They Wish They Waz Fishin’: Chris and Kelly Hollingsworth
You know what they say: A couple that fishes together, well… fishes together.
The California natives — Kelly, Northern; Chris, Southern — have found a happy middle ground in Auburn, California.
“Above the fog, below the snow. Very fortunate to call this place home,” says Chris.
Both Chris and Kelly are lifelong reelers. Kelly started fishing with her Dad when she was a little girl. Chris has tested his fishing limits since he was a kid.
“I have fished my whole life. In Texas out on the piers in Galveston, [I] taught myself to fly fish on a family trip to Oregon. Bought a complete kit at K-Mart,” he says.
These days, he doesn’t have to travel as far to find an awesome fishery.
“We have a lake across the street. Pretty amazing,” Kelly says.
“It’s actually pretty embarrassing. We drive a golf cart to go fishing,” adds Chris.
But there’s nothing embarrassing about the fishery, itself. According to Chris, the lake is home to “Big bass, healthy sunfish population, and the word on the street is massive catfish.”
“I’ll let you know about that later this summer,” he says.
When he’s not out on the water, Chris and his company, Seven Seas Industries, produce and announce outdoor events like triathlons and endurance runs. Well, he tries to.
Asked what she finds most challenging about their home fishery, Kelly responded, “Getting my husband to go to work.”
Chris does not deny that it’s a challenge. “What she said…”
Actually, Chris and Kelly add to the challenge by heading out on their Tahoe SUP or Fish Stalker inflatable. Chris prefers sight casting for bass.
“I hate throwing blind. I like to see what I’m fishing for,” he says.
Sometimes a Kalves Creek Custom Jig fits the bill, but when he’s casting, Chris likes to throw plastic baits from Deep Creek Lures.
“They make so many awesome critters, I can’t throw them fast enough,” he says. “I’ll throw a Texas Rig to bounce along the bottom to cover some water, but my favorite is sight fishing and throwing a Neko Rig right on the fish’s nose. About three feet seems to be the magic number. Close enough to see it but not spook them.”
“I seriously just cast whatever Chris has been catching fish on. He fishes way more than me and I’m super competitive. I’m not ashamed one bit to say I copy what is working,” Kelly says.
But if she had to reach into her own tackle box and pick a go-to, Kelly would go with a wacky-rigged finesse-style worm, with a split or drop shot.
“Just because I can catch fish fast: When you’re a Mom of six children you don’t have a lot of time to change lures and mess around,” she says. “I just like catching fish. Someday I’ll work on different techniques, but right now I’m just happy to get out on the water.”
To make sure that she’s not wasting any time, Kelly keeps two Okuma rods rigged whenever they go out.
“I change if It’s not working,” she says. “Not really patient when it comes to fishing.”
Kelly also relies on Chris to be her fish finder.
“I just ask Chris where he saw them when he went diving,” she laughs.
“Kelly isn’t kidding when she says I dive,” Chris adds. “I love swimming around and really taking notes. I’ve always said, ‘you might have a fish finder… I am a Fish Finder.’ I try and think like a fish. They are predators but they are always fighting to stay alive. Learning about currents, food sources, light, shadows, cover, it’s a fun puzzle to build.”
But the Hollingsworths appreciate far more than the challenge that chasing fish represents.
“I love being outside and it is seriously the only sport [in which] I can compete with my husband on the exact same level,” Kelly says. “We can fish side by side and the fish have no idea what gender we are, or the fact that Chris is six-five and I’m only five-four. We can fish with our children, and even our Grandson. I challenge anyone to find an activity that is so inclusive.”
“Kelly answered it best,” Chris adds. “Fishing brings our family together… I also love the fact that it is a lifetime of learning. There is no finish line. The record catch can always get heavier. The best day might be better tomorrow: I love the journey.”
Follow the Hollingsworths’ fishing adventures on their YouTube Channel.