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Thread: Thorne Bay vs. Whale Pass

  1. #1
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    Default Thorne Bay vs. Whale Pass

    I am trying to plan next summer's trip and need assistance from members of this forum.

    Due to several non fishing members in my party, I can't go back to my favorite lodge in Elfin Cove. I have researched this forum threads and narrowed my choices to DIY lodges in POW. The lodge everyone has been recommending at Coffman Cove is sold out. So I am looking at lodges in Whale Pass and Thorne Bay. How would you compare the 2 areas strictly in terms of ocean fishing for DIYers? We are going up in early Aug. In particular, how are halibut and rockfish spots? Shrimping and crabbing? How far out to good fishing spots? I know about the Neck Lake hatchery in Whale Pass and for that reason, I am leaning towards Whale Pass. Your thoughts? My non fishermen will be happy with car travel options present at either location so the final decision will be strictly based on ocean fishing.

    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
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    wasilla
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    Default

    there's a couple other DIY in coffman also if your looking to be up that way....other than that early aug to mid aug should be good for ocean fishing either spot

  3. #3
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    Default

    Please note I've only stayed in Thorne Bay twice and have only driven to Whale Pass from there twice. Not much real experience. Between Whale Pass and Thorne Bay I'd personally rather stay in Thorne Bay as a sort of "base camp" in that you can get to a reasonable restaurant in Craig fairly quickly, decent fishing from Thorne Bay and drive up to Coffman or Whale Pass (though the drive is a bit long).

    If there were other nice places to stay in Coffman besides the one that's sold out I'd give it a try. Seems like a very nice location to fish from.

    If you're thinking Adventure Alaska in Thorne bay: great place w/fantastic equipment and vehicles. We drove to Whale Pass for two of the days to catch the hatchery salmon and had a ball. Also took a charter out of Coffman and it wasn't too bad of a drive.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2009
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    Great Falls Montana and Coffman Cove Alaska
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    Default Take another look at Coffman Cove

    I am a seasonal resident of Coffman Cove. As a disclaimer I do not own a charter operation or any other type of business. that being said I believe Coffman Cove has several advantages over Whale Pass. The fishing for halibut, salmon, and rockfish are excellent at both places. Coffman Cove has two full service lodges that offer lodging, meals and chartered fishing. In addition two or three places offer lodging, meals, and self guided fishing. The boats are skiffs to 20 or 22 foot ocean boats. In additon a number of places offer lodging and skiffs but you do your own cooking. If you go the self-guided route I would suggest you hire a charter the first day. I will not recemend anyone in particular as they are all friends.

    The disadvantage of Whale Pass is the dirt road. You mention you have non-fisherman in the group. It will be difficult for them to find something to do every day. The roads to Coffman Cove and Thorne Bay are paved. Kayak and bike rentals are available in Coffman Cove. Luck, Sweetwater and Barnes Lakes offer excellent kayaking. The chances of seeing another kayaker are about one in a hundred.

    Coffman Cove has excellent shrimping and crabing, the best bar on the island, an eatery and the friendliest people you will find anywhere. Good luck on trip to POW.

  5. #5
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    Thorne Bay, AK
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    Thorne Bay. There are things for non-fishers to do there, either in the city, or by driving to Klawock/Craig. You can't get to those places from Whale Pass and back in a day unless they really enjoy driving all day.
    T.B. now has a cafe that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; it has the best food market on the island, tackle, fuel, etc.. The fishing for the species you are interested in, including crab and shrimp are all found within ten to fifteen minutes of the dock in (usually) protected waters. You can always take a day trip up to Whale Pass should you feel the need, but few people do that from T.B. as there is enough action in the salt and in the river.

  6. #6

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    Someone needs to start a boat rental in Craig.. (grin) How's that for making things even more confusing. haha

  7. #7
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    Thank you all for your input. It sounds like everyone is in agreement about more amenities at Thorne Bay and Coffman Cove. I was thinking Whale Pass based on the Neck Lake Hatchery salmon fishing and also thought a more remote location would translate into better fishing for other ocean species. Perhaps I need to re-think that?

  8. #8
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    Apr 2006
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    Coffman Cove, POW, Alaska
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    Funny you say that 270, Chet and I talked about it over there but he said it would be crazy. I didn't know why but after fishing there this fall, you couldn't carry enough insurance! Funny thing is I never realized why they ask every year if my boats will be used on the West Side. The boats you fellas use are awesome for the job though and the fishing is second to none.

    Torpedo, If you have non fishing partners, I would stay in Coffman, TB, or Craig. I know you like the self guided option but you could also pull off a guided trip for pretty reasonable I figure. IMHO if you want to go guided try http://www.wetherbeeslodge.com/rates.html he is a fishing fanatic and has a beautiful place. Also look at the West Side options out of Craig if you decide to go guided.

    I am hunting in Canada right now but if you like, give me a call again next week and I can give you some options island wide. Good luck, thanks for looking at POW.

    Gooch
    Mike
    www.coffmancoveak.com
    Prince of Wales Island

  9. #9

    Default

    SE humps it up crazy right in front of town, no doubt!

    We do have a few fishes swimming around though!

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