Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27

Thread: Rockfish in PWS

  1. #1
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    646

    Default Rockfish in PWS

    I'm curious what types and how close in folks are catching rockfish in PWS.
    In Seward we'd hit the rockpiles in shallower waters with bucktail jigs and absolutely slaughter the black's.
    What is the preferred method to fish for them? We've had basically no success with the exact same bucktail jigs. I know this to be fact because they were leftovers from when I was stationed at Elmendorf. Basic orange head with white bucktail purchased from the tackle shop at the Seward boat launch.
    Our experience is that "most" of the rockfish we caught were half-way down Knight Island Passage or points further south.
    As for types of rockies we catch about the same quantities of yelloweye, quillback, and china's and unless my memory has failed me ~ I don't recall catching ANY black rockfish.
    We usually fish bait after failed attempts [and in close early before the water temps warmed] out at the rock tailings off western Green Island where we got shut out with both jigs and bait.

  2. #2
    Member DMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Wasilla, AK
    Posts
    1,412

    Default

    There are rockfish in northern PWS but they are small and usually China or Quill.... I only know of one spot that I can pick up some blacks on occasion. Unfortunately my experience with rockfish has been about like halibut, the further south you go the better it gets. Just what I have experienced....
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

  3. #3
    Member Andy82Hoyt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    420

    Default

    I have picked up some nice ones in culross, probably about the middle of the pass. mostly dusky and yellow eye. Around Perry has been productive to, but deep. buzz bombs or herring!

  4. #4
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    When it comes to fishing the sound, it's more likely how far you have to do, not how close. Also the sound is generally much deeper than Seward, so expect to have to fish deeper. If you can find a 50' deep pinnacle, great, but expect to be fishing 100-300' deep in water that drops off to 1000-2000 feet deep. Check the charts for areas that show allot of relief and steep drop offs. They don't have to be pinnacles perse, cliffs can be just as productive, sometimes more so. There are ridges that extend from the islands down into the water and drop off steeply, give these a try.

    My experience has been that good rockfishing begins in the mid sound i.e. Knight. If you are in a glacial fed fjord than don't expect much until you head into water that isn't silty. I don't think I've ever taken a rock fish in Passage Canal, though did catch an eel this past summer. I generally don't bother dropping a hook until well out into the sound, though sometimes if weather prevents going further out or we have to head back early due to weather I'll do some fishing closer in. I've caught small rockfish all around Culross, but the fishing is typically much better further out. I have occasionally gotten into some pretty good blacks and duskies on the W side of Knight, but that area has been hit or miss for me over the years.

    I've caught all types of rockfish on all types of jigs, but typically quillbacks and yellow eyes. Sometimes I'm fishing fairly deep and fighting current so use relatively heavy lead heads or butterfly style jigs. In shallower more protected waters I'll use a 2-4 oz dart, crippled herring etc. Lots of times I take rock fish while fishing for lings, so on larger jigs. A good selection of lead heads with large grubs or chads, metal bodied jigs etc from 2-24 oz is what I take to the sound, though 8-16 oz gets the most use.

    I'd say in general the fishing out of Seward is superior to PWS, just the way it is. It seems in Resserection bay you can drop a jig almost anywhere and come up with something, not so much in PWS. I think part of that has to due with Seward having more water moving as it's not protected and the water movement moves more bait, which produces more fish. If you find areas in the sound that have more current moving, i.e. the tips of islands, you might find some good fishing, weather permitting.
    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.

  5. #5
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    646

    Default

    Seems our experiences ares typical for this fishery. Thanks for your time and comments. Is it time to go fish yet??? PWS is 15 & 3 today after back to back low pressure systems and 6-7 foot seas. I can't see myself trailering a boat down on potentially icy roads though. And there there's the slick boat launch ramp...

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Seward
    Posts
    77

    Default

    We have as others have indicated the best fishing away from Whittier. The further the better.
    We've also found that fishing deep, as in 6-900' is productive.

  7. #7
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    With the minimal daylight, it's tough to get much fishing in unless you do an overnight trip, and the weather changes so quickly that an overnight trip is real iffy. Might be worth waiting until the shrimp opener.

    I forgot to mention, your jigs are probably fine, it's just a matter of finding the fish. I won't say the type of tackle you use doesn't matter, but I honestly can't say I've found one jig to be vastly superior to others in regards to rock fish. When fishing is slow I'll change things up just because, but we've taken just as many rockfish on leadheads with various colors of grubs as we have metal slab jigs. It's a good idea to carry a variety of jigs, you will loose some and there's not reason to use a jig any heavier than necessary, but sometimes it's necessary to go heavy.



    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.

  8. #8
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    646

    Default

    Right on! I have studded tires, weight in the pick-up bed and tire chains but no winch for the slippery boat launch. But, likeyouíve said, there are pretty challenging variables with potential for seriousconsequences. Now that you mention light...something else I hadn't considered... Even as we eclipse 8 hours visible daylight Wednesday, that's still not a lot when you consider I'd be crabbing right now. Only allows for one short soak unless you can overnight and that doesn't make for a long set.
    My personal goal based on [hope and prayer] weather is to get out in March two times to set Tanner crab pots before the March 30th closure.
    We had a great shrimp opener last year despite record snows so I am very hopeful.
    Immediately after initial shrimp ~ it's all hands on deck to get my wife her first spring black bear.
    Thanks for taking time to post the pictures ~ you can rest assured I'll be scrutinizing them...

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    With the minimal daylight, it's tough to get much fishing in unless you do an overnight trip, and the weather changes so quickly that an overnight trip is real iffy. Might be worth waiting until the shrimp opener.

    I forgot to mention, your jigs are probably fine, it's just a matter of finding the fish. I won't say the type of tackle you use doesn't matter, but I honestly can't say I've found one jig to be vastly superior to others in regards to rock fish. When fishing is slow I'll change things up just because, but we've taken just as many rockfish on leadheads with various colors of grubs as we have metal slab jigs. It's a good idea to carry a variety of jigs, you will loose some and there's not reason to use a jig any heavier than necessary, but sometimes it's necessary to go heavy.




  9. #9
    Member breausaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    830

    Default

    I really like the 11 piece combination wrench set, use similar tools of the trade with good results.
    Seriously though, love the rock fish. Itís really a treat to hit a school of feeding blacks, when it doesnít matter whats on the hook. Or when youíre fishing the bottom and the fish finder shows a school moving through, you pull up and start nailing the buggers mid depth.
    We spend close to 6 weeks in PWS most summers and limit out on rocks most trips.
    Have never had much luck early spring, April mostly, the rocks are elusive. Maybe need to go deep, way deep perhaps, try flashers maybe.


    [QUOTE


    Paul H;1228276]

    [/QUOTE]
    Jay
    07 C-Dory 25 Cruiser
    OurPlayground.


  10. #10

    Default

    In regards to the rock fish, do you see many small skiffs, rafts or drift boats with small kickers out there fishing for them? how about halibut? I know they don't get out too far because of the danger. And when is the shrimp opener?

    Thanks!

  11. #11
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,391

    Default

    Whittier is not an ideal location for small skiffs with kickers due to the tendency of the wind to pick up quickly and the distance necessary to get into decent fishing. There are a handful of people who fish just outside the harbor in small boats, but the success rate is fairly dismal. If I were fishing out of a small skiff, I'd likely go out of Seward or Homer - though even in those places you've got to watch the weather very carefully. Both of those ports offer better close-to-port fishing, though.

  12. #12
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,690

    Default

    I went out of Seward many times when my friend worked at Spring Creek. He had a 28' Bayliner. He had a spot that had a 50' pinnacle loaded with Black Bass. We would throw out a clorox jug with a 3 pound weight to mark the spot.When the drift brought us to deeper water he would motor back to the jug and we instantly were hooked up

  13. #13
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    4,229

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MTfisher View Post
    In regards to the rock fish, do you see many small skiffs, rafts or drift boats with small kickers out there fishing for them? how about halibut? I know they don't get out too far because of the danger. And when is the shrimp opener?

    Thanks!
    Shrimp opens April 15th

    Alaska Shrimp Pots

    Rigid & Folding Shrimp & Crab Pots
    Electra Dyne Pot Haulers
    Ropes, Buoys, Bait
    alaskashrimppots.com
    akshrimppots@mtaonline.net
    907 775 1692

  14. #14
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    646

    Default

    If you take a smaller craft out of Seward watch out for large waves cast off from some of those bigger tour boats. Remember depending on where you are, you might not even see the tour boat ~ their waves can travel long distances. We were part of a recovery operation last season when a skiff took a wave over the bow and sank. One of the three on board didn't make it...
    You can catch some shrimp at Whittier from a skiff within sight of the harbor. Just don't expect to put up huge numbers but it can be decent.
    Closest rockfish we've taken from Whittier was about an hour out based on cruising ~ 28 MPH ground speed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Whittier is not an ideal location for small skiffs with kickers due to the tendency of the wind to pick up quickly and the distance necessary to get into decent fishing. There are a handful of people who fish just outside the harbor in small boats, but the success rate is fairly dismal. If I were fishing out of a small skiff, I'd likely go out of Seward or Homer - though even in those places you've got to watch the weather very carefully. Both of those ports offer better close-to-port fishing, though.

  15. #15
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    646

    Default

    Resurgence of this thread gave me time to look over your jigs and I see two things right off that stand out. While I have similar metal jigs [crippled herring] all their [single] hooks are on the bottom. I've never seen anything like you have pictured. Is this configuration with the hooks at the head to help keep them from getting hung up? Then there's the issue with 2 each ~ don't they foul?
    I see your longer jigs also have trailer hooks. In your experience, do you find fish primarily hooked on the aft or is this to possibly pick up some of the smaller fish who may only be grabbing the tail section?
    Lastly, I see you crimp onto the eyelet versus the hook. I suppose this provides a stronger set up but it does look a bit precarious. Does the trail end up tearing the skirt when the fish pulls?
    Looks like you have a little of everything from size to color. I'm looking forward to stocking up during Sportsman's Warehouse military and public safety appreciation day sometime in February. They will release the exact date in early February.
    Quote Originally Posted by AKluvr95 View Post
    Right on! I have studded tires, weight in the pick-up bed and tire chains but no winch for the slippery boat launch. But, likeyouíve said, there are pretty challenging variables with potential for seriousconsequences. Now that you mention light...something else I hadn't considered... Even as we eclipse 8 hours visible daylight Wednesday, that's still not a lot when you consider I'd be crabbing right now. Only allows for one short soak unless you can overnight and that doesn't make for a long set.
    My personal goal based on [hope and prayer] weather is to get out in March two times to set Tanner crab pots before the March 30th closure.
    We had a great shrimp opener last year despite record snows so I am very hopeful.
    Immediately after initial shrimp ~ it's all hands on deck to get my wife her first spring black bear.
    Thanks for taking time to post the pictures ~ you can rest assured I'll be scrutinizing them...

  16. #16
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    You should look up Butterfly or Speed jigs, the hook off the top of the jig has been in use for about two decades now, though it has probably only started really catching on up here in the past 5 years or so.

    There are several advantages to the configuration. As you mention they are less susceptable to fouling, though you will still loose some jigs to the rocks. Since your line is tied directly to the hook and the jig is essentially just a weight once you've hooked a fish, the fish can't use the jig to provide leverage to get off the hook. You can run one or two hooks, I've typically run two and haven't had problems with them fouling, again as your line is tied directly to the hook(s) you don't have the jig causing the hook to hook the line on the drop. The only disadvantage to the second hook is it can get hung up in the net when landing a fish.

    As to the assist hooks on the lead heads, I've had quite a few lingcod short strike me which gets real frustrating. I haven't had a problem with the lines pulling apart the grubs, the grubs die by being chewed up by the fish. Tieing the assist on the hook is a perfectly good option and allows you to remove the hook and run a second hook off the leader about 18" from the jig if you want to try that setup. I've taken fish off of both hooks, it's mainly wanting to get the fish that short strike the longer grub and chad.

    The nice thing about having a good selection and qty of jigs is when you have a day where the rocks are winning, you don't get too much heartburn. That's not all the jigs I have or carry on board, but at some point there are only so many jigs you can try in a day.

    Check ebay and craigslist for jigs, sometimes you can get some great deals. Somebody sent me a link to a craigslist add a few years back for jigs in I think Washington state and I got something like 4 speed jigs, (3) 24 oz leadheads, (3) 16 oz leadheads, (12) 8 oz leadheads shipped for ~$80.
    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.

  17. #17
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Whittier is not an ideal location for small skiffs with kickers due to the tendency of the wind to pick up quickly and the distance necessary to get into decent fishing. There are a handful of people who fish just outside the harbor in small boats, but the success rate is fairly dismal. If I were fishing out of a small skiff, I'd likely go out of Seward or Homer - though even in those places you've got to watch the weather very carefully. Both of those ports offer better close-to-port fishing, though.

    While I agree that a small skiff is a poor choice out of Whittier, i.e. anything under 20', I don't really agree that a smaller skiff is a good choice out of Seward. You still have to make a pretty decent run to the mouth of the bay, and unlike Whittier, there is no place to hole up when things get rough.

    The biggest problem with small boat in the salt in Southcentral is there are so few days that you can safely take one out. If you live in a port city, not a huge problem. If you've spent several hours towing to port, there is a big probability your judgement will be clouded and you'll think it isn't that bad out there and go out when you shouldn't.
    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.

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    2,127

    Default

    Here's the ones I got last year, work very well and extremely inexpensive for what you get.....don't even need to buy or salvage a wrench purse.

    http://www.catchalltackle.com/servle...JIG-SET/Detail

    I ended up replacing the line to the hooks with gangion line....their stuff kinda frays but nice hooks and good lures for sure.

  19. #19
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,230

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    The only disadvantage to the second hook is it can get hung up in the net when landing a fish.


    I agree with what Paul said, but would add one other disadvantage to running two assist hooks. If the fish doesn't eat both hooks this leaves a very sharp hook on a short leash flailing around as the fish is flopping on the deck. I have heard of people getting hooked. I run just one assist hook and it has not seemed to hurt my hook up. Running a stiff mono leader will help keep the hook from fouling on the line as well. They also sell hooks with a reverse barb. I have not tried them, yet.

    Here is a tutorial on tying your own assist hooks: http://www.360tuna.com/forum/f68/int...449/#post46302
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  20. #20
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    646

    Default

    I've already got about this many very similar to these. Only difference is I don't have the hooks at the top. I suppose a person would need some sort of crimper to change hooks to the top. I wonder if I should I go ahead and change now or use them as is and switch through attrition? Then there seems to be some sort of heat-shrink too...

    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    Here's the ones I got last year, work very well and extremely inexpensive for what you get.....don't even need to buy or salvage a wrench purse.

    http://www.catchalltackle.com/servle...JIG-SET/Detail

    I ended up replacing the line to the hooks with gangion line....their stuff kinda frays but nice hooks and good lures for sure.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •