June 28th sport fishing report for Kingfisher Lodge, Craig Alaska and the outside waters off Prince of Wales island. King salmon fishing and Halibut fishing is as good as it gets here and as good as I have seen in 20 years for a large abundance of King salmon in this area. Are all the King salmon just here in this area or is it this abundant all over the outside waters of SE Alaska? That is a question I have no answer for as my information is just of this area and have no news of other areas. Catching a King salmon in the Craig area off the outer coast is as easy as dropping a herring in the water from 20 feet to the bottom and before you know it you will have one on. Be prepared to have it stolen from a beastly Stellar Sea Lion as they have literally gang raped us the last few days as we hook up to 6 Kings at once we will have up to 7 Sea Lions attack our boat and taking our Kings leaving us neatly cut off heads. There is not a problem getting your limit despite the harassment of these very aggressive and talented predators. If you are coming to the Craig area be prepared to catch salmon, Kings as well as Silver salmon are in good abundance. Halibut fishing has also been outstanding as we have landed several huge Halibut with the largest of the season so far caught by Lloyd Skelecky from Alberta Canada at a whopping 190 pounds on Captain Joel Steenstra’s boat. Kent Halvorsen caught a 68″ monster as well weighing in at over 160 pounds although he let it go since we had out limit already. Everyone on our boat landed at least one over 90 pounds although since the slot limit is 45″ – 68″ they had to let them go but they still enjoyed the opportunity to land the fish.
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.
The sport fishing report for Kingfisher Lodge in Craig Alaska on the 24th of June was another outstanding day of catching both King salmon and Halibut. Weather remained stable with light and variable winds and calm seas. Limits of King salmon were accomplished with relative ease as well as half limits or more of Silver salmon depending on where you were fishing. It appears that all outside waters in southern S.E. Alaska contain large schools of King salmon and the halibut continue to come in better numbers of larger fish.
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 21 sportfishing report for Kingfisher Lodge, Craig Alaska and southern S.E. Alaska outer coast. Today our weather was calm winds with patchy fog and running out to the fishing grounds was a pleasant ride but had to use the radar for much of the trip. We started out a bit slower today but were landing Silver salmon right a way as well as loosing a King. After the tide change the catching picked up and we landed many King salmon for the days fishing including a few limits of silvers. Fish are still in good numbers and we hope they keep coming in so all our fishermen coming up will have lots of catching to do.
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 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.