NEVER MONDAY CHARTERS is owned and operated by Captain Ken Gross. Growing up In Michigan on Lake Huron the idea of fishing and being on the water was instilled in him by his dad as early as he can remember.
After graduating from Michigan State in 1975 Ken’s fiancé Linda saw a picture of Haines, Alaska in a magazine. Ken was working as a Motorcycle Sales Representative in Mt Clemens, Michigan. When he returned home Linda had informed him she had called Haines, Alaska and inquired about a job as a Physical Education Teacher. That one phone call changed their life as they gave her the job over the phone. The annual teaching wage In Michigan at that time was $8,700 compared to the wage in Haines, which was a staggering $13,500. So Captain Ken and Linda got married and were off to Alaska to begin their adventure.
Ken soon got a job fishing for Salmon on a commercial fishing boat. In his first 4hrs he made $500 with a total amount of $700 for the 2-day opening.
In 1976 Ken bought a 18ft Yellow Cedar Dory and started learning to catch King Salmon.
In 1977, Ken with his friend Guy Hoffman drove his dory with the top speed of 6 knots, 150 miles from Haines down to Glacier Bay to participate in a 10 day commercial Halibut opening. In the picture you can see a mechanical line puller. The puller was electrical and ran off a battery that would only hold enough charge to pull the anchor from about 200ft the rest of the line that was about 2 miles long had to be pulled by hand. At the end of each day they would camp in a tent on shore. Since there was a lack of showers they smelled more and more like fish as the days passed. Folks didn’t make such a big deal of it back then. People now seem to be way more concerned about smelling like bear bait while they were sleeping.
The Halibut in the picture was too large for Captain Ken and Guy to pull into the boat so they were forced to hog-tie and drag it back to the dock. The halibut was 32 years old and weighed 324lbs after being cleaned.
In 1981 Ken upgraded and bought a Southeast Gill-net permit and a 30ft commercial boat called the ELLEN LYNN. In 1989 he bought the 42ft AMERICANUS. Unfortunately 1989 was the same year as the EXXON VALDEZ hit Bligh Reef. The price of Sockeye Salmon the previous summer was $3.60 lb. The summer after the oil spill the price dropped to between $.35 and $.50 lb. From 1981 until 1996 Captain Ken made his sole income from his ability to catch fish. If you want to go fishing in Skagway give him a call.
Below is a picture of the ELLEN LYNN and the AMERICANUS
In 1996 after selling out of commercial fishing, a charter company who owned 5 boats in Skagway hired Captain Ken. His job was to teach their guides from out of state how to catch fish.
Ken left Skagway and continued to guide fishing trips for 5 more years out on the coast at some of Alaska’s most exclusive fishing lodges.
In 2001 he took the job of captaining a 235 passenger high-speed catamaran up to see the wildlife and Glaciers in Glacier Bay National Park. The daily cruise was 160 miles round trip. Besides maneuvering the boat through the icebergs his job was spotting identifying and maneuvering the large noisy vessel close to the wildlife without disturbing them or changing their behavior. In 2006 Ken became Port Captain for the concession in Glacier Bay. His job was to instruct the other Captains on making trips into the Park.
One of the Catamarans in Glacier Bay:
Captain Ken enjoys his time on the water and educating others on fishing and the wildlife in Southeast Alaska. It has been his dream to return to Charter fishing as he also enjoys helping others to experience Alaska in the same ways he has. Give Captain Ken a call and see what he can do to help you experience the Alaska adventure for yourself.