Sport fishing report from Kingfisher Lodge in Craig Alaska fishing the outer coast of Prince of Wales Island in S.E Alaska. July 4th Independence Day started out with calm winds and partly cloudy skies. My group had tagged out on King salmon so our goal was Silver salmon and Halibut so we decided to snoop around and was happy with our venture as we limited on our Silvers by 8:30 in the morning which gave us time to look for some nicer Halibut. Joel had gone out where we had been fishing for King’s and Silvers with the Mike Rodgers family, but only landed one King salmon and 10 or so Silvers and it was apparent that the salmon had left or been thinned out by the sport fishermen and the commercial troll fleet. Joel ended up landing a nice grade of Halibut and then off to finish his Silver salmon limits. We also ended up landing a couple nice 45″ halibut and then one small one for our limit but worked pretty hard to find that nicer grade today for the west wind had picked up to 20 knots or so making it difficult to fish some of our more favorable spots. Chatter on the radio was a scratch for Kings and mostly limits of Coho salmon and boats were limited to where they fished due to the wind building as the day progressed. Limits of Coho’s is a very good day so we count our blessings for those little beauties.
Sport fishing report from Kingfisher Lodge in Craig Alaska fishing the outer coast of Prince of Wales Island in S.E Alaska. Craig sport fishing remains strong although King salmon numbers are reduced each day the commercial troll season is open. Today was the 3rd day the trollers were working off Noyes Island and their numbers appeared to be less than the day before and chatter on the radio was it had slowed down for them as well. We did well on King salmon landing 5 or 6 King salmon but only retaining 2 as many were smaller Kings and as they have one more day they wanted to save 2 tags for tomorrow. Captain Joel Steenstra’s boat with the Rodgers family did will landing many Kings and retaining 4 for the day and 6 person limits of Coho’s. Coho fishing is very good and limits are pretty easily had so that is good as ADF&G has reduced the King salmon bag limit down to 2 for a non resident, but still can catch 6 Silver salmon per day with no season limit. Silver salmon fishing should be a benchmark year as the Klawock river hatchery returning Coho’s are estimated at around 70,000 back to the river which means lots of Silvers on their way to the river which all sport and commercial fishermen will be after.
The Mike Rodgers family is up for a family fishing vacation and they are having a great time catching their limits of pretty much everything that is legal to catch including this nice 40 pound Halibut that Mike caught today. The boys are up each morning by 4:30 am and down at the dock by the 5 am departure which I am very impressed with and every time I see them they are reeling in a fish!
Sport fishing report from Kingfisher Lodge in Craig Alaska fishing the outer coast of Prince of Wales Island in S.E Alaska. Today we had 9 anglers on the water in two boats and I was very curious how fishing or catching would be after the first day of the commercial opener. We were not disappointed though as catching was pretty good still getting doubles, triples and quads on King salmon from time to time. The fish we caught today were smaller on average but were happy with what we caught. Silver salmon also seemed easy enough to catch if one spent time after them only we did hook up with quite a few King salmon trying to get the limit of Silvers. We did come short on the silvers but only by a little, so tomorrow we will see what happens. Halibut fishing and bottom fishing was also good on Joel’s boat and we did not target bottom fish today on my boat.
Captain Joel Steenstra and his crew the Rodgers family had a great day out fishing off Noyes island. They caught their limits of King salmon, halibut, yellow eye, and 24 Coho’s for the days fishing. Great job to all the family! The boys really know how to reel in those King salmon, what a great family vacation.
Sport fishing report from Kingfisher Lodge in Craig Alaska fishing the outer coast of Prince of Wales Island in S.E Alaska. Today was the commercial troll opening for King salmon for S.E. Alaska. For us in our area we had a large fleet of trollers land in off Noyes island. We were greeted by the troll fleet as we rounded the cape of Ulitka and headed down to little Roller bay to look for some Silver salmon and a few King salmon. The ocean was very nice with a S.W. wind of 10 knots and although there were already many trollers fishing the area we were not disappointed in our fishing as we immediately started hooking salmon once we dropped our baits in the water and without the Sea Lions we were able to land what we needed for the day. I don’t know what happened to the Sea Lions, but possibly the overwhelming amount of boats made them a bit shy or possibly a rifle shot or two by a unknown troller might have made them wary of the boats. The trollers were doing quite well from what we could see and I talked to one at noon and he had landed over 200 King salmon and about 40 Silver salmon. If you do the math on that by at least one hundred trollers off Noyes island and if they were also catching in those numbers it adds up to a large number of King salmon being harvested. The trollers have a 6 day opener and each day the numbers of King salmon will decrease for them and us.
Sport fishing report from Kingfisher Lodge in Craig Alaska fishing the outer coast of Prince of Wales Island in S.E Alaska. Fishing for King salmon, Silver salmon, Halibut and bottom fish was again another spectacular day as the salmon fishing is as good as it has been for the sport fishermen in the Craig area for the past 20 years. Although we have had many good years in the past this year will stand out as the best for abundance of King salmon here in the Craig area off Noyes Island. It is hard to imagine a low abundance of King salmon when everywhere you go you catch king salmon and not just a few. With 6 anglers on the boat it has been very regular to hook up to 6 King salmon at once but with the Stellar Sea Lions in very large numbers we lost as many as 15 Kings to the Sea Lions trying to get our limits. The boys from Alberta Canada were amazed at the quality of fishing here in Craig and will never be the same again after this fishing trip. They kept singing Alberta Bound as another fish was brought into the boat. Below are photo’s of the days catch.
June 26th sportfishing report for Kingfisher Lodge, Craig Alaska. Today began with light and variable winds and calm waters, we headed out to the outside of Noyes Island where the fish were waiting for us. We started 0ut off East Addington where we had done well the previous days but after landing one King salmon and a few Silver salmon we could see that not all was as it had been the day before. We called another captain fishing off the out side of Noyes island and he said the fish were biting and it was wide open so off we went. We got there after a short stop to check out the fish eating Stellar Sea lion rookery and then off to catch King salmon. We were not disappointed as we dropped in and quaded up on Kings landing all 4 but since one was small we kept the nicest 3 of the 4. Catching continued throughout the morning until we finished our limit of 6 nice King salmon loosing a monster King which tried to spool one of our rods but then lost it as the hook pulled out.
Halibut fishing was great on both boats landing many nice size halibut of 45 inches and smaller and a few in the slot size between the 45″ and 68″ with the largest landed by Butch Smith at 104 pounds based on the tide books table.
June 22nd sportfishing report for Kingfisher Lodge in Craig Alaska and S.E. Alaska outside waters off Prince of Wales island. King salmon fishing remains very good with limits very easy to catch. The size of the King salmon are medium size in some areas and just legal in others where school fish are concentrated. Our largest King for this group in 3 days was 30 pounds and an average size of probably 23 pounds per King in the round weight. Today my boat caught no Silver salmon and Joel’s boat landed 6. Word is there are limits of Silvers to be had in some areas although we concentrated on larger halibut and our efforts were rewarded with one over 68″ and several nice 42-45″ butts. Neil Johnke landed his trophy halibut after several hours of hunting for a over 68″ butt. Neil got almost spooled as the halibut took off stripping out over 400 feet of Tuff Line on the Shimano TLD 20 2 speed reel and a Seeker SHS-60 Jigging rod. He landed the fish after a good half hour fight. Joel’s boat landed several 42-45″ butts and released a nice 64″ Halibut.
Water remained calm with light winds. Today writing this blog the skies are sunny and light west wind blowing 70 degree temperature.
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 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.
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.