Season Opening: All In the Family for 2018


Season Opening: All In the Family for 2018

By Steve Cockrell, Posted 9/20/2018

By longstanding tradition families have enjoyed fishing with us to mark special events like anniversaries and birthdays. More unusual is when one family scores not only King of the Day twice, but also King of the Week, and, for several more days, holds the number one spot on the leaderboard for the King of Kings Salmon Tournament. Such was the Banasik family’s luck when they convened at Waterfall for a fishing trip at the bidding of eldest son Bob Banasik of Bainbridge Island, Washington, not only to celebrate Father’s Day, but also his 50th.

“We didn’t really know what we were in for,” he says of his birthday bash, his first time in Alaska. “It was such a great trip!”

Of their fishing foursome, which included Bob’s dad and two brothers, it was Bob Banasik Sr., of Dublin, Ohio (above, left), who won their first King of the Day title, reeling in a 26.3-pound king on June 14, four days into the season. Alas, the next day he lost what he felt sure was “an even bigger king” on his line, taking comfort in guide Nick Walsh’s sage confirmation: “I never saw a small one get away.”

A day after that, youngest brother Jason Banasik of Loveland, Ohio (above, center and right), beat his father’s record with a 34-pounder that went on to land King of the Week. “Not only did I catch the largest king for our boat,” notes Jason, “but I also caught the smallest fish—I think it was even smaller than the bait. So, no matter what happens, keep the faith. You never know when you’ll catch a big one!”

Meanwhile, although Bob Jr. and middle brother Marcus Banasik of Katy, Texas, caught no prize-winning fish, they lucked out, too: Jason and their dad gave them all their catch to take home.

Of course, all King of the Day winners, including Jason and Bob Sr., are entered into the tournament’s Grand Prize drawing for the new Ford F-150 at season’s end. The remaining question about this family saga? If dad or Jason win the drawing, will they give birthday boy Bob the truck?

King of Kings Salmon Tournament tickets are $95 per person; for tickets, contact us at 800-544-5125 or purchase upon check-in at the General Store.