Craig Alaska charter fishing report for Kingfisher Lodge on the 20th of August 2019. The past 3 days fishing was very good except one day with strong northwest winds which made offshore fishing more difficult or out of the question for most anglers. Coho fishing remains strong at this point with limits being had by early morning most days. The Coho’s are gaining size and some off shore fish yesterday were quite impressive in size and Captain Harding found a large school of Coho off shore while black sea bass fishing, he said he couldn’t get through the Coho’s to get to the sea bass, that’s a great problem to have! Halibut fishing is good off shore but much more difficult inshore due to much pressure over the years is my guess. Next three days will be tough weather days as northwest gales to 45 miles per hour are in the forecast with 15 foot seas so it will be tough fishing for any offshore hopes. Coho fishing should be very doable though despite the wind and rain.
Today was a great day fishing for Coho and bottom fish landing limits of Coho again by 8 am yesterdays limits were about the same so the guys have been doing very well here at Kingfisher and I believe the other Craig Charter boats are doing very similar.
The group did a half day the first day landing mostly limits on that half day, the next day was limits on Coho but a scratch for some of the boats and they spent a large portion of the day fishing for GAF only getting one at 58 inches. Yesterday the boats limited by 8 am with and all three boats landed a total of 4 GAF fish as well as the normal limit of halibut, so the pressure is off on producing GAF fish or trophy size halibut for this group. Word is most charter boats are landing limits of Coho and hopefully the Coho will continue to come in at a steady rate for the remainder of the summer.
Craig Alaska Charter fishing or sport fishing remained somewhat consistent as a steady trickle of Coho or Silver salmon work their way into the inside waters off Noyes and Heceta islands as well as King salmon
. Our boats limited on Coho’s all but one day and they punched out on all but a couple King salmon for the 15 anglers at the lodge. King salmon will close today on the 31st of July for non resident anglers after reaching their allotted amount of 25,885 set by the Southeast Alaska Management plan.
Weather was good the past 4 days and will be good for a few more before northwest winds will begin in a few days. We are hoping more Coho’s move in but it may remain a steady trickle of fish despite the rain we had a few days ago.
Prince of Wales sport fishing report for Kingfisher Lodge for the week of the 25th. Since I missed the past groups report I am now adding the past 6 days fishing with today being the last day fishing for our groups. King salmon fishing remains steady and if pursued limits of 1 per season per angler are not to hard to obtain. Coho fishing has been on and off depending on the commitment to getting them. Coho limits are also obtainable if you stick it out and put your hours in fishing for them in the right places. These Coho are heading back to the Klawock river where the Klawock river hatchery produces 5 million Coho smolt per year and after spending 18 months in the salt water are now returning home to spawn. (I might add that without this hatchery production the Craig area would be very bleak for Coho salmon so we very much thank the hatchery which is owned by SSRAA and run by Jeff Lundberg.) Last week we were limiting within a 3 hour period but the area off hole in the wall was very concentrated and sport charter boats were competing with commercial trollers and tempers were up a bit with the trollers frustration of sport boats scattered in where they were fishing. That area although fish still coming in were thinned out and now boats are fishing off Heceta island getting limits, although working for them. King salmon are also mixed in with the Coho or Silver salmon. Alaska Department of Fish and Game has a fishing report out that states that the Coho numbers are down in the Sitka area. “Silver fishing continues to slowly improve in the Sitka area with anglers starting to catch a few more silvers near Cape Edgecumbe and West Kruzof. Catch rates are lower than the recent ten-year average for the sample period of July 17th through July 21st and are the lowest catch rates Sitka has observed since 2010. It is still early, and more will be known about catch rates as the bulk of the runs near in the next couple weeks.”
King salmon will be closed by the Department of fish and Game as of August 1st. “The Southeast Alaska king salmon sport fishery is managed under the directives of the Southeast Alaska King Salmon Management Plan (5 AAC 47.055). This plan prescribes management measures based upon the Southeast Alaska Winter Troll catch per unit effort (CPUE). The Southeast Alaska Winter Troll CPUE for the 2019 season is 3.38 which equates to 25,844 king salmon allocated to the sport fishery. To address the implementation of the new treaty agreement which includes provisions to reduce the Alaska harvest ceiling the following year if the Alaska harvest ceiling is exceeded, the sport fishery is being managed conservatively with a harvest target of 25,300 treaty king salmon in 2019. As directed by the Southeast Alaska King Salmon Management Plan, if restrictions are necessary to keep the sport fishery within its harvest allocation, nonresident anglers will be restricted first, and the department shall only restrict resident anglers if nonresident angler restrictions are insufficient to remain within the sport harvest allocation. Based on king salmon harvest estimates to date and the projected harvest for the remainder of the season, a period of king salmon nonretention for nonresident anglers is necessary to ensure that the sport fishery remains within its harvest allocation.”
Bottom fishing remains strong in the Craig area, but Alaska department of fish and game will be closing the retention of rock fish which includes Yellow Eye and all rock fish, but not Ling cod as of midnight July 25th. Black sea bass are a pelagic fish and do not fall under that description so they will be available to catch.