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Thread: PWS Salmon Sharks

  1. #1
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    Default PWS Salmon Sharks

    Hello all,

    Looking for some help. I've been wanting to try salmon shark fishing for several years now. I've got a friend who's just as hot about the idea as I am, so we're gearing up. We're looking for some catch and release action and one between our two boats to take home.
    We're comfortable with gear, leaders, and technique. (I used to fish sharks in the Gulf of Mexico).
    We need help with location and timing. We'll be leaving out of Whittier with drums of fuel on deck, but sure would like to keep the burn rate down. Current plans are to head toward Hinchinbrook entrance and Port Gravina, refueling, re-icing and (hopefully) processing in Cordova.
    Would REALLY appreciate any more specific location and timing help. We don't plan to do this regularly, one successful trip per summer would be nice.

    My friend recently tried to book a shark charter to get us a head start, but all were full.

    Would appreciate ANY PM if you prefer not to make it public.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I have only done it once, with a charter. You are looking in the right area. I have heard that the shark fishin has been slow in recent years.

    You might be closer to go out of Valdez.

    Make sure you kill them fast as you can. Once harpooned and shot, immediately gut them. The urea will permeate the meat very very fast and ruin the table quality.

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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    2 places i'd try are around Ester hatchery and Main Bay, when i was gillnetting those sharks were always around those cafeterias(hatcheries)! A friend had 6 in one set of his gillnet, they all hit as soon as the net was in the water. I also used to see them finning off of Naked island on the way to Cordova in early May.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    We had one circling our boat last week near Sphynx island. We couldn't get it to bite a hook for nothing.
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    Member Grizzly Man's Avatar
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    What is a good setup for salmon shark? I'd like to get a rig together, but what rod, reel and line/leader combo would work?
    "What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk? --Jack Handy

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    We had a half dozen salmon sharks swimming around our boat near Port Gravina a few years ago while we were out halibut fishing. It was a beautiful sunny day and the water was glass. You could see them swimming just under the surface of the water. After watching them for awhile, I decided to see if I could get one to take my halibut bait. I reeled up so my herring was about 5 feet below the surface and watched one of the sharks slowly start circling the bait. The shark got closer and closer, eventually bumping the bait a couple times before deciding to grab on. I had the shark on for a short time before it cut my line. Wish I had it on video.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    I have a good sized steel leader about 4 foot long with a big hook on it. My plan is to just snap it onto my halibut rod. But it's a Seeker Alaskan rod with a Daiwa LD30 2 speed. I think it could handle a shark nicely.
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    Member captaindd's Avatar
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    I have not seen any sharks near the Hinchinbrook Entrance this year. Last week some seiners where looking for pinks out there but they must of not found many. I did see one shark near Black Point which is located in the Titlick narrows. But I have not been seeing any pinks.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    When I went we used a whole pink salmon. He had 20 foot of 1/8" steel cable tied to a 20/0 j-hook. He was using halibut rods and old penn reels (not sure what size but fairly big).

    I tale hooked one ole gal. After 80 minutes I got her to surface about 30 yards behind the boat. She rested for a minute and then put it in high gear and headed for Hawaii real fast like. I cranked the drag down, palmed the line. She broke loose right before I hit the end of the spool. Broke the line right at the steel leader. SMOKED the drag, literally.

    One thing that you really have to worry about is that they will roll up on you. This often rips their gills and then you really should kill them. Sometimes they will roll up into your main line and then it will snap. The shark then sinks to the bottom and dies. You want to play them as fast as you can with Hard pressure all during the fight.

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    Remember you have to have store bought salmon and have to have the receipt in you possession if you get stopped.
    First off you need to have at min of 12 foot cable. I run a 20ft with double J hooks. The reason for the long cable is that the skin on a salmon shark is very abrasive and will tear right thru a line. I run 2 lines at a time, and fish one on top and the other under the water. I troll at 3-5 mph. The first salmon rig I just hook the hooks in it and the second one I put a 14 oz weight on the line to let it drop a bit.
    As far as rods I use aI reel that was designed for large tuna penn international and have 800 yards of 250lbl spider line on it. Best thing I can tell you is if you hook up back the boat at the shark and your going to be in for a fight.
    Best think that I can tell you is to go slow and look for them fining. In 05-08 there was a huge explosion of Sharks in Port Gravina, how ever last couple of years it has really slowed down a lot. Best spot going now is 35 miles south of Day harbor. Watch the charters.

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    Member Ronster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktnt View Post
    Remember you have to have store bought salmon and have to have the receipt in you possession if you get stopped.
    actually, the way the regs read you can use sport caught pink and chum (caught in PWS) as bait. They do count against your limit though.

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    Wow, thanks for all the help and ideas.
    Aktnt, you said 35 miles south of Day Harbor. Just to confirm, you're talking about the bay just East of Seward and then 35 miles out into the gulf??? How are you running your weight so that a shark doesn't beat the side of your boat with it???
    I talked with a state bio who specializes in sharks who recommended using tubing on the SS leaders to keep from hurting the sharks so much.
    We are using 50 class 2-speed reels. Penn international 50's and an Okuma Makaria (sp) 50 spooled up with 500+ yds of spectra plus backing.

    Quote Originally Posted by aktnt View Post
    Remember you have to have store bought salmon and have to have the receipt in you possession if you get stopped.
    First off you need to have at min of 12 foot cable. I run a 20ft with double J hooks. The reason for the long cable is that the skin on a salmon shark is very abrasive and will tear right thru a line. I run 2 lines at a time, and fish one on top and the other under the water. I troll at 3-5 mph. The first salmon rig I just hook the hooks in it and the second one I put a 14 oz weight on the line to let it drop a bit.
    As far as rods I use aI reel that was designed for large tuna penn international and have 800 yards of 250lbl spider line on it. Best thing I can tell you is if you hook up back the boat at the shark and your going to be in for a fight.
    Best think that I can tell you is to go slow and look for them fining. In 05-08 there was a huge explosion of Sharks in Port Gravina, how ever last couple of years it has really slowed down a lot. Best spot going now is 35 miles south of Day harbor. Watch the charters.

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    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    if anyone has any pictures of salmon sharks they caught i'd sure like to see them.

  14. #14
    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Hi,

    You don't really want to use a long cable leader. That will kill sharks, even if you do not catch them. Try a short wire leader 12" tied to 15' of 200 pound mono with a barrel swivel. Salmon sharks tend to roll up the line and when that happens, if you use cable they will die, even if they break off. There are no where near as many sharks in the north gulf as there used to be. Most charters do not fish for them anymore for this reason. The success rate is low and they have all seen the decline in abundance.

    The information about 35 miles south of Day harbor is from 1996(I wrote it back then in an article on this forum). It is very old information and there are no sharks there anymore. .That offshore spot is done; charters from Seward that fished to sharks for years, and actually pioneered shark fishing in Alaska, caught them all out there. That company no longer fishes for sharks at all for the very reason I described above( conservation concerns). If you watch the charters, in Seward, they are going to Montague halibut fishing, not shark fishing.

    Do not troll at 3 to 5 knots either. You will not catch them anymore like that. There are not enough. Just drift with herring or live pinks of you can catch them

    Stick to Hitchenbrook, Gravina, or the hatcheries they are way more protected, calm and known to be productive recently

    You should go after a shark if you want one. Keep in mind my rigging suggestion and try to keep your boat moving forward and in front of the shark when you are hooked up to one. They will keep line away from their tail. Once tail wrapped they don't fight much and are heavy enough to break a frayed line.


    Be careful, they pull hard and if you have no experience with dealing with a big shark, they can be dangerous.

    Here are some photos from Gravina, back when there were many sharks in Sound....
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