2019 Salmon and Halibut update.

by ryno on February 20, 2019

With Spring fast approaching, we are starting to get the outlines of our fishing regulations. We have the same initial King salmon closure as last year, but amendments are likely to come. With the Herring Cove terminal fishing area adjacent to town, visitors to Ketchikan should enjoy an open area for King Salmon retention.  It can be a busy fishing area, but it’s typically worth the trip. Areas outside the terminal area are likely to remain open to catch and release fishing only. For some of our cruise ship charters, taking meat home is not a high priority for our guests, and that allows us to openly fish other, less crowded areas.  That is the beauty of a private fishing charter. We can customize the trip to fit your desires.  For king salmon, trolling is typically best done by trolling.  We set the rods in downriggers, and use natural and artificial baits to attract fish while on the move.  For our groups that prefer a more hands-on approach, we employ a tactic known as mooching.  Your rod and reel is your weapon, and your perfectly plug cut herring is your ammo. Targeting schools of baitfish, we work the boat and gear in unison to allow you to work your bait through the entire water column. Simply stated, it’s a form of extended range jigging.  It is an extremely active form of fishing, and you get to feel the bite and set the hook.  Just remember, crank before you yank! Either of these styles of fishing are available to our groups of up to 6 anglers. Trolling is our default, but mooching is a specialty only offered by a few captains.  Please let us know if you prefer to try your hand at this technique!

As usual, the Federal Government won’t have our limits on halibut set in stone until mid March.  It will definitely be a 1 fish limit, and likely in mid 20lb range for retention. It’s been that way for years as NMFS tries to appease the commercial fishery without completely cutting you off of this public resource.  Just remember…don’t ever buy commercially caught halibut! Not that it will change our fishery outcome, but it’s the only thing that can be done as of now. Our halibut fishing charters have a very high success rate, any we fish a good distance from town.  We typically see abundant wildlife, and catch multiple other bottom dwelling species in the mix. Pacific cod, rockfish, black cod, and ling cod are common. Halibut are mostly fished on anchor with large baits.  We create a scent and food trail on the bottom of the ocean, and halibut follow their way up that line to our hooks.  Jigging can be incorporated as well as mooching.  Catching a halibut on a salmon rod is an absolute blast!

We also offer a deep drop trip.  Using electric reels at depths ranging from 600-1200 feet, we target deepwater structure using electric assist sportfishing reels.  Catch black cod, rare rockfish species and sharks…but beware, most halibut that cruise these depths are too big for retention, and must be released!

If you would like more info on any of our charters, or would like to reserve your date, please contact us!

Ketchikan Halibut, Ling cod, rockfish charters.

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