Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Lesson on strange Waters?

  1. #1
    Member tboehm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Soldotna AK
    Posts
    2,407

    Default Lesson on strange Waters?

    Just wondering if some of the experts here can offer some advice on approaches and tactics for fishing strange waters. A group of us are going to Prince of wales island Thorne bay area in the first week of july. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.

    We do plan on using a guide for one of the days as well.

    Just wondering if you would be willing to share how you go about looking at unfamiliar waters. Do you get charts? What kind of things do you look for in structure on your finders? What depths are you looking for? How are you playing the tides? ETC...Any and all thoughts or insights would be appreciated.

    We are not all total rookies. One member is an alaskan but with limited salt experience. I have 3 trips under my belt and the others are total rookies.

    I know our host will offer plenty of areas and advice but I would like to learn as well.

    I think that the normal plan would be to troll for kings first and then chase halibuts after.

    Thanks again for the help.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

  2. #2

    Default

    Kinda depends on what species you're looking for, but as a rule of thumb on strange waters I first check the "high energy" areas, all the while watching for bait sign, both in the air (birds) and in the water (fathometer and whales). I spot most high energy locations ahead of time on charts- places where two currents are likely to meet on tides, around the ends of reefs and headlands, and narrow troughs leading from deep water to shallow.

    Dunno the POW area from the back side of the moon, but that's how I'd approach it, along with the local reports you already have lined up. I'm betting some, if not a big part, of the places you find are high energy. That's where bait tends to collect and the predators wait for the bait.

  3. #3

    Default

    For navigational purposes obviously the charts are the most important thing to have, but make sure you get a copy of the Alaska Coast Pilot (http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/nsd/cpdownload.htm) for the waters you intend on fishing. It gives you much more detailed, and more current data on navigational concerns. It can be an invaluable aid if you don't know the waters you'll be traversing.

    And as for fishing advice, lacking any actual advice from people that have fished the area I'd certainly say studying the charts for "fishy" spots would be your first line of offense. Halibut, ling and rockfish spots are going to be pretty easy to spot since you're looking for structure such as pinnacles and such and halibut just love drop offs and structure they can hide behind when the tide is running. But once again that can be very situational. People fish out of Whittier at times in a much different way than they would around Homer.

    Kings could be a bit of a question mark because "local knowledge" certainly is paramount. Using Homer as an example I can point to about 20 different spots around the bay and out into the inlet where I've caught kings, but as to where the fish are at any particular time it changes daily and seasonally. People were catching kings hand over fish right off the end of The Spit in Sept., but I've trolled there, and I know others have too lately, and I haven't heard of a single king being caught there. Hopefully your host can give you some "contacts" for the insider info like that.

    Another thing you could do is just contact some guides that fish that area and ask them for advice. Some guides aren't too keen on sharing info, but some are. I am always happy to tell people where to go (in the GOOD way) when they ask me advice on where to fish around here. If you get a guide willing to share some info it could make your fishing day, for sure.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,959

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    Just wondering if some of the experts here can offer some advice on approaches and tactics for fishing strange waters. A group of us are going to Prince of wales island Thorne bay area in the first week of july. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.

    We do plan on using a guide for one of the days as well.

    Just wondering if you would be willing to share how you go about looking at unfamiliar waters. Do you get charts? What kind of things do you look for in structure on your finders? What depths are you looking for? How are you playing the tides? ETC...Any and all thoughts or insights would be appreciated.

    We are not all total rookies. One member is an alaskan but with limited salt experience. I have 3 trips under my belt and the others are total rookies.

    I know our host will offer plenty of areas and advice but I would like to learn as well.

    I think that the normal plan would be to troll for kings first and then chase halibuts after.

    Thanks again for the help.
    You have the right idea here. I would go with the guide the first day and ask questions and take notes. I had a group of clients that showed up on my boat with a GPS I asked him what he was going to be doing with that? He told me mark fishing spots so they could come back to them with thier boat.
    I gave him two options turn it off and give it to me to hold onto for the day, or fish some places I hate to fish! I got to hold on to the GPS, and we had a great day!

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MGH55 View Post
    You have the right idea here. I would go with the guide the first day and ask questions and take notes. I had a group of clients that showed up on my boat with a GPS I asked him what he was going to be doing with that? He told me mark fishing spots so they could come back to them with thier boat.
    I gave him two options turn it off and give it to me to hold onto for the day, or fish some places I hate to fish! I got to hold on to the GPS, and we had a great day!
    Like I said, some captains won't tell you where good places are to fish and some won't. So give it a try. If you were fishing around here for halibut and kings I'd be more than happy to give you some good spots to fish. If you wanted to come down and fish for kings tomorrow I'd be happy to tell you where we were catching them day before yesterday. Hopefully you'll find someone that would be willing to help you.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Coffman Cove, POW, Alaska
    Posts
    753

    Default

    The 20 fathom bank (to the right as you leave TB) is a good bet. Also look at where other fishers are trolling, butt fishing, etc and you'll have a ball. The guides there are pretty good fellas and will show you techniques that will pay off, good call on the guide. There are quite a few boats that fish out of there, pay attention, ask your host, and crush them. A trip to Nick Lake is a must as well for silvers, limits abound then.

    GOoch
    Mike
    www.coffmancoveak.com
    Prince of Wales Island

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,959

    Default

    It's not that I would not give good information to someone to help them. It is that no charter Capt wants to head to where he fished the day before, and have the guys that fished with him sitting on the same numbers! I have seen this happen to more then one guy. I would be more than happy to give some good numbers to someone if they asked, but would never give them my best spots.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Wasilla, AK
    Posts
    71

    Default

    Devil Dog, I'm not an expert but I have caught some good fish.

    The first thing I would do is look at area's that look good for what species your going to target. Personally, I look for halibut area's first, and the salmon play second fiddle to my fishing day. Depending on the tide, determines where I go fishing. High tides or fast water means I focus on pinnacles. Slow tides for me and I focus on troughs. I would determine the days your going to be out and look for structure to accomodate the tide.

    The tide should determine "what" you should fish for first. If the tide is fast in the AM....fish salmon first and fish for halibut on the better afternoon tide change over. If the best tide change over is in the AM, fish for halibut first and then salmon on the second change over.

    The bottom line: focus on the slowest tide change over and fish for halibut during that change. I would make sure to anchor up with a nice scent bag attached a minimum of an hour before the change over. Stay there for an additional hour after the change over and call it a day of fishing for halibut. When the tide picks up and your halibut fishing is all but over that's when it's time to change gears and go after salmon.

    Keep bait in the water all the time and prepare to gear up and fish with Jigs. I personally catch bigger fish jigging.

    As far as asking a charter for help...I wouldn't waste my time. Chances are you'll be disappointed with the information your going to get. Your playing with his lively hood. I find it better to find a private boater coming into the docks with a monster smile and ask for advise. You should ask for an area to fish and not a spot. Hopefully he'll be receptive to helping a fellow fisherman. If your really lucky, you'll find a guy like me and I'll show you some spots. Some day you'll be the guy who knows your own spots and then I would expect you to pay it forward.

    Happy fishing and good luck.
    Robert

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Anchor Point
    Posts
    162

    Default

    First thing i would do is talk to your host and find out how sucessful they are.
    Then ask if they have any local friends who are sucessful fisherman.
    Hiring a guide is always a good idea to learn a new area.
    I learned where and how to fish there from the locals in the RV Park.
    I have trailered my boat a few times to Clover Pass in Ketchikan. I have caught a lot of silvers across the bay off Caamino Point. I have fished several times off the south end of POW at Cape Chacon. Try fishing off any point for salmon. Try fishing off the beaches where streams enter
    the bay.
    My silver salmon setup was a flasher and a 10-12 inch mono leader with a green or pink hoochie.
    I use a downrigger and fished anywhere from 10-50ft.
    Buy some charts of the area you are going to. Look for bottom structure and try for halibut and rockcod and lingcod.
    My favorite halibut bait was a salmon head and backbone.
    Be aware of each days tides and weather forecast. The water can get nasty.
    Good Luck,
    Ken (Tiderunner)

  10. #10

    Default

    I doubt any guide is going to fish within range of your rental boat out of Thorne Bay, unless you request it. They'll want to head across to Union or up by Gooch.

    Ask the guide to point out all the "local" spots as you fly by them. Also ask the rental operation to fill you in. Going in blind will be brutal unless someone points you in the right direction.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    205

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    I doubt any guide is going to fish within range of your rental boat out of Thorne Bay, unless you request it. They'll want to head across to Union or up by Gooch.

    Ask the guide to point out all the "local" spots as you fly by them. Also ask the rental operation to fill you in. Going in blind will be brutal unless someone points you in the right direction.
    Been there, done that in POW/Thorne Bay and this is the fact. Your skiff isn't going to go near where charters go. Get the guide first day, have him show you "skiff able" spots in and just outside of the bay, drop crabs pots and have a ball.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    311

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mt al View Post
    Been there, done that in POW/Thorne Bay and this is the fact. Your skiff isn't going to go near where charters go. Get the guide first day, have him show you "skiff able" spots in and just outside of the bay, drop crabs pots and have a ball.
    DEFINITELY drop some crab pots. There are some really nice dungeness in there. Be careful if you decide to fish the creeks from shore or creek mouths from the boat; there are LOTS of bears.

    Erik

  13. #13
    Member tboehm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Soldotna AK
    Posts
    2,407

    Default

    I can't thank everyone enough and appreciate the advice so far. One thing that I should mention is that we have upgraded from the skiff and will be in a 19' with a 115 and a 15hp kicker so our range should be a little more.

    Please keep it coming
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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
  •