Outsiders: Gerard Helgeson

Posted: Sunday, July 01, 2007

Age: 33.

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Occupation: Disabled.

Favorite outdoor sport: Fishing.

Favorite outdoor memory: Fishing tuna in Hawaii, that was the best. It was only a 300-pound tuna - I was looking for a 1,000-pounder. We went out and we trolled. We were getting done with an 8-hour trip. They were about to pull up the gear when we saw something. The feeder fish start breaking water.

We made that one last pass, and we hooked up. It jumps out of the water and grabs your lure. You freeze for a second, and then it takes off.

Close call: I was fishing the Russian River in Kenai in 2005. It didn't dawn on me about the bears. I had my six sockeye, and as I came over a log, a brown bear was coming over at the same time. We met in the middle. That was a heart-stopper. I'll never forget that one. I could smell his breath.

•Outsiders is a weekly profile in the Juneau Empire's Outdoors section.

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