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Thread: Valdez questions

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Default Valdez questions

    We're renting a 21' boat from Anchorage and bringing it to Valdez for 4 days starting the 21st. I've got several questions since I've never really boated out of Valdez (been boating plenty in general, just not Valdez).

    First question is regarding salmon trolling. This boat has no down-riggers, so anyone with techniques/setups that work and are willing to share, feel free to chime in. I usually only troll to locate, then mooch.

    Also, since we're there with a boat for several days, if anyone has a shrimping spot or two they don't mind sharing that'd be great. My wife would love to get some fresh shrimp. Second part of that question is what's the easiest way to deal with fresh shrimp when you have no option of boiling immediately? Pop heads off and ice??

    And, if the weather allows, we might try for some halibut/lings. This is where I really have no idea where to go or how far out you need to go. It'd need to be a pretty flat day for me to venture too far out, but it's a fast boat so if it is calm we can cover ground in a hurry.

    Does Fish Central rent shrimp pots and halibut gear??

    I know some of this of this info can be found on here, but figured I'd just do a general "this is what I need to know about Valdez" thread.....

    Thanks!

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    definitely hit up bligh reef

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jisler View Post
    definitely hit up bligh reef
    Haven't gotten a chart yet....roughly how far out is that?

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    We're headed there on Thursday with our 23 ft. boat and plan to fish Bligh Reef so we'll give you distances and how we do upon our return.
    Paul

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    Sounds good.

    Good luck down there...weather is supposed to improve a bit by then.

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    I will try to answer your questions.

    First for silvers, most people troll with a diver, flasher and herring. This weekend we were catching silvers at roughly 25-35 feet. Mooching works well once you find them. Lots of good shrimping in the narrows and potato point (roughly about 12 miles out of town). Shrimp are best if you pop the heads off and throw them on ice. There is halibut around Jack's Bay and Galana Bay closer town.

    Generally boating in Valdez is pretty easy. It is best to go out in the morning while the waters are calm, an afternoon breeze usually blows in from the west in the afternoon's that can create quite a chop on the water in the afternoon's, but generally lays back down in the evenings.

    I am pretty sure Fish Central has halibut gear I am not sure about shrimp pots?? If you have more questions please let me know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod123 View Post
    I will try to answer your questions.

    First for silvers, most people troll with a diver, flasher and herring. This weekend we were catching silvers at roughly 25-35 feet. Mooching works well once you find them. Lots of good shrimping in the narrows and potato point (roughly about 12 miles out of town). Shrimp are best if you pop the heads off and throw them on ice. There is halibut around Jack's Bay and Galana Bay closer town.

    Generally boating in Valdez is pretty easy. It is best to go out in the morning while the waters are calm, an afternoon breeze usually blows in from the west in the afternoon's that can create quite a chop on the water in the afternoon's, but generally lays back down in the evenings.

    I am pretty sure Fish Central has halibut gear I am not sure about shrimp pots?? If you have more questions please let me know.
    Thanks for all of the info. How far out were you catching silvers over the weekend? Curious how close to town they are. Seems the last couple of years we've missed the huge numbers right in the port/Allison Pt., but they've been just outside the harbor between it and Mineral Creek pretty thick. It's enough to drive a shore-bound person crazy, which is why this year we are coming armed with a boat...lol.

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    I picked a few up by Mineral creek, Shoup Bay and in the Narrows. Only saw one jumper in the Narrows but when I turned and headed for it we got a triple! It's going to be fun, yet really, really crowded. Good luck and maybe see you down there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    First question is regarding salmon trolling. This boat has no down-riggers, so anyone with techniques/setups that work and are willing to share, feel free to chime in. I usually only troll to locate, then mooch. Thanks!
    I've never fished Valdez specifically but the diver/flasher/herring is a great all around salmon trolling rig.

    I use the biggest "Deep Six" diver they make and a "Hot Spot" flasher in the smaller size, I think its 8-10 inches long or so. Leader distance between diver and flasher should be 2-3 feet, I prefer a bit more like 3.

    Depending on how complicated you want to get there are a variety of ways to rig your bait but the simplest way IMO is to use a hoochie (fake squid) with a double hook rig, buy the hooks pre-tied, the same ones you would use for mooching actually. I find bigger hooks loose less fish for me so I fish the 5/0-6/0. Get them with the heaviest leader you can find, 50lb. is great. Leader lenght should only be like 2' at most. The heavy, short leader helps the flasher impart an irradic action on your bait, either whole herring or hoochie. You can also do just fine putting a whole herring on the double hooks behind that flasher, or cut plug it.

    So when I rig the hoochie I slide it down the leader before tying it onto the flasher, you'll end up with the hoochie hanging over the hooks. THen I fillet a herring and put a strip, usually 1/2 a herring fillet, onto the double hooks. Front hook in the fatest end of the fillet and the other hook stabbed through further down so its all in line. With that rig you get the smell of herring and the attractive nature of the hoochie. I tend to use spatter back greens and blues, I really like the ones with some sparkle if you can find them, glow bodies are good too. One more bonus to this rig is you can buy the bulk halibut herring and use it for salmon and herring and not have to buy the spendy trolling herring!

    Not sure how many people you have going but I like to run 2 rods with divers out the sides and then put out one of your mooching rods straight out the back with like a 6 ounce bannana weight and a cut plug herring, gets the fish that are feeding real shallow or are attracted to the boat wake foam trail you leave behind. I run that one quite a ways back.

  10. #10

    Default Valdez

    Fish Central-they do have several rods for rent that would work for halibut but I do not know what they charge. They rented shrimp pots in the past but I am pretty sure they stopped a couple years ago for multiple reasons.

    Shrimp-you will see several shrimp pot buoys to your right only a few miles out from the small boat harbor. There are shrimp there but I think if you are going to go farther out you will do better in the steep rocky areas around the mouths of Jack's and Galena Bay. Look for rock slides or steep shorlines with rocky pinnacles and drop the pots in 3-500feet of water.

    Salmon-No need to troll and i would expect your catch rates to be better mooching. Look for jumpers and try to drift or hold over the schools. If you have depth finder you should be able to mark their depth with that and then drop your mooching rigs. There is a steep shore between mineral and gold creeks that is usually a good spot to find them about the time you are there. I usually use a chunk of herring on a red 3-5O Octopus hook. If the fish are picky the two hook rigs with a whole herring might work better.

    Bligh reef is ways out but you would probably want to go that far or farther to really search for halibut. I thinks Jack's bay is roughly 10 miles out and I am guessing Bligh reef is not quite twice that far.

    Hope this helps
    Greg

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    Thanks everyone. I'm getting a pretty good picture of what I'll need and where to go. I appreciate the help.

    I'm compiling quite a list of things I need before going, which is starting to be a bit daunting looking. Small investment just to outfit for this trip, but it's all gear I can hang on to and use later, too.

    Can't wait to get there....I'll spend the next two weeks completely obsessing about every detail and driving my wife nuts....lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    I've never fished Valdez specifically but the diver/flasher/herring is a great all around salmon trolling rig.

    I use the biggest "Deep Six" diver they make and a "Hot Spot" flasher in the smaller size, I think its 8-10 inches long or so. Leader distance between diver and flasher should be 2-3 feet, I prefer a bit more like 3.

    Depending on how complicated you want to get there are a variety of ways to rig your bait but the simplest way IMO is to use a hoochie (fake squid) with a double hook rig, buy the hooks pre-tied, the same ones you would use for mooching actually. I find bigger hooks loose less fish for me so I fish the 5/0-6/0. Get them with the heaviest leader you can find, 50lb. is great. Leader lenght should only be like 2' at most. The heavy, short leader helps the flasher impart an irradic action on your bait, either whole herring or hoochie. You can also do just fine putting a whole herring on the double hooks behind that flasher, or cut plug it.

    So when I rig the hoochie I slide it down the leader before tying it onto the flasher, you'll end up with the hoochie hanging over the hooks. THen I fillet a herring and put a strip, usually 1/2 a herring fillet, onto the double hooks. Front hook in the fatest end of the fillet and the other hook stabbed through further down so its all in line. With that rig you get the smell of herring and the attractive nature of the hoochie. I tend to use spatter back greens and blues, I really like the ones with some sparkle if you can find them, glow bodies are good too. One more bonus to this rig is you can buy the bulk halibut herring and use it for salmon and herring and not have to buy the spendy trolling herring!

    Not sure how many people you have going but I like to run 2 rods with divers out the sides and then put out one of your mooching rods straight out the back with like a 6 ounce bannana weight and a cut plug herring, gets the fish that are feeding real shallow or are attracted to the boat wake foam trail you leave behind. I run that one quite a ways back.
    Thanks for all of the info. I'll be running 2-4 rods, depending. I'll probably only troll 2 rods, maybe 3 set up similar to how you do it. It's a smaller boat with limited room in the rear, so I think one off each side and one down the middle will be the max. That being said, if the fish finder locates fish, I'll try to hold over them and mooch as I much prefer this to trolling. I just like holding the rod, feeling the bite, and setting the hook to much to troll if I can avoid it. But, sometimes the fish are more spread out and trolling is more effective, so I'm trying to make sure I have my bases covered.

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    just throw some pixees off the back of the boat and troll slow
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    I'm in the same boat as OP (no pun intended)...bringing my own 16 footer for first time. I've fished pixies off Allison and I've trolled out of friends boats with herring and divers. Those same friends had me stock up on divers and hoochies and herring hook set ups....now I'm reading "just troll pixies" and "just use a banana weight with a herring/hoochie".

    Interested in an informal poll on what guys think catches the most fish when they are in close to harbor. Chime in!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KMac View Post
    I'm in the same boat as OP (no pun intended)...bringing my own 16 footer for first time. I've fished pixies off Allison and I've trolled out of friends boats with herring and divers. Those same friends had me stock up on divers and hoochies and herring hook set ups....now I'm reading "just troll pixies" and "just use a banana weight with a herring/hoochie".

    Interested in an informal poll on what guys think catches the most fish when they are in close to harbor. Chime in!
    I have used the weight/herring setup with pretty good success before, for what it's worth. Main reason that's iffy is because you can't tell how deep you're fishing it, really. There's an element of luck involved that things like downriggers can eliminate. I've never fished with a diver before, so I can't compare it to that.

    By far the hottest fishing action I've had down there was a cast/mooching technique dead-drifting a herring with no weight.

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    We just returned from Valdez last night, fished yesterday and put 2 100# plus halibut in the boat along with one chicken. Got the halibut straight south of Knowles Head in 120 feet of water. It's a pretty good run, but with good sea conditions we did it in less than 2 hours, just pay attention to the winds. By noon we were back to the narrows and trolled with chrome J-Plugs 25 feet behind the cannon ball at 32 feet of depth, and we put 10 silvers and one copper rockfish in the cooler. Coho Slayer if you have further ??? PM me and I'll try to give you more info. Oh and the trip to Knowles Head was about 40 miles.
    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearclaw67 View Post
    We just returned from Valdez last night, fished yesterday and put 2 100# plus halibut in the boat along with one chicken. Got the halibut straight south of Knowles Head in 120 feet of water. It's a pretty good run, but with good sea conditions we did it in less than 2 hours, just pay attention to the winds. By noon we were back to the narrows and trolled with chrome J-Plugs 25 feet behind the cannon ball at 32 feet of depth, and we put 10 silvers and one copper rockfish in the cooler. Coho Slayer if you have further ??? PM me and I'll try to give you more info. Oh and the trip to Knowles Head was about 40 miles.
    Sounds like you did pretty well...two 'buts over 100# is a good day for anyone!

    Probably won't run that far out, but it depends on the weather. On the one hand, the boat we're renting is fast, so if it's flat we can run 40 miles in around an hour. Of course the flip side to that is if it picks up a chop at all the ride home is going to be long and slow. We'll see. Several people have mentioned doing well for halibut around Galena Bay, but without specifics that's not super helpful since it's a pretty good sized bay...lol.

    If you have a secret spot that is more exact where you got those halibut, I'd be happy to see it. PM me if you want.

    Glad you did well. Did you shrimp at all?

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    No shrimp, will get the coordinates out of the GPS for you.
    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by KMac View Post
    I'm in the same boat as OP (no pun intended)...bringing my own 16 footer for first time. I've fished pixies off Allison and I've trolled out of friends boats with herring and divers. Those same friends had me stock up on divers and hoochies and herring hook set ups....now I'm reading "just troll pixies" and "just use a banana weight with a herring/hoochie".

    Interested in an informal poll on what guys think catches the most fish when they are in close to harbor. Chime in!
    Troll until you find the fish and some structure, then mooch for them to save some gas. Worked great this weekend, heading home tomorrow. Might even catch a rockfish, caught a bunch of those this weekend as well. Coolers are full.

    Fish On!
    You know your not catching any fish when you start talking about the weather...


    http://www.alaskansalmonslayers.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcox View Post
    Troll until you find the fish and some structure, then mooch for them to save some gas. Worked great this weekend, heading home tomorrow. Might even catch a rockfish, caught a bunch of those this weekend as well. Coolers are full.

    Fish On!
    That's exactly how I intend to fish. I prefer mooching anyway....it's more fun to me, and this is my end of summer, fish because I can not because we need it, trip.

    I know this will probably change by the time I get there, but how far out did you have to go to find silvers?

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