My Alaska Story

Nick LeeMy history in the fishing and seafood industry started within days of graduating from high school.  At 18, I hopped on my very 1st flight headed to Sitka, Alaska.  I trolled for salmon in the Gulf of Alaska on my older brother’s boat for the summer.  I worked for free.  My compensation was paid in life experience and great adventures.  At the end of my first season I took a job in a seafood processing plant where I ended up working for the next 2 years. I worked my way up to being the first line of quality control and I began grading fish as it came off the boats.  I graded all 5 species of Pacific Salmon, Halibut, and Black Cod.  A couple years later, when my brother could finally afford to pay me, I went back to work with him fishing for salmon, black cod and halibut to pay my way through college. Half way through college, I took a summer job as a crewman fishing in Bristol Bay, Alaska.  The Captain of the boat was the President and CEO of Bering Select Seafoods, a seafood trading company out of Seattle, that would eventually hire me to buy fish out of Alaska and market it in Asia and Europe. For the next few summers, I crewed for the same Captain and eventually, I started running the boat on the season’s shoulders. In 1995, with knowledge and experience in hand, I partnered with my brother and bought a fishing boat called the Elusive that we would fish in the Bristol Bay salmon fishery. I bought my brother out in 2006.

Since 2002, I've been fishing for Leader Creek Fisheries.

Leader Creek is a cooperative between fishermen who are utilizing the highest quality standards in Bristol Bay and a processor that is using cutting edge, state of the art filleting, freezing and packaging technology. Together, our goal is to achieve the highest quality in Wild Sockeye fillets and deliver it to the end user in a condition that closely resembles the salmon as they come out of the water.

Leader Creek remains progressive in it's processing. Although chilling is the most basic need for producing a high quality product for the consumer, many of the competition’s fishing boats do not chill at the point of harvest. At Leader Creek it is required. Our fleet uses temperature probes in our fish holds. We float and bleed our fish onboard.  We use mats and salmon slides to eliminate bruising. Our mission is to offer the highest quality salmon possible.

I source all of my sockeye fillets and portions from Leader Creek.

When it comes to Halibut and Black Cod, I source it straight from the fisherman that are using best handling practices to ensure top shelf quality every time.


My personal Testimony:

As an Alaskan Fisherman, it has been a life long dream, to share the experience I have when I barbeque wild salmon on the back deck of the Elusive during the fishing season.  Part of my dream has been realized each year when I have brought back fish and barbequed them up for friends in Seattle. I always had a few people in the crowd comment that they have never tasted salmon like this. I realized that they have not been able to get the quality of salmon that I have access to…… until now. With the quality conscious fleet and the state of the art processing and freezing technology that is being utilized by Leader Creek, this dream has become a reality”.

Nick Lee

Alaska Fisherman