute. I received my captain’s license and took the helm in 2012 when a spot luckily opened up. 2023 will be my Twelfth Season as a captain. And 16th total!! Holy shit!
For the first time since 2013, I escaped the beautiful winters of Baronof Island to the Lower 48 in Kansas City, MO with my Beautiful Girlfriend, Jessica Marie. Besides an exotic vacation on our horizon and a road trip to the North Californian Coast together, I’ve been staying busy being a butler for Jess and a defensive scout for the Minnesota Vikings.
It has also been wonderful to spend much more time with my family and my sister’s family (two kids) this winter. Being closer to home (MN) this winter has been a blessing. Will be ready to step foot again in Sitka in mid/late March 2023 to begin the King Salmon fishing season! Skol Minnesota Vikings!!!!!!!!
Captain Jack Barnick
I have been with AU since 2015, deckhanded for James for 3 summers. This off-season I’m spending time with family, fishing and enjoying a new puppy.
Captain Spencer Chute
Alli, Lauren and I have been busy enjoying all the winter activities Sitka has to offer. Spending time with friends, fishing, hunting, and camping on weekends is a nice way to pass the short winter days. We are already looking forward to next year’s Angling Unlimited summer fishing season and longer, warmer days here in beautiful Sitka.
Captain Sarah Farber
I started with AU in 2012 and worked as a hostess, got a chance at my dream job as a deckhand, and then put in enough time to become a captain in 2017. That’s when I realized I had hit the jackpot and truly discovered my passion.
I am back home in Minnesota, and back to work. My husband Kurt and I have been busy working on projects around the house this fall and finishing up some construction projects at our home. I’ve been enjoying catching up with family and friends again and spending time outside with Kurt and the dogs. The woodpile is high and there’s more snow in the forecast, it’s going to be a good winter.
Captain Tyler Floding
This past season (2022) was my 5th year with the company and my first year as captain. I started back in 2017 as assistant processor and moved up to deckhand, then was deckhand from 2017 to 2020. I spent 2 weeks in 2021 helping out at the end of the season as a deckhand and then got my captain’s license in the winter of 2021/2022.
This winter I am back in Fargo, ND working for Korber Medipak System as an automotive technician where I build packing machines for medical devices. I have been busy traveling for work around the world. Along with that, I have been doing plenty of hunting for waterfowl and pheasants in my free time on the weekends. I am looking forward to hunting coyotes and ice fishing around the area and back home.
Captain Ryan Leverington
I started in 2013 as a deckhand and continued in 2014 and 2015. I was gone for 3 years, then took the helm on loon in 2019.
Living in Fargo, ND with my wife Tracy and 2 dogs; Callie & Sebastian. We got married on October 8th. I am working doing maintenance for a property management company, and Tracy is pursuing her industrial engineering degree at NDSU. Hoping to get on the ice and do some fishing as well!
Bella Bayerl, Sitka Office Manager
This will be my fifth summer with Angling Unlimited. I started in 2019 and was a hostess for two years, then in 2021, I began running the Sitka office. This winter I am taking time to travel and spend time with family. When I am not traveling I can be found snowboarding in the Colorado Rockies.
Kim McCollum, Minnesota Office
Starting in 2004, I’ve worked full-time for Angling Unlimited in MN year-round in the office. When I’m not working, you’ll find me at my 2 favorite places, church or nursing home in town.