BD:Where do you live?
Alex Kaye:I’m from St. Petersburg FL, although I recently just acquired a lovely home with 3 miles of woods backing up to a private saltwater lagoon and equipped with a private lake just a couple hours north of my home town.
BD:What is you occupation?
Alex Kaye: I’m a commercial fishermen who also runs my own boat detailing and restoration company. I’m also in the midst of starting a fur business in which I do all my own hunting and taxidermy off my land.
BD:What are your other hobbies?
Alex Kaye:If I’m in not on a boat, then I’m frolicking with my pup Kai.
BD:Who or what got you into fishing?
Alex Kaye:It’s an odd story for sure! No one in my family fishes, hunts, sails, or any of the crazy things I do. I was always the black sheep, and the boating community has always been the closest thing I’ve ever known to a family. I came from a very broken home as a child and it was often unsafe there. So at a young age, I used to walk alone up to the docks and tackle shop down the road. It was here that I found men who took me under their wing. At first no one knew whose kid I was or what I was doing messing with their bloody fish carcasses as they shared drunken stories of fish, fights, and broads; surely all conversations a young girl should be censored from. Eventually when I became of age, the tackle shop, where I used to sweep the floors for my lunch money, hired me officially and West Marine became my first job. After a few years of working there, I developed a support group of caring and successful men in the boating industry; these were the first men to give me a chance. From there I have yet to look back or slow down, I feel blessed everyday as I progress towards my future as a fishermen.
BD:How long have you been fishing?
Alex Kaye:Eight years ago I gathered up an over-kill spinning rod with probably a 6000 series reel, melted mono line, rusty hooks and some tin foil full of hotdogs. I walked my merry little tail down to an abandoned sailboat keeled over onto a flat that I was using as a sort of “tree-house”; I did this often throughout my childhood (it takes the city months to clean them up). This was my first time I ever wet a line in my whole life. I remember casting so hard the boat tipped and the rudder busted out from underneath me and I laughed and laughed as I caught mangos till the sun went down.
BD:What types of fishing have you done and where?
Alex Kaye:Oh man! I’ve fished both salt and fresh, from inshore waters to 150+ miles out. I’ve tried fishing on kayaks/sups to sportfishers and everything in between. I’ve tried tournaments, fly fishing, charter fishing and spent weeks on commercial trips. I’ve fished throughout my home state of Florida and every single place I’ve ever vacationed! It’s my highest and perhaps one could argue my only life-priority.
BD:What is your favorite kind of fishing so far?
Alex Kaye:Commercial fishing most definitely! There is absolutely nothing else I have the ambition to do like this type of fishing. I’ve been spoiled and ruined now! To go out there over a 100 miles offshore away from the entire world, catch thousands of pounds of fish, and not come home for a week or so. Nothing is like it. It’s not glamorous, there’s no head, no hot showers, no more than 3’ of bed (if you’re lucky on some boats)! The waves can be 8-10’ers with winds over 25kts, the men can be salty, and the work can be laborious. But all of this gets my blood pumping like you would never believe. I actually get more excited the rougher the seas get… I’m aware of how sick in the head I am, and rather quite proud of it.
BD:What are some future goals or plans pertaining to fishing?
Alex Kaye:There are so many things I want to do but here are my top three so far:
- I want to wire in a 300lb+ black marlin.
- I want to become a skilled commercial diver.
- I will become a fierce captain one day. Whether charter, tournament, commercial, or running a high seas permit, I see no limits, I shall see where life takes me.
BD:What part of fishing do you like the most?
Alex Kaye:It’s the only time I ever truly feel okay. When I have a rod in my hands and I’m focusing on the nibble on my line, that’s just it, that’s’ all I’m focusing on. The rest of the world doesn’t matter at that point in time; I don’t matter; only that fish does. It’s always been my answer to everything. It’s the only time I feel at peace in the world, like I’m doing something I feel confident in. It’s right for me because I feel like I belong. Fishing feels like my only form of “home” in this world. The best part might be that I have a “space” or place to call home.
BD:Please tell us about some of your proudest moments in fishing.
Alex Kaye:Being invited to fish and share memories with the family at Extreme Kayak Fishing out of Pompano Florida was definitely a highlight. Another was being invited to fish the Ladies Annual Fish Off Tournament in Ft. Lauderdale.
It was also cool to be on the cover of Onshore/Offshore and to be featured by Florida Sportsman.
I was once hired at Bill Jackson‘s as a “Fly Fishing Expert” to stand where Carl Hanson once stood and learn the art of casting from great fishermen like Brad Lowhman and Cody Miller.
One time I was invited to the Ladies Annual Tarpon Fly Tournament hosted by Silver Kings, but I was too nervous to be on television so I never followed through with being able to fish with Drew Moret, but I have always been flattered by the consideration.
There was also the day Captain Randy Coffman noticed my rise in abilities and offered me a fulltime job aboard Miss Passagrille.
Last summer I was hoisted up on stage at the St. Pete Open with an 85.2-pound black grouper shot by the man who would become my greatest captain yet, Mr. Skyler Estes. Every day I have under my belt aboard any of his vessels is held as my proudest moments. Not only for his amazing fishing skills but for the wisdom and confidence he has instilled in me. He has had more faith in my abilities than I had in myself and that has catapulted my fishing abilities to where I am today.
BD:What other “aspects of you” would you like to share with us?
Alex Kaye:I have a strong bias against being referred to as a “fisherwoman”, although I may have lady parts I sure don’t act like much of one! I would rather be regarded as a fisherman. I see no special distinction between men and women and I make sure to carry my weight on deck compared to the other men in the crew. When I am aboard a boat, I make a point to do all the hard and dirty work, and for everyone else to relax. I do this because It comes naturally; It’s a vein in my body and it’s something that will never change. I don’t fish because it’s my “hobby”, I fish because I wouldn’t know what else to do with myself in my life.
A life on the water has me grounded and I love it.