Lance McCutcheon’s favorite time of day on the boat is “anytime I’m catching – but aside from that – the sunrise and sunset are just astounding. I feel very privileged to witness those in such a pristine location.”
Welcome, to the fleet, Lance!
Lance McCutcheon grew up in a “regular suburban neighborhood” in Denver, CO, but had a taste for adventure from the time he was a young boy. In 2012, he left home to hitchhike around the southwestern US. It was during time alone in the desert that he decided he wanted to get to the ocean and learn about boats. He chose Sitka as his destination after a conversation with his sister’s friend and moved up on a whim. Once there, he started working at a fish plant and networking to find a boat to fish on. Robbie Finzel, another Sitka Shares fisher-owner, gave Lance a shot at the king salmon opener!
Mother Ocean usually takes good care of us but can also be quite cruel
After a year of fishing with Robbie, Lance moved to a frozen at sea (FAS) boat to continue his learning and expand his fishing experience. From there, he shrimped for a season and contemplated his future as a fisherman. He decided to take a break and moved to Mexico for a year. The call that changed everything came in 2015 from his former FAS boat captain. He had acquired another boat, the F/V Pirate, and needed someone to lease it.
Lance hopped on a plane and returned to Sitka as the captain of the F/V Pirate. He had a good fishing year, even with some trials. As Lance said “Mother Ocean usually takes good care of us but can also be quite cruel,” including a broken pole while out on the water.
More than a quarter of Lance’s income that year went to the boat lease, so he had hopes of getting his own boat. As luck would have it, Lance was at a family dinner with his girlfriend Cayla when a friend mentioned he had a boat he was hoping to get rid of. And just like that, the F/V Kathleen was his.
Lance joined Sitka Salmon Shares in 2019 as a fishermen-owner after talking with Drew Terhaar, a close friend, and another fisherman-owner, about the company’s focus on responsible fishing and direct-to-consumer approach. He said the mission fit in well with his own approach and thinking and was excited to join a company on a similar path.
Lance shows off a few prizes from his line-caught seafood harvest: ocean-bright king salmon.
What do you love about fishing?
I love the freedom and fact that I can make a living on the ocean. The shoreside excursions in the Alaskan wilderness are always phenomenal. And then there is always the adrenaline rush when you get into a big school of hungry fish!
What’s your typical breakfast/lunch/dinner on the boat?
Lots of bacon and eggs in the morning, fish and rice for dinner and pretty much everything goes in a tortilla when the boat’s rocking.
What’s your favorite seafood dish?
Anything with black cod, shrimp, crab or octopus …and of course, salmon!
What’s one thing you want Sitka Salmon Shares members to know?
Thank you for supporting small-boat fishing, we love fishing for ya! You play an important role--without you, we can’t do what we do. Make your friends aware of responsibly caught practices. A conscious consumer will pay dividends in not only personal health and wellbeing but that of the fleet and the environment as well.
If you’re interested in a share of Lance’s seafood harvest this Alaskan fishing season, and haven’t already, don’t hesitate to enroll--Lance will be catching us premium salmon this summer.