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Thread: Silvers vs Lingcod

  1. #1

    Default Silvers vs Lingcod

    I'm bringing the family to AK in a few weeks and we have a charter lined for a combo trip out of Seward. It will be either halibut/silver or halibut/lingcod, the decision hasn't been made yet so I'm looking for advice from you guys.

    In terms of tablefare which is better silvers or lingcod?

    In terms of 'thrill of the catch', which is better silver or lingcod?

    Any other considerations?

    At this moment, I don't have a real preference. I'm just looking forward to being able to experience this trip with the kids while they are still at home. To me, any fish is just lagniappe on what is sure to be a great trip.

    Funny, I've talked it up quite a bit about +100lb butts and so the kids (three teens) have been hitting the weights and doing pushups so they "don't get pulled in", but by no means am I expecting anything close to that....Shoot, 20lbs would be an absolute blast...It's just cool they are taking it seriously enough to put a little work in...

  2. #2
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Tough call all the way round. Silvers are a blast to catch, for kids of all ages. The thrill will be equal, I think, regardless of species. I'd make the choice based on which fish you prefer to eat. Realizing it's not one of your stated options, personally I'd choose Lings and Silvers. Don't lose any sleep over it, flip a coin if you have to. You'll have a blast regardless.
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    Member Boreal's Avatar
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    Really, you can't lose either way. Both are fun on the line. Seeing a kid bring up a big ol' ugly ling is always fun, and silvers stripping the drag is fun too. Both are good eating. Just have fun however it turns out!

  4. #4

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    Silvers are much more fun to catch...lings are usually just heavy on the line and maybe one good run...you will already have that action with the halibut. Silvers go nuts and you will have much more action with them vs. an occasional ling IMO. Keep in mind that alot of lings come off of good halibut grounds so chances are you could get one while not targeting them.


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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1eyeseas View Post
    I'm bringing the family to AK in a few weeks and we have a charter lined for a combo trip out of Seward. It will be either halibut/silver or halibut/lingcod, the decision hasn't been made yet so I'm looking for advice from you guys.

    In terms of tablefare which is better silvers or lingcod?

    In terms of 'thrill of the catch', which is better silver or lingcod?

    Any other considerations?

    At this moment, I don't have a real preference. I'm just looking forward to being able to experience this trip with the kids while they are still at home. To me, any fish is just lagniappe on what is sure to be a great trip.

    Funny, I've talked it up quite a bit about +100lb butts and so the kids (three teens) have been hitting the weights and doing pushups so they "don't get pulled in", but by no means am I expecting anything close to that....Shoot, 20lbs would be an absolute blast...It's just cool they are taking it seriously enough to put a little work in...
    Asking which is better table fare is pretty much like asking which is better: an apple or an orange. Some people don't like the taste of salmon. But then some people don't like the taste of any fish. It really just depends on what your tastes are for particular foods. Probably the best thing going for lings is that they are a much milder tasting fish, so if you don't like "fishy" tasting fish then lings might suit your palate.

    I'd have to agree with AK2AZ on the "thrill of the catch" thing. I pulled a 58 lb. ling into my boat a couple of days ago and there really wasn't much of a fight from it. You get some initial head shaking when you hook into it, and it feels like you're trying to lift the bottom of the inlet up to the boat, and maybe a few head shakes and little runs on the way up, but not much of a traditional fight. The biggest "thrill" though was when I got it onto my swimstep I noticed the hook hadn't actually penetrated its jaw and it fell right out of its mouth. AND I hadn't gaffed it very well. One of my clients literally stuck his hand in its mouth to secure the fish (cutting his thumb open on a tooth) and I had to gaff it again on the swimstep to get it in the boat. We came about a hair's width of losing it.

    Silvers, though, are absolutely one of the most acrobatic of all salmon and if you hook a bigger one it will tear yards of line off your reel in runs, go ballistic on you and jump a couple of feet out of the water, and can make life miserable for you as you try netting it. So I'd definitely give the "thrill of the fight" nod to silvers. Though I can't tell you the thrill I got as I first saw that big ling come into view about 20 ft. down. I still have goosebumps thinking about it.

    And if you're fishing during the Seward Silver Derby you could have a good chance of catching a fish that's worth a lot of money which certainly could be a BIG bonus.
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    I'd go halibut/silver for a couple reasons.

    I think ocean silvers are the #1 most fun fish to catch of all fishing possible!

    That combo should also give you some ocean white meat and some orange meat. I actually like eating Ling better than halibut but halibut is good to!

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Hands down my favorite fish to catch in the salt is a silver salmon. The tackle is light and the fish are fiesty. Kids can catch them without being worn out as the rods/reels are light.

    I can't compare silvers to lings as table fair as salmon and whitefish just aren't comparable. I do prefer lingcod to halibut, but lingcod does not hold up as well for long term freezer storage, it should be consumed within 2-3 months, halibut is good for a year or more.

    Another thing to consider is that halibut and silvers are fairly numerous, so odds are you'll be catching plenty of both. Lingcod are not as numerous and you are only allowed one per person. In numbers, a ling/halibut trip is one ling two halibut; silver/halibut is 3 silvers and two halibut, or up to six silvers if the boat has time to fish for silvers when you get back into Reserection Bay.
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  8. #8

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    Thanks guys, this is great feedback....Looks like I'll put in for a halibut/silver combo.

    To give some background, neither the wife nor kids have ever been "out" to catch fish other than hitting a local lake for bass/perch/cats here in Texas or running the bayous and marsh in South La for specks/reds/crabs. From our experience, 8' is deep water in the marsh and 35' is deep water in the lake! We have never been to AK, the kids have never seen mountains....This indeed is a "trip of a lifetime" for us so going "out", especially in AK, is going to be an absolute thrill and I'm sure it will generate lots of memories whether we catch fish or not. I just hope the weather holds out and we can put in a good day.

    Hell, I just may have to wear a set of Depends while I'm there to keep me dry after pissing on myself from all the excitement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1eyeseas View Post
    Thanks guys, this is great feedback....Looks like I'll put in for a halibut/silver combo.

    To give some background, neither the wife nor kids have ever been "out" to catch fish other than hitting a local lake for bass/perch/cats here in Texas or running the bayous and marsh in South La for specks/reds/crabs. From our experience, 8' is deep water in the marsh and 35' is deep water in the lake! We have never been to AK, the kids have never seen mountains....This indeed is a "trip of a lifetime" for us so going "out", especially in AK, is going to be an absolute thrill and I'm sure it will generate lots of memories whether we catch fish or not. I just hope the weather holds out and we can put in a good day.

    Hell, I just may have to wear a set of Depends while I'm there to keep me dry after pissing on myself from all the excitement.
    Ha ha ha... We'll i'm sure your boat partners will appreciate the Depends! I must have missed the kids/wife part but i'd say thats even more reason to try the Silvers!

  10. #10
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    So long as you have decent weather, you'll have a great time. I'd recomend bonine if anyone in your group is prone to sea sickness. You'll be fishing the Gulf of Alaska and even on a perfectly calm day there will be rollers out there rocking the boat. Ginger candy is a good idea as well.

    You'll see mountains, well at least the bottom half if it's cloudy, should be puffins, sea otters and maybe a few whales. Even after 15 years up here I'm still awestruck on the drive down to Seward and heading out on the water. Catching fish is just a bonus. Watching your kids catch fish is priceless. Even our small fish are fun to catch.

    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  11. #11
    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    I love fishing silvers, way more fun than Halibut or Lincod alone. But I really enjoy more than anything, jiggin the rockpiles. You never know what's going to whack a jig. COuld be a big ling, little ling, big halibut, cod, king or silver, rockfish, greenling. Or you bring a small whatever up to the surface just to watch a big something eat it at the surface. It never gets old.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Lingcod are not as numerous and you are only allowed one per person. In numbers, a ling/halibut trip is one ling two halibut; silver/halibut is 3 silvers and two halibut, or up to six silvers if the boat has time to fish for silvers when you get back into Reserection Bay.
    Was there an emergency order I didn't hear of limiting lings to just one a day? If not, the regs allow you 2 per day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    Was there an emergency order I didn't hear of limiting lings to just one a day? If not, the regs allow you 2 per day.
    Where you are (west of Gore Point) the limit is 2. Most Seward fishermen are going to be fishing east of Gore Point, where the limit is 1.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    Was there an emergency order I didn't hear of limiting lings to just one a day? If not, the regs allow you 2 per day.
    You should check the regs before stating what the limits are in a given body of water, it's been 1 per day for a long time in that area.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    You should check the regs before stating what the limits are in a given body of water, it's been 1 per day for a long time in that area.
    Well, if you want to get technical about it if they go out of Seward and the captain takes them out past Cape Fairfield say to Johnstone Bay or Montague, as many captains will, then what's the limit there? Two. Or if they fish within Res Bay they can't retain any lings. Depends on where they fish. Thus the danger of even quoting the regs on this forum at all.
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  16. #16

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    Catching 3-6 silvers (limit depends on location) would be a lot more fun for kids than winching up one lingcod (two if the charter runs way to the east in PWS waters). Watching and feeling them jump, dart, and pull will get anybody excited. But as far as eating, I think lingcod is top of the list. Tough decision, but to entertain the family, I'd recommend the silvers. They are great eating too, just different than lingcod. Lingcod has a white meat with hints of crab flavor. I expect you know what decent salmon tastes like.

  17. #17
    Member Col. F Rodder's Avatar
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    My Seward trip last year is scheduled as and halibut trip, 3rd week of August and fished in PWS. If you have the right time of year and the right charter booked you can get all three out of Seward. While fishing butts we had rods out for passing silvers and who ever had a free hand would reel them in. After we limited on silvers and halibut, capt moved maybe 1/2 mile and we limited on Lings. We already had 1 in the boat from earlier and it was a matter of dropping down your jig and were hooked up.
    Depending on where you are out of Seward limit can be 1 or 2. Allot of the captains are asking you only take 1 but mine was okay with 2. I think it is all in what you arrange ahead of time.
    This year I'm booked with Mike Manns out of Homer, which is combo Butts, Lings & rockfish. If a silver comes, then were are even luckier

  18. #18
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    You can hardly go wrong. I love to bounce jigs for halibut, lings, and whatever. But, after my first couple of times out for silvers at Seward, I bought my own boat and schedule my summers around the acrobatic silver---including tomorrow, now that they are in.

    Then again, after I look at those big lings that Muttley's boat caught this week, I want to get in on that too.

    So, the answer is: go more than once and do each.

  19. #19
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1eyeseas View Post
    I'm bringing the family to AK in a few weeks and we have a charter lined for a combo trip out of Seward. It will be either halibut/silver or halibut/lingcod, the decision hasn't been made yet so I'm looking for advice from you guys.

    In terms of tablefare which is better silvers or lingcod?

    In terms of 'thrill of the catch', which is better silver or lingcod?

    Any other considerations?

    At this moment, I don't have a real preference. I'm just looking forward to being able to experience this trip with the kids while they are still at home. To me, any fish is just lagniappe on what is sure to be a great trip.

    Funny, I've talked it up quite a bit about +100lb butts and so the kids (three teens) have been hitting the weights and doing pushups so they "don't get pulled in", but by no means am I expecting anything close to that....Shoot, 20lbs would be an absolute blast...It's just cool they are taking it seriously enough to put a little work in...
    Hi there, while in Seward you should experience the "Kenai FJORDS " Take the boat all day and really see glaciers, sea lions, puffins, sea otter etc.
    Also, drive out to "EXIT" glacier. A road just before getting into town (turn right ) takes you there. Have a fun vacation.

  20. #20
    Member idakfisher's Avatar
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    Another thought. If the Halibut/Ling trip is out east to Erlington or Montique, A lot of times the boats end up getting their three silver each as well.

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