Bryce Molenkamp

Hailing from Seattle, Washington, Bryce Molenkamp is an angler and artist known for his ability to transform the spirit of the sport into incredible and inspiring designs.  The founder of Slayride KayakFishing, Bryce is filling the niche of providing kayak anglers with fun, innovative apparel and accessories.  Bryce’s passion for the kayak angling lifestyle is also exhibited through his generous way of welcoming and educating the new and newly interested through online lessons and on-water demonstrations.  Bryce is also a Team Member for Hobie and an Ambassador for Kokatat.

Do you remember the first fish that you caught from a kayak?

Oh yeah. I’d only seen people on TV kayak fishing once. I was trying to figure out how it all worked at a nearby reservoir when I hooked a crappie.

Tell us about your best day on the water.

it would be tough to beat a day I fished Puget Sound for lingcod with friend Rory O’Connor. We were at a really tricky place that’s got tons of current and really finicky fish. We just nailed timing everything that day, and caught 20 nice lings between the two of us. The topper was catching my personal best ling.

With regard to kayak angling, what issues are important to you?

Clean water and well managed fisheries.

You started an apparel and design company that caters to kayak anglers.  Where did this idea come from?

When I was new to kayak fishing, it looked like most of us came from different worlds. There were paddlers, fishermen, and people who were new to both worlds. The more I fished and got to know everyone, the more I realized we actually came from pretty similar backgrounds. We had a common thread and that lead to ideas of uniting more through a lifestyle brand. I’m really not into making this something like Quicksilver or anything, though. I’m more into creating things that kayak anglers would be stoked to check out or have. If an outsider doesn’t get it, that’s fine.

Who or what is your inspiration when it comes to creating your art?

The atmosphere of what we do as kayak fishermen. We’re pretty down and dirty, love challenges, and we’ve got to create so much of what we use every time we go out on the water. All those things come together into a feeling or vibe that I think Slayride represents.

Barring money or logistics, would tomorrow’s fishing trip take you to the local lake or far-off lands?

Far-off for sure. I’m really interested in taking off to other continents again.

Tell us about the recent adventure with an octopus.

Sure, that was pretty funny and embarrassing. Myself and 5 good friends (Jeff Anderson, Mark Veary, Scott Brenneman, Bill Liston, and Rory O’Connor) headed out for pacific halibut at a secret (yeah right) location off the Washington coast. The conditions were perfect. and sure, we were all buzzing waiting to get a big hali takedown. Most of the morning was calm with no radio chatter to speak of. Bill called in with a true cod that he caught, and then a big spell of nothing. I’d snagged bottom a few times, and we were fishing deep (260 feet) so it really wasn’t fun trying to get un-stuck. For the third time I snagged bottom. I pulled and pulled but no progress. It just didn’t budge. So I held my rod backwards, pointed the rod towards the snag, thumbed the spool, and started pedaling off. I was pedaling and struggling for a few minutes when I realized I’d made some ground. I continued pulling and then “pop,” it came loose. I stopped pedaling and started cranking when it was snagged again. Weird. So got back to pedaling, and “pop,” it came lose again. This time I started reeling and started making some ground on it. It felt like I must have hooked up a heavy crab pot or something of similar size and weight. Since there was a lot of distance to cover, I cranked for a long time and periodically took breaks. I was nearing the end when I looked down and there was a big orange mass. I thought it might be a huge sun star when the arm of a giant pacific octopus came rolling out.  Now what the hell do I do? I love tako and was more than happy to take it home, but how I could do that?  I had no idea. So I called in Mark and Scott, who were nearby, and we got down to making a plan. As we put it into effect, the octopus sucked onto the bottom of my kayak. Shit. When Mark came by to help pry it off it stuck to his kayak. Shit. Before we knew it we were all just drifting away stuck together. Mark was prying it’s arms off with his paddle, and I was blindly stabbing the octopus in the head. Finally, it started to die, and Scott came swooping in with a huge burlap bag into which Mark quickly dumped the octopus.  He bit off the end of one of it’s arms, chewed and swallowed it, and it was done!

What food and or music fuels your drive to the put in?

Oatmeal, fruit and a coffee in the morning or a stop by the local burger joint and a coffee if the afternoon.

What is the kayak fishing lifestyle?

Enjoying time on the water and self-reliance.

Who should we be paying attention to within the kayak angling art world?  Or are you said world?

Definitely not a whole lot, but there’s fishdv8.com.

What does the future hold for you?

Lots of fishing and trying to top personal bests. Hopefully some travel and putting out new gear at Slayride.

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