Our week with Wild Alaska Cruises was spent along the southern edge of islands known as the ABC Islands of Alaska. There are many other groups of islands in the world’s oceans with the same name.
The three islands that make up the AK-ABC group are Admiralty Island, Baranof Island and Chicagof Island. Our fishing took place south of Admiralty and west of Baranof Island to the east of Petersburg where our flight landed.
Our trip on the Perseverance was slow and steady. It traveled at about seven knots. Most of the time, the two guide boats either led or followed the mother ship to our destination, as they could travel at greater speed. That gave us time to fish along the way. Stratham Straight is a large body of water with heavy ocean influence. There we found halibut, salmon, lingcod and rock fish.
Our host was Larry Larson, Captain and owner of the Perseverance. Our fishing guides were Robert Elliot and Chase Martenson. They knew how to find and catch fish. It is a very large area with plenty of voids and also nooks holding numbers of fish.
Got home at midnight last night. No time for details. Here’s a representative photo from each day of our trip.
We flew out of San Jose on Saturday and landed in Petersburg about 3 PM. Spent the night in town and were underway on Sunday morning, September 9.
My plan is to expand on this post as I find more time. Lots of photos and lots of fish.
Halibut and rock fish were landed on Sunday afternoon.
On day two, we landed limits of coho salmon and saw our first brown bear.
Day three produced salmon limits again and perfect weather in the cove where Perseverance was anchored.
We had a lot of fishing action on day four.
Day five produced more fishing success and some variety.
Day six was our last chance to catch salmon.
On day seven, I found this dog sleeping on an island in the bay, a prelude to some fishing excitement.
More to come.
Will Robin land the halibut?
Got an early start fishing out of Berkley. Picked up bait in SF and ran back past Treasure Island to the Alameda Rock Wall.
Hooked up on quite a few shakers, which reduced our boredom. Then we caught two keeper stripers.
Looked like the highlight of the day might be the baseball we netted about mid day.
Unfortunately it was a little league model and not one that came the way of AT&T Park.
Then we boated a halibut over the minimum. It was almost a day worthy of remembering.
About 2:00 PM, we decided to shift from the Alameda Rock Wall over to the Berkley flats. On our way we passed a party boat.
“California Dawn,” said Captain Bob. “They’ve been doing well in this area lately.”
Time to pull over and give it a try. Ten minutes later my rod dipped and my reel began to pay out line.
“This is a real fish,” I said, as a maneuvered my rod over the engine to face the fish.
We soon had a couple good looks at it and we knew it was special. I let it play out a ways from the boat, not wanting it to get close until it was worn down a bit.
When it was time to net the fish, Captain Bob was ready and did a great job of making sure we didn’t have one of those “at-the-boat” events.
The fish was 38.5 inches long and weighed in at 20 pounds. Long and not fat, but a great fish. Suddenly the fishing had gone from good to great.
Had our best success at the end of the low slack tide.
Now he’s shrink-wrapped.
The lodge is tucked away in an Island Cove just off the coast of northern BC and seaward of the inland passage. Although protected and calm, it’s only about a mile run to the surf and maybe 10 miles to actual deep water fishing for halibut.
Each group of two fishermen received use of a 16 foot Boston Whaler that appeared to be brand new and each was powered by a 50 horse Yamaha outboard. We were led to the fishing grounds by the fish-master each day and had a lot of freedom to do as we pleased.
We were provided box lunches so we could fish all day or we could choose to return to the lodge for lunch. Food was very good and ample.
The salmon fishing was very good and we landed several nice salmon each day including sockeye, king and silvers. The largest king we landed was about 25 pounds and the silvers ran in the eight pound range. The sockeye were the smallest of the group.
The key to success seemed to be locating fish (boats were equipped with fish finders) and determining the best depth to keep you bait. We fished mooching rigs and most of our salmon were caught at around 25 to 30 feet.
On one occasion we followed the fish-master out to sea a few miles in heavy swells (about ten footers) to fish for halibut. The halibut fishing was pretty good and we caught our three-fish per person limits rather quickly, but none were large fish with the best one in the ten pound class. After about an hour of halibut fishing in the heavy water we were ready to head in.
The three-day stay was too short for us and we would have been happy to stay a few days longer. This is a good trip for hard core fishermen.