June 20th sportfishing report for Kingfisher Lodge, Craig Alaska and southern southeast Alaska on the outer coast of Prince of Wales island. Today the winds were calm with flat water to the outside where we were greeted by a light wind and 2 foot seas, overcast skies. King salmon and Silver salmon fishing was as good as I have seen for some years now with King salmon attacking our anglers baits from very shallow depths. We had limited on Kings very early and a nicer grade than we had seen earlier on the outer coast with average sizes about 19 pounds and catching 2 limits of Coho or Silver salmon along with the Kings. Coho limits are 6 per person per day. We had to release many Kings due to trying to catch the Coho as they were mixed in with the Coho’s. Once the salmon bite slowed down we went out bottom fishing and were not dissapointed as we landed out limits of Yellow eye and a few Ling cod. Halibut fishing was very good as we landed a nicer grade of smaller ones averaging about 20 pounds.
This abundance of King salmon apparently runs clear up to Sitka as word is there it is very good fishing which makes me believe we will see a steady run up to the commercial King salmon opener which will make a impact on the sportfishing for Kings. That season opens July 1. It makes me wonder why the index was set so low with so many King salmon in the area and also the Sitka area as well. Either way it is nice to have the fish here and with the amount of Silver salmon showing up and the large release of Prince of Wales Hatchery coho’s in 2012 at 4.8 million it is expected to be a spectacular season for salmon fishing here in the Craig area. For those that have booked trips here in the Craig area they can expect good fishing or catching if all that appears to be happening continues throughout the summer.
June 18 fishing report for Kingfisher Lodge in Craig Alaska and southern S.E. Alaska outside waters. We were greeted this morning with flat water outside the lodge and overcast skies so were off leaving the dock by 5 am. My boat had a half day fishing so had to get out and get it done and be back before 11 am while the other two boats were off for the day fishing. The day ended with all our boats limiting on King salmon and halibut as well as some silver salmon if one wanted to put the time into fishing for Coho or Silver salmon. Blake landed 9 silver salmon on his boat and said they had at least that many on that came off the hook. Joel concentrated on larger halibut after quickly landing his 4 King salmon so did not try for Silvers, their larges halibut was 35 pounds. My boat had a short day so Kings and Halibut was our goal.
June 17 fishing report for Kingfisher Lodge in Craig Alaska. Today started out with a southwest wind blowing in off the ocean making travel out to the fishing grounds a bit choppy and hard to drink a cup of coffee. We stayed inside fishing rather than going off shore, but most boats went on by us trying to get off flat rock on the outside of Noyes Island where they had been doing so well the previous days. The ocean was rougher and boats were complaining of a slower bite and sloppy water. Boats did limit on King salmon for the most part but did not enjoy the productive fishing that was present the previous days. Silver salmon were again being caught in small numbers today, halibut fishing was tougher mostly due to weather.
June 16th started with crystal clear skies flat water and lots of King salmon to catch as anyone that was out sport fishing was able to catch King salmon and limits were mostly caught by all boats today with many boats releasing Kings that might have put them over their limit or were close to the 28 inch minimum size for a King salmon. Most of the Kings have been smaller school fish in the 30 to 34 inch range on the outside of Noyes island. We were fishing in closer to shore inside looking for a nice grade of Kings which we did find but nothing larger than 25 pounds but the average was more like 19 pounds. Halibut fishing was slower as we were looking for some nice grade up to 45 inches and we did land some nice ones, releasing one about 50 inches landing one at 45 inches and the rest were smaller but respectable fish. As it was we put many hours in hunting for them. All our boats landed limits of salmon and halibut on this day. Silver salmon are still showing up with most boats hooking and landing at least a few.
June 15th sportfishing report for the Craig area and Kingfisher Charters and Lodge on Prince of Wales island. Kingfisher Lodge had a turn over day with guests leaving and a new crew coming. The Saal Group from California with 6 anglers and the Claude Trudue group from many places with a group of 7 will be fishing with us for the next 3 days.
Weather for S.E. Alaska is clear blue skies and temperatures in the 70’s for the next few days with winds light with a small ocean swell. Today the fishing for King salmon was nothing less than spectacular as more Kings have moved in although the size of the fish are smaller or say less than 20 pound average there are lots of them and today is was multiple hookups for most boats. We went out crew fishing and landed 7 Kings in short order with a quad on at one time and marking many fish in many areas. Hopefully the fish will stay or continue to pass through the islands until our silvers show up in numbers enough as by July 1 the non resident limit will be limited to 2 for a season bag limit. It is looking as though the 2013 salmon season will be a very good year to come fishing in the Craig area with our Prince of Wales Hatchery producing 5 million Coho each year and 2013 having a returning run based on a 4.3 million release we are expecting up to 78,000 Coho to return to the Klawock river. Tomorrow we are looking forward to a great day fishing so stay tuned!!
The June 14th sport fishing report for the Craig area and Kingfisher Lodge was even better than the previous day as we awoke to calm water, blue skies and fishing that was really very good. Today we were in search of bottom fish as we had pretty much tagged out on our King salmon the previous 3 days. We were allowed one King and Joels crew was allowed 2 Kings to tag them out for the 3 King salmon for the season per angler. My boat focused on Halibut we landed our limit of nice 45″ and under as well as landing and releasing two at about 64 ” which was 4″ under the 68″ slot size rule. We landed some nice regulation Ling cod as well topping off the day.
Joel’s boat landed some nice halibut as well with one over 68″ caught by Matt Fisher. They also landed nice Ling cod and finished up on their King salmon limit. Today boats were also limiting on King salmon and many coming in early. Weather continued to remain beautiful for the remainder of the day.
July 13 sport fishing report for Kingfisher Lodge near Craig Alaska. Today was a great day out King salmon fishing as we headed out with 12 anglers intent on landing 12 King salmon. Catching started out ok landing 3 Kings early then as the morning slowed down we went halibut fishing and after limiting on halibut we moved back to King salmon fishing and dropping down landed a nice 25 pound King right away. We had stumbled into a nice bunch of fish but had trouble landing some as they neared the boat some of the guys had poor hookups so hooks came out before we could land them. Perseverence paid off though and we ended up landing 10 Kings between 2 boats for the day. Word on the radio was for most boats getting their limits or close to it. Water conditions were ideal.
The 12th of June was not as good for us as the previous day as we worked for our king salmon and not that we did not have opportunity as we landed 5 King salmon per boat but lost at least as many so opportunity was there we just had a bit of trouble with the landing of the fish. We are not too worried though as we have a total of 4 days to land 36 King salmon for the 12 anglers so we are optimistic that that can be done in the next few days. Again halibut fishing was fine as the anglers on my boat were happy with what we brought up with the salmon rods. Water remains calm with the outside still a little roll of 5 feet.
Tuesday June 11th was a good day to be fishing for King salmon as both boats with a total of 12 anglers limited on King salmon. Water was nice sun was out and we had a great time. Biggest King was 29 pounds caught by Julius Matesi. Halibut fishing and bottom fishing remains steady but still landing no 68″ or above yet.
June 5th thru the 9th brought us two groups of 6 and 4 persons the 4 person group being the Seth Mitchner group and the 6 person group being the Pete Anselmo group. The sport fishing report for this week for the Craig area started out by gale warnings from NOAA weather which was spot on as gale force winds blew in on the morning of the 6th with seas building to 15 feet by the 7th. Fishing was still ok although tough due to weather the guys did ok landing most of their limits of King salmon actually for both groups just shy of their limits by one king each or two kings for 10 anglers, not bad considering the water conditions. We had a tough crew though who came here to fish and weather or not toughed it out. Halibut fishing was a bit tougher as water conditions kept us from some of the areas we might normally fish. By the last day though we got limits of bottom fish and had to release a nice 90 pound halibut due to the size restriction of having to be over 68 inches which gave a few groans from the crew but were accepting of their fate of it all. Scott Benshoof of Las Vegas is now leading the King salmon derby with his 43 lb King.