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Thread: Black Cod (sablefish)

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    Default Black Cod (sablefish)

    I would like to target sablefish once this year. I know you have to fish deep, but I was wondering if someone could tell me a good place to fish for them.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Port Nellie Juan, in front of Main Bay, Perry Passage, or Knight Island Passage. Over 1,000 feet is good, pushing 2,000 feet is even better.

    Here's a nice one from over 2,000 feet deep on a commercial trip, held by my brother:


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    Default Sable Fishing

    I have interest in fishing for sablefish also. Brian, can you give us more details on setups and what type of bottom to look for, are they bottom feeders or how far off the bottom. And, any other tips for fishing deep water.

    Thank you,

    Luke

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Luke - I've never fished them with sportfishing gear - only longline gear. We usually set on rocky bottoms, though we catch a few on muddy bottoms as well. We catch ours right on the bottom, though they might move up through the water column...I don't really know. Squid is the best bait for these fish, but herring, pacific cod, or any other oily bait should work as well.

    -Brian

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    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    I saw a boat sportfishing sable in Chatham Strait (West side of Admiralty Island) near Juneau last year. They had the big 12v powered reels on halibut gear... watched one nice fish get whacked, then cruised close to see how deep they were... 1200 feet.

    -Case
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    Default I will be fishing for sablefish also

    Wildog,
    Let me know when you get ready to go out for sablefish. I did found some commercial sablefish fishery out of Whittier. I could possibly join you out on the water. If you need some more info’s PM me, I will be glad to send you some information found on state web site.

    Luke

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Smoking fare

    I've tasted black cod smoked, and it is superior to all other smoked fish in my opinion. All the old Square Heads from Southeast swore by it.

  8. #8

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    black cod sabelfish.jpg
    I use to catch them in Chatham, near warm springs. I would skiff out to the middle of Chatham on a real calm day and catch Blk. cod. I used 2lbs of weight and a salmon leader w/salmon belly. I used 80lb Spider wire. It took about 1/2 hour to get to the bottom and alot longer getting up. I almost always got one. It took a real calm day to stay on the bottom. Sometimes I would use my kicker to try and stay in place. The cool thing was I could feel them bite use the braided line. I was around 1500-2000 feet deep, by the looking at the chart. I also would catch Short Rackers.
    Not sure if the photo will work, never posted a photo.

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    Default Targeting Blackcod

    They are easy to catch, but not always easy to find. We never have much luck until we get to at least 1200 feet. We have best luck on smaller circle hooks with squid jammed on them. Look for a gravel bottom and try to stay away from rock ledges that will be covered with coral and will take your rigs in a hurry. Make sure your hooks are needle sharp. They have very soft mouths so try not to horse them to the surface.

    Another plus is the occaissional Thornyhead rockfish. They are a treat, too - an oily flesh but you can see why the Japanese pay more for them than any other specie of rockfish. I love them lightly smoked (kippered) and added to a green salad.

    CanCan - That might have been my boat fishing for blackcod during slack tide out west of Pt. Retreat or Hump Island. (We use 18-volt 3/8" Mikita drill motors to crank our gear back up to the surface.)

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    JDK,

    I live in Juneau and would love to get into blackcod fishing. Any suggestions on a rod/reel setup? I suppose since they are so deep, the time of year doesnt matter as long as it's calm out, but is there any time of the year thats best for sablefish? I have eaten it ONCE and was immediately impressed. I would love to get one for myself.

    Thanks for you time.

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    2000 feet more power to you guys. Wow... I would of never thought of fishing that deep. Nice looking fish
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    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    JKD, epw, SEAK...anyone near Juneau...

    I'll volunteer the boat time if anyone wants to show the way... (I guess this should go in Open Seat, except there aren't any details yet!)

    Well? Anyone wanna put a trip together?

    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
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    I'm down. Just need to figure out the rod/reel situation. MAy have to build something.

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    I just thought about a cool little rig to get this fishery up and running for me. How about an older Minnkota trolling motor with the prop pulled off and a spindle attached to the shaft somehow. Put some 100 lb spiderwire on there and bingo, blackcod in me gut. Who knows.

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    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Taku Inlet black cod

    We installed 4 submarine cables across Taku Inlet a few years ago. Our cable laying vessel had thrusters everywhere for precise positioning. I guess the thrusters were about 10-20 feet deep. As we approached the Juneau side of the inlet we started chopping up black cod. The skipper was afraid of getting a fine for killing the fish. By the time we stopped laying cable there was a fish slick a mile away. A humpback whale actually set his mouth against the thruster outlet and got direct inject fish. The dolphins showed up by the dozens and there were just as many eagles and ravens. When the whale got full he just dozed off and slowly drifted off on the surface sleeping like a baby. He would wake up and come back to the vessel waiting for the thrusters to start up.
    We always threw out the shrimp pots and for 2 days we slayed 'em. If I lived in Juneau I might invest a day and try for them just off shore on the Juneau side of taku inlet below the terminal building. As I recall there is a ledge a few hundred yards off the rocks the plummeted to 1200'. They were shallow enough to get sucked into the thrusters though.
    All in all, a very unique Alaskan experience.
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    Not that I dont believe you, far from it, but I m at work and looking at a chart and can not find a 1200' ledge out there. Deepest I see is around 650'. I will be heading down there though to scout it out, need to put some hours on the boat. How far off the shoreline would you say they were?

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    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    I can't find anything much deeper than 700 or so in that whole area either, but I know the reef off Pt. Bishop brings up some interesting stuff from time to time... something about deep river water welling up against the north side of that relatively shallow reef. I've seen some big yelloweye caught there, and I've not been up yet to see if the rumors of sturgeon can be substantiated.

    1/2 day for Sturgeon followed by 1/2 day fishing for sable.... interesting!

    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
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  18. #18
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Red face Pop!!!!!

    That loud popping sound was the sound my head makes when I pull it out.
    I misspoke, I know we didn't lay any cable that deep on the approaches. Not having a chart I quickly wrote a guess, my bad. I do know that I pulled a string of Boots shrimp pots and when I threw them back they pulled the bouy under, never to be seen again. Despite my best efforts with a grappling line.
    We started sucking cod from about 1/4 mile off the cable landing. We also got them when we were right at the landing, well, as close as that large a ship can get. I scuba dove the cable path and it is unremarkable for at least 50 yards out. Beyond that it was too murky to see much.
    If you're serious, I'd start at the rocky point as you turn into the inlet. Find the ledge and fish the top and the bottom of it. Work your way out to 1/4 mile and fish your way back in on a different line. Repeat until you have fished across the bight below the terminal building.
    The current there can rip like Cook Inlet, 3 currents at once. It is probably why they were there. I'll check, but my guess is that we hit those fish in mid to late summer.
    We usually picked up shrimp on that point and dungees at the opposite terminal. ANd clams over there at low tide, lots of 'em. Some nice bear sausage came home also. I won't mention all the king crab, but suffice it to say that having an ROV on the job and some well placed pots...

    Dang, now I want to go back. I'll come down and show you.
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    Thanks for the details. I'll definitly be out there. I'll let everyone around juneau know when I head out that direction if I have an open seat. Also looking forward to, that sounds insane, fishing off Pt. Retreat, sounds like there may some luck out there too.

    Case, whats the deal with sturgeon in the Taku? Is it a local rumor or has someone reeled one up? That would be sweet as well, definitly may have to put in the 1/2 and 1/2 day sometime soon.

  20. #20

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    There used to be a mount of a sturgeon in the Juneau Airport and if I remember right the plaque said it was caught in/near Taku Inlet.

    Anyone else remember that?

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