July 3rd was a turn around day here at the lodge as the Matesi family was leaving and we were not planning on going out fishing, but at about nine am I watched about 150 eagles feeding on a bait school across the bay from the house accompanied by many other birds and a whale. The day before I had also watched king salmon jumping as we entered the bay. With the returning St. Nicholas king salmon I was curious if they would be biting as sometimes when they go terminal they will quit feeding as they go into the spawning mode. About 2 pm this afternoon I was bored so I went out in the bay to see if I could find some salmon. Using my downrigger with a flasher and hoochi I dropped down to 50 feet and started trolling, within a few minutes hooked a nice 20 pound king. Then I rerigged and got started again but noticed a fin on the top of the water which turned out to be a salmon shark patrolling the water. I had my flip video camera so took some footage. I then wanted to try to hook the shark so was tossing a jig at him in front but no luck. After that he disappeared so I went back to trolling and within a half hour got another nice king salmon. Got rigged up again dropping to the 50 feet, trolled another half hour or so and nothing. I decided to try in closer to the island so put my gear at 35 feet and immediatly got a salmon on but lost him very quickly. I rerigged dropped down and bang another one which was very dark with his canine teeth showing so let him go. Rerigging and dropping again instantly hooked another king this one very bright so landed him and that was my limit. I had 2 fish with clipped adapose fins so will send in the heads and am sure they will be tagged as Port St. Nicholas king salmon. This is a great king salmon project and I am glad to be able to participate in the fun part of it. The salmon that I caught will be donated to the Craig Klawock King Salmon Derby Dinner-Auction for raising funds to perpetuate the enhancement project.
July 2nd started out similar to the previous day seeking our Alaska salmon fishing experience. We arrived at our destination around 6:30 am and landing our first King salmon within a half hour or so of arriving. Now the difference of the previous day was Geno hooked 4 kings to Nicks one where today the table was turned and Nick ended up hooking 4 kings to Geno’s one…how does that happen? We all just shake our heads and say, “luck of the draw”. Sportfishing for Alaskan salmon can be pretty interesting as you never know what or how you might hook a salmon. Using the cut plug herring and fishing up and down hoping for that subtle bite that sometimes comes when you least expect it catching you off guard sometimes. So Nick hooks a fish and we think he has the derby winner as this fish is hanging down deep under the boat not running out like many king salmon do. So time is going by fighting the fish, he hands the rod off to Harry who fights it till his hands cramp up, so he hands it off to son Geno and Geno fights it till it finally comes in, a good half hour later all told, and low and behold the fish is hooked in the tail. Nothing harder than landing a king salmon hooked in the tail. So since we have our limit at this point and the fact that the fish is foul hooked we let the thing go…..
There is another Alaskan fish story from our fishing report at Kingfisher lodge. By the way we also tried to go out to the Cape to fish halibut cuz the guys wanted the full Alaskan experience but after 10 minutes of up and down in building seas and realizing that it might be the “Deadliest Catch” the vote was to turn around and fish the calm waters of the inside and hope for some hungry Halibut which we did find a few, so ended a wet and windy day in S.E. Alaska on another great fishing adventure.
July 1st was the opening of the commercial troll season and also opened up with a stiff wind blowing and a forcast for 11 foot seas and 25 knot winds. So we traveled to our fishing grounds with not too much trouble hugging the islands enroute. We arrived to see many trollers working the inside waters due I imagine to the built up seas off shore. We started king salmon fishing in 70 feet of water with our cut plug herring and within a short amount of time landed our first king salmon. Within an hour or so we landed our second king salmon, then the catching slowed to a halt but continued to have some nibblers but could not hook another king salmon. We decided to move to another spot more exposed to the open ocean and so when we arrived we had 4 to 6 foot swell with wind chop as the gusts of 25 at times blew our boat around. Geno was having a good day and he hooked up on our third king salmon up high about 50 feet from the surface. The 4th king salmon was also hooked by Geno but we released it as he had caught his fish and shortly thereafter Eugene Sr. hooked the 4th king salmon limiting us out. We decided to do some halibut, and bottom fishing. Despite the strong winds we hit some high pinacles landing 12 or so black sea bass. Then we went on the hunt for halibut and yellow eye which we landed one halibut and some yellow eye and other rock fish. Wet and windy the guys wanted to call it a day and so we headed in and another day of Alaska fishing was completed near Craig Alaska.
June 30th the last day of the Craig Klawock King salmon derby started us out by landing a 32 pound king salmon by Gene Matesi and a few coho’s, but then we slowly picked away at some silver salmon and had a few king salmon bites but did not hook up with them so we ended up by 11 am with only one king salmon and 4 silver salmon. We went out into the ocean for our halibut which was built up to a nice 10 foot roll with 15 plus knot winds and a fairly fast drift. We caught our 4 halibut but catching was slow and they were not that big but we were happy to get it over with. From there we went on in by St Joe’s and watched some boats land king salmon and continued to hang out making drift after drift waiting for our turn to get some bites. Finally after most of the boats left we quaded up on salmon landing 2 kings and 2 silvers. Letting one small king salmon go we then landed another king salmon getting us our limit which made our day. The count was 4 king salmon, and 6 silver salmon.
The Trinity guided by Captain Rich Rogers had a slow morning as well but came in before us doubling on king salmon then right after that landing a 3rd, and then a 4th finishing them up. They had gone down to roller bay for their halibut landing their limits. So ended the last day of June.
A resident Mike Hamm landed a 47 pound king salmon and we think he won the Craig Klawock King salmon derby with that fish.