By Pete Flood, founder of Folding Boat Co.
I really enjoy fishing from my K-PAK folding boat because I can take it anywhere. It is a great boat for many things (duck hunting, wildlife photography, exploring, and even a core body workout), but kayak fishing probably tops my list of favorite things to do with this boat. It’s also something I can do 12 months of the year, on still or moving water. Using it to fish and explore hard to reach places is what this boat is all about.
Some of the most memorable fishing from a K-PAK folding boat includes catching trout, silver salmon, and halibut in Alaska. We usually fly from Raleigh to Juneau with our K-PAKs as checked luggage, and then live aboard a bareboat chartered 37’ to 42’ Nordic Tug for 8 days or more at a time. The halibut we caught on this particular trip were in Southeast Alaska. It is simple enough to launch the K-PAK folding boat off the fantail of our “mothership”.
In this instance we had already caught several halibut that were in the 60-80 pound range while fishing from the Nordic Tug. Knowing there were more in this spot, we launched a K-PAK and soon had another fish hit our bait. Catching one is very much like reeling up a very heavy weight. A fish this size is too big to haul aboard our portable boats - the K-PAKs - so your options are to tow the fish to shore or back to the mothership. Back to the Nordic Tug I went! We have a pretty amateurish video of the event on YouTube.
To catch salmon we’d often launch off the fantail after anchoring for the evening in a remote harbor or bay.
Most of these bays have rivers or creeks where the salmon head to spawn in late July/early August. Using medium weight tackle, (10-12# test), it’s fairly easy to hook up by casting into a school of fish with a spoon. While a halibut is like lifting dead weight from the sea bottom, the salmon are quite lively. You can plan on being towed for a bit while the fish jumps and runs in most every direction.
The streams where these salmon are heading are often also inhabited by some very nice Dolly Varden and other trout that can be caught as they face up stream and wait for salmon eggs to pass by.
On one trip we paddled and hiked with our K-PAK folding boats into the wilderness on Admiralty Island to the Seymour Canal Cabin. It is a primitive Alaska Parks and Rec public use cabin that can be rented fairly inexpensively by the night. Many of the State’s public use cabins are in beautiful remote areas near water that holds fish. Getting there with your own boat is maybe unusual, but adds immensely to the amount of fun. Access to most of these cabins is via float plane or boat. On one trip we paddled our portable kayaks from Juneau and then used a rail mounted tram cart to transport our gear from one body of water to another.
Most of our trips to Alaska include a hike up to Baranof Lake for some cutthroat trout fishing from a K-PAK. (There is a very nice AK State cabin on this lake too.) It is fairly easy to catch these trout just trolling while you paddle from one end of the lake to the other. We often see loons, deer, and an occasional bear while quietly moving along this beautiful three mile long lake. There are many such lakes and bays in Southeast Alaska just waiting to be fished and explored. Packing in a light weight, easy to assemble K-PAK allows you to make the most of your adventure.