Tyroan Rediske of Homer, Alaska, is 20 years old and has been fishing the waters off his home state for the last three years.
“We’re trawling for pollock now,” said Rediske at the end of 2020. “Just killing time until they start cod back up.” Rediske was heading back to the Aleutians in January to fish pot cod aboard the F/V Icy Mist, one of the famous Fred Wahl, Super 8s. “It’s a 58-foot by 26-foot boat, one of the earlier ones. I think it was built in 2009.”
It can be brutal in the Bering Sea in January, and Rediske has a suite of gear to help him stay comfortable in a harsh environment. Unpacking his gear bag, he uses a Red Ledge lightweight jacket.
“I think it’s the only one they make,” he said. For bibs, he chooses Guy Cotten’s X-trapper — the blue and yellow ones. “For boots, I use XtraTufs. Personally, I wear the non-insulated ones. I don’t like the insulated ones. I really don’t know anyone who wears them, or the steel toe. I just wear lots of socks and Bama socks that go around your normal socks. They wick away the moisture and keep your socks dry.”
For gloves, Rediske packs plenty.
“I like the heavier blue ones. I don’t use the orange ones with the insulation, they get wet, and they get all gloppy. In the winter, I use wool liners.” Like a lot of fishermen, Rediske wears sweatpants and a sweatshirt under his oil gear, augmented with polypro long johns when the weather demands.
“A few things I always bring are my charging brick and my GoPro camera,” said Rediske, who is active on Instagram. “We usually mount it somewhere on deck and move it around.”
What’s the quirkiest thing Radiske can’t live without? A pair of nail clippers.
“It seems small, but I get really antsy if I’m out here and I don’t have them, because you can’t ask for somebody to borrow them, and it really bugs me if I can’t cut my nails.”
Down in Louisiana, Lance Nacio is geared up for another trip into the Gulf of Mexico on his 65-foot shrimp boat the Anna Marie. His crew is not around, but Nacio said they all use pretty much the same gear.
“I wear Grundéns,” he said of his oil pants. “They’re not real popular, a lot of people will use cheaper knock-offs or whatever, but I love the Grundéns because of the quality.”
Besides his Grundéns, Nacio and his crew wear the ubiquitous white boots of Southern shrimpers.