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Thread: Lingcod scene on Kodiak?

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    Member Kodiakfly's Avatar
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    Default Lingcod scene on Kodiak?

    Heading back for my second Kodiak tour...this time with my own boat. My last Kodiak tour I didn't have a boat and was at the mercy of others and all they wanted were halibut and salmon...and that was fine. Did open water salmon and halibut on a fly, so I know what I'm getting into and I have the gear for it. But never saw a lingcod, even as bycatch.

    So I guess my question is, what should I expect, and how difficult is this going to be? All the reading I've done on ling is that they get fished out quickly, pressure messes them up, early season is best and so on... Having friends in Kodiak, I've asked them about lingcod and not a single one of them has ever targeted them and most don't even know anyone that does! I've not talked to any charters off the island, but plan to.

    So basically, how much pressure do Kodiak lingcod get, and how's their population there? A monster would be nice, but I'm just looking to get into respectable fish on a fly. I'm in a 20' bay boat, so I'm not headed way offshore and will be fishing day trips around Chiniak, Woody and Long Is and the area. I assume I'll be hitting the rocks, pinnacles and kelp? I'll be after rockfish as well, but lings will be the main target.

    I like fly fishing big fish with teeth and ling fit the bill. Any and all advice is welcomed.


  2. #2

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    They're around, but scattered. Trouble is, once they're "found" by more than one person word spells quick and the hot spot moves into the has-been category. They seem real slow to move back into an area once picked out. In other words, if anyone is willing to tell you about a hot spot, it's probably a has-been. Guys keep mum on where they're getting them today.

    Round numbers I've found them in 90-120 feet in or adjacent to high energy areas where the current reliably brings food to them.

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    Member Kodiakfly's Avatar
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    Thanks. Sound like muskies.

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    It really is hard to give tips out on such a thinly spread and fragile stock
    as much as i'd like to help out a sport fisherman, who probably isn't going to over do it

    It's the way it goes around on places like a CG base,...(Thankful for those guys, but you know the reality right)
    just makes a guy nervous

    Truth is not many do target them, as a result, there is success to be found
    but you'll be traveliing a little farther than you mention,...not offshore, just farther from town
    won't be risky, just a little more fuel,...
    Having your own boat to explore with,...Perfect !!

    I will say they are still around, if you do the work, you'll find some nice ones, because they aren't easy to find, a lot of guys are not interested, when Salmon and Halibut are so easy to "Stumble Into," in comparison
    and you'll find quite the variety pack of great tasting Rockfish, Octopus even, while you're searching
    Rockpiles are great Fishing Country,...beats the heck out of most Halibut and Salmon grounds for entertainment value

    Lots of Current, and Pinnacle country, is going to work for you,...and out beyond the kelp in my opinion, not enough current in there
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Based on pictures and reports from a buddy who has a boat based in Kodiak, the ling fishing can be fantastic. The downside is I don't think a 20' bay boat is going to be suitable as you're going to have to head a bit offshore to get to them.

    For lings just look for pinnacles and underwater cliffs and drift your way down from the high points.
    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.

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    Member Kodiakfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    It really is hard to give tips out on such a thinly spread and fragile stock
    as much as i'd like to help out a sport fisherman, who probably isn't going to over do it

    It's the way it goes around on places like a CG base,...(Thankful for those guys, but you know the reality right)
    just makes a guy nervous

    Truth is not many do target them, as a result, there is success to be found
    but you'll be traveliing a little farther than you mention,...not offshore, just farther from town
    won't be risky, just a little more fuel,...
    Having your own boat to explore with,...Perfect !!

    I will say they are still around, if you do the work, you'll find some nice ones, because they aren't easy to find, a lot of guys are not interested, when Salmon and Halibut are so easy to "Stumble Into," in comparison
    and you'll find quite the variety pack of great tasting Rockfish, Octopus even, while you're searching
    Rockpiles are great Fishing Country,...beats the heck out of most Halibut and Salmon grounds for entertainment value

    Lots of Current, and Pinnacle country, is going to work for you,...and out beyond the kelp in my opinion, not enough current in there
    Thanks for the reply. I understand being tight lipped...that's the nature of muskie fishing as well so I'm used to it. It's often hard to find people that want to fish with a fly fisherman and not be able to troll or fish in 300' of water, so secrets stay in my boat pretty easily! I don't want you to think I'm looking for spots; I'm just wanting to know if I'm wasting my time or not. I'm 100% flyfishing, to the point of not even owning conventional gear. So if it's a thin fishery on gear, it'll be even worse on fly and if I'm wasting my time, I'll move onto something else. In addition to being fly-only, I usually fish alone (fishing with my wife being the exception) so I don't even have anyone in the boat who can "prospect" on gear. If you tell me the fish are there, then I can do it, knowing I'm not casting to nothing. Great advice, and I appreciate it. Kelp will work for other species though, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Based on pictures and reports from a buddy who has a boat based in Kodiak, the ling fishing can be fantastic. The downside is I don't think a 20' bay boat is going to be suitable as you're going to have to head a bit offshore to get to them.

    For lings just look for pinnacles and underwater cliffs and drift your way down from the high points.
    I've been told that, lol. But I'm not looking to transit to the north end of Afognak and I know I'll have to pick my days, but it'll suit my needs fine. My boat is bigger than what I fished out of my last tour in Kodiak! I'm not saying it was wise, but we'd hit Williams Reef and beyond in Zodiacs and little Whalers. Older and wiser now, I don't plan to get too carried away.

    Thanks for the advice guys. Especially to a "transplant" Coastie...though I have maintained my AK residency/truck registration, etc, since I left.

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    Default Re: Lingcod scene on Kodiak?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiakfly View Post
    Thanks for the reply. I understand being tight lipped...that's the nature of muskie fishing as well so I'm used to it. It's often hard to find people that want to fish with a fly fisherman and not be able to troll or fish in 300' of water, so secrets stay in my boat pretty easily! I don't want you to think I'm looking for spots; I'm just wanting to know if I'm wasting my time or not. I'm 100% flyfishing, to the point of not even owning conventional gear. So if it's a thin fishery on gear, it'll be even worse on fly and if I'm wasting my time, I'll move onto something else. In addition to being fly-only, I usually fish alone (fishing with my wife being the exception) so I don't even have anyone in the boat who can "prospect" on gear. If you tell me the fish are there, then I can do it, knowing I'm not casting to nothing. Great advice, and I appreciate it. Kelp will work for other species though, right?



    I've been told that, lol. But I'm not looking to transit to the north end of Afognak and I know I'll have to pick my days, but it'll suit my needs fine. My boat is bigger than what I fished out of my last tour in Kodiak! I'm not saying it was wise, but we'd hit Williams Reef and beyond in Zodiacs and little Whalers. Older and wiser now, I don't plan to get too carried away.

    Thanks for the advice guys. Especially to a "transplant" Coastie...though I have maintained my AK residency/truck registration, etc, since I left.
    I fished Williams too when I was there. Usually in a Morale whaler.

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiakfly View Post
    I'm 100% flyfishing, to the point of not even owning conventional gear. So if it's a thin fishery on gear, it'll be even worse on fly and if I'm wasting my time, I'll move onto something else. In addition to being fly-only, I usually fish alone (fishing with my wife being the exception) so I don't even have anyone in the boat who can "prospect" on gear. If you tell me the fish are there, then I can do it, knowing I'm not casting to nothing. Great advice, and I appreciate it. Kelp will work for other species though, right?

    My boat is bigger than what I fished out of my last tour in Kodiak! I'm not saying it was wise, but we'd hit Williams Reef and beyond in Zodiacs and little Whalers. Older and wiser now, I don't plan to get too carried away.

    Thanks for the advice guys. Especially to a "transplant" Coastie...though I have maintained my AK residency/truck registration, etc, since I left.
    I am sure your boat is big enough, as you know, those Morale Whalers are all over, out to their limit anyway,..
    Picking your weather, I think you can get to some good Ling Cod grounds

    as to the "Fly Only," aspect,....I'm not a sport fisherman, so take this for what it's worth,...but,
    as a Commercial Jig Fisherman, I've never seen Lings hanging/feeding up on the surface (as other Rockfish sometimes do,...)
    always pick them up low on the water column

    So, I imagine you might be wasting your time on that, but it's probably worth some serious effort,
    they're usually sitting down at the base of 60ft or so, pinnacles
    Can be drawn up with a Jig setup, but I've never seen one caught up near the surface either,...

    That said, they are Notably Voracious Predators, more attacking than about any groundfish species I've seen,...so you might be onto some serious excitement too

    Yes, the Kelp line is a productive area for all kinds of Rockfish, even some nice Halibut sometimes in later summer

    and as to your being a, "transplant Coastie,"...we Completely Appreciate you guys,
    you're welcome to any help I can come up with for sure
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post

    as to the "Fly Only," aspect,....I'm not a sport fisherman, so take this for what it's worth,...but,
    as a Commercial Jig Fisherman, I've never seen Lings hanging/feeding up on the surface (as other Rockfish sometimes do,...)
    always pick them up low on the water column.....

    .....and as to your being a, "transplant Coastie,"...we Completely Appreciate you guys,
    you're welcome to any help I can come up with for sure
    Thanks for the advice. I appreciate the help.

    As for the surface, they needn't be. My first 10-15 halibut on a fly were off the bottom in 200' of water. 750 gr line, cast it out and feed backing until judging by angle and speed of current you guess you're on the bottom and you start stripping! No weights, no downriggers, no bait; true fly gear. I caught halibut, an octopus and a few sea anenomae doing that! I've got other (more efficient) plans for halibut on fly this time around. Its tougher in deep water, but with enough patience it can be done. There are limitations; I mean, I don't plan to be in 600' looking for black cod but 200' and less over a flat is doable. Trying to hit a pinnacle in that depth would be more trouble than it's worth, but 60-75' is fishable.

    Thanks for the help. I appreciate you guys steepening my learning curve.

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    A little more info that might help you with ling on the fly. I've seen it done several times on Kodiak, including a few fish in the IGFA records. And it kind of beats the issue of hitting a pinnacle with a fly when drifting. Every single one involved two anglers- one jigging and the other standing by with a fly rod once a ling was hooked. Often when you hook a ling and bring it up, there will be one or two others coming up with it, clearly trying to take away the hook. Second guy with a fly rod makes a quick cast to the "extra" ling dragged to the surface, and bingo.

    On the bottom-grabbing hooks, I tie my halibut flies with a mono loop to make them "weedless." You can drag them right through rocks, kelp and anenome without snagging, yet they hook fish just fine.

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Check your PM's.

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    Member Kodiakfly's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'd read about the two-angler approach and bringing one up. I've even had that myself with open water salmon...I brought up a dozen silvers trying to get the fly from the one I had hooked. That may be an option, other than I normally fish alone. I suppose I could jig one up and put the rod in a holder with the fish on boatside. Unless that would exceed my daily bag of lings; having one in "possession" on the hook while I mess with another one on a fly...I haven't even checked what limits are on them? But I'm getting ahead of myself. I gotta find them first! LOl

    Thanks John...yes CG. I'm sending you an email now.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    You can only fish one rod per person when sport fishing.

    I've taken lings in 50' of water so you don't necessarily have to fish super deep, in fact I've hooked quite a few in under 100' of water.
    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.

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    Member Kodiakfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    You can only fish one rod per person when sport fishing.

    I've taken lings in 50' of water so you don't necessarily have to fish super deep, in fact I've hooked quite a few in under 100' of water.
    Well I guess that answers that about jigging one up by myself! I still haven't reacquainted myself with AK game laws.

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