Fishing Southeast Alaska

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.

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The mother ship, the Perseverance, is specifically designed as a luxury private yacht. It is 90 feet long, carries a crew of six and eight passengers. Two skiffs ride atop the fantail and two guide boats are towed behind. Every detail has been carefully thought out by the owner, Larry Larson.

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.

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Here’s a picture of the Patience’s depth finder after it passed over a school of pelagic 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.

Salmon Success at Last

Captain Bob and I made our first salmon attempt out of Half Moon Bay in April. Then we tried Monterrey Bay and out the gate to the South buoy. After three trips we were still stuck on zero. The closest we came to paydirt was a boat-side miss on the Monterrey trip.

Monday we finally turned it around. Three of us landed four of the seven fish we hooked and I was fortunate enough to land a 20 pound plus king that made me proud. Captain Bob and  his guest Paul landed the other three which were all between six and ten pounds.

We caught the fish on a trip to the north, almost to Point Reyes and within a few miles of the Farallon Islands. Here’s a photo of my fish. You can see Point Reyes in the background. We used anchovies trolled with a triangle flasher.

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We had a great day with good salmon action,  light seas and many interesting critters – whales, porpoise and seals – around to keep us entertained.

According to reports we gathered, the fishing was generally about a fish per rod, with one notable exception, a ferry boat that fished away from the pack and caught limits around.

Fishing at Joe’s Salmon Lodge, British Columbia

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.