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Thread: Are There Winter Salmon Sharks in Kachemak Bay?

  1. #1

    Default Are There Winter Salmon Sharks in Kachemak Bay?

    I don't know that much about salmon shark behavior and was just wondering if anyone knows if they are in Kachemak Bay at this time of year. I was under the impression that they're migratory and only come up here during the summer to chase returning salmon.

    The other day we hooked into something that my friend Jane could not stop at all. It wasn't the bottom because we were trolling about 10 to 15 ft. off the bottom. And, besides, it was moving diagonally away from the direction the boat was drifting. At first we thought it was just a REALLY big king, but it would have had to have been a giant which seems pretty unlikely. Maybe a BIG halibut, but I've caught halibut as big as 75 lbs. while trolling before and was able to at least stop it and get it to the boat. Possibly a harbor porpoise because I know they are out there, but we didn't see any on the surface all day. Whatever it was it was totally unstoppable. We ended up cutting the line when the spool had about half emptied and it wasn't slowing down at all. We were afraid the rod was going to break because it just made a beeline away from us and wouldn't stop.
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  2. #2

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    could have been some old line on the bottom. Only you know if it was "alive" or not. Dead is usually dead though. The current can make things look alive as the boat moves the direction the current is flowing, as well as your forward speed.

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    yes. I think that the females typically leave to pup in warmer waters, but the males may hang out. Ken Goldman at F&G knows more about salmon sharks than nearly anybody, he is the guy to ask.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    could have been some old line on the bottom. Only you know if it was "alive" or not. Dead is usually dead though. The current can make things look alive as the boat moves the direction the current is flowing, as well as your forward speed.
    Yeah, I actually was thinking that at first, too. But after quickly analyzing the situation it was obvious it wasn't something on the bottom because the line was paying out in a direction about 80 degrees away from our drift direction. In other words we were drifting almost dead west and it was moving about 10 degrees west of north. So whatever it was IT was moving steadily away from US and our direction of drift. I just wish we had been able to at least see what it was. I'm losing sleep wondering about it!

    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    yes. I think that the females typically leave to pup in warmer waters, but the males may hang out. Ken Goldman at F&G knows more about salmon sharks than nearly anybody, he is the guy to ask.
    Thanks, Dave. I'll check on that.

    Though the salmon shark hypothesis would seem kind of unlikely, too. You'd think if it had grabbed the herring it would have cut the leader with it's teeth almost immediately. I can't imagine a salmon shark grabbing a green label herring and just holding onto it for the length of time we were "fighting" it without the line being cut. Maybe salmon sharks like flashers, though. I seem to remember hearing Josh say something on the radio once about the salmon shark he was having steal his gear out at 4th of July.
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    Member Waldo2382's Avatar
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    Yes, friends and myself have had salmon sharks take gear and fish in winter. Josh on the Huntress got one 3 or 4 years ago. That one had pups in her. http://homernews.com/stories/020310/news_3_002.shtml here's the article.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Waldo2382 View Post
    Yes, friends and myself have had salmon sharks take gear and fish in winter. Josh on the Huntress got one 3 or 4 years ago. That one had pups in her. http://homernews.com/stories/020310/news_3_002.shtml here's the article.
    Thanks for posting that. I couldn't remember when it was that he'd caught that one. In fact Jane and I debated when it was after we started thinking what we'd hooked into was a salmon shark.

    Yeah, I was out fishing about 50 to 100 yards from Josh most of that day and about 15 minutes before he caught that one I had caught my second king and headed for home. I saw the article in the Homer News a few days later and couldn't believe I'd missed them hook and land it.

    Thanks again.
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  7. #7

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    Hook into a 60lb king, and you'll feel "big". Those fish will spool you in a hurry if you don't know what you have. You never know where they'll be at this time of the year. Watched a guy hook a 63lb king last year right off of flat rock on the outside of Noyes. He thought he had bottom or a huge halibut for the first 10 minutes. Those of us around him gave him room as we knew what he had..

    Funny story..

    A few years ago I was working a kelp line at Hole in the Wall. Had "something" grab a clients cut plug and smoke half his line off his reel before my client put his thumb on the spool and he got off. Happened so fast I didn't have a chance to give chase. Figured it was a huge halibut or sealion. The very next day, watched a 60lb + king follow a cut plug up in that exact spot and bump it with it's nose at the surface. Huge king..

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    Mutt,

    The biggest battle on salmon gear I have ever seen on my boat turned out to be a foul hooked 45# halibut. We hooked the fish on an apex 60' down in 100' of water so we were all thinking BIG BIG KING when it took off. It sure was a surprise when we got it to the boat because it also fought so much like a salmon. It was foul hooked far enough back so there was no head shake. And it never made a run for the bottom either.

    A skate might also be a candidate for the one that got away. I am not sure if they hang around in the winter.

    Big_E

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    I just wish we had been able to at least see what it was. I'm losing sleep wondering about it!
    How come you didn't take off after it......just happen too fast???
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    Quote Originally Posted by vaaler View Post
    Mutt,

    The biggest battle on salmon gear I have ever seen on my boat turned out to be a foul hooked 45# halibut.
    I belly hooked about a 30# butt once while on anchor and the tide just a rippin'.........thought I had a whale...!!!.....lol
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    How come you didn't take off after it......just happen too fast???
    Whatever it was hit on the port side downrigger and immediately took off 90 degrees to starboard and within seconds the line was under the boat and headed directly away from us under the boat. I had to cut the motor immediately because I was afraid it might veer off and get the line caught in a prop. Jane's rod was doubled over the side and we were pretty much helpless. It just kept stripping line off the reel and Jane's rod was absolutely doubled over and there was just no way we could clear the line around the props, even if I'd lifted the motors, so I didn't want to even start the motor and try and turn the boat to try and get so we COULD follow whatever it was. The rod was about as close to breaking as I feel comfortable seeing a rod, so as line just kept stripping off the reel we just decided cutting the line would be the prudent thing to do before the rod DID break, or it just spooled us.

    If it was the middle of the summer I might think possibly a VERY big halibut. We were up around "the elbow" which is notorious for halibut even at this time of year, but I've never caught a halibut any bigger than about 20 lbs. at this time of year. Not saying it's totally out of the question, but who knows!? Speculation about what it might have been is pretty fruitless. I sure don't like the thought that it might have been a 70 lb. feeder king and that we cut the line with something like that at the other end. So I just keep telling myself it was a salmon shark.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    I don't know that much about salmon shark behavior and was just wondering if anyone knows if they are in Kachemak Bay at this time of year. I was under the impression that they're migratory and only come up here during the summer to chase returning salmon.

    The other day we hooked into something that my friend Jane could not stop at all. It wasn't the bottom because we were trolling about 10 to 15 ft. off the bottom. And, besides, it was moving diagonally away from the direction the boat was drifting. At first we thought it was just a REALLY big king, but it would have had to have been a giant which seems pretty unlikely. Maybe a BIG halibut, but I've caught halibut as big as 75 lbs. while trolling before and was able to at least stop it and get it to the boat. Possibly a harbor porpoise because I know they are out there, but we didn't see any on the surface all day. Whatever it was it was totally unstoppable. We ended up cutting the line when the spool had about half emptied and it wasn't slowing down at all. We were afraid the rod was going to break because it just made a beeline away from us and wouldn't stop.
    Why didn't you give chase? Half of you line was gone anyway, and you would need to re spool. I couldn't imagine giving up that easy. If I had half a spool left I would have been been chasing him. the only thing that was powerful enough for me to give up was a Dalls porpoise. That was only after no line was left. Makes for a good story I guess.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soundfisher View Post
    Why didn't you give chase? Half of you line was gone anyway, and you would need to re spool. I couldn't imagine giving up that easy. If I had half a spool left I would have been been chasing him. the only thing that was powerful enough for me to give up was a Dalls porpoise. That was only after no line was left. Makes for a good story I guess.

    Ain't nothing for me to see the bottom of my spool..

    Mutt,

    Next time, thumb it in freespool, careful not to backlash. Big Kings will stop running once the pressure is off of them. I suspect a big hali will do the same. I freespool kings all the time. they just work their way to the surface. I've driven up to them taking in line, and then started fighting them again. It's an old trick for keeping the big ones out of the kelp. I read in an old book that fishermen would freespool 50lb + kings, and within a few minutes the king would be back to chasing feed again.

  14. #14
    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Next time, thumb it in freespool, careful not to backlash. Big Kings will stop running once the pressure is off of them. I suspect a big hali will do the same. I freespool kings all the time. they just work their way to the surface. I've driven up to them taking in line, and then started fighting them again. It's an old trick for keeping the big ones out of the kelp. I read in an old book that fishermen would freespool 50lb + kings, and within a few minutes the king would be back to chasing feed again.[/QUOTE]

    That is very true. Although i've never tried it with a Salmon, but halibut dont' really fight at all once the pressure of the line is gone. Heck, I've cranked up some big ones very slowly with no fight at all. It's like they just float to the top then BANG! 38 special to the head keeps them there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soundfisher View Post
    Why didn't you give chase? Half of you line was gone anyway, and you would need to re spool. I couldn't imagine giving up that easy. If I had half a spool left I would have been been chasing him. the only thing that was powerful enough for me to give up was a Dalls porpoise. That was only after no line was left. Makes for a good story I guess.
    Well like I said in my last post "Jane's rod was absolutely doubled over and there was just no way we could clear the line around the props, even if I'd lifted the motors, so I didn't want to even start the motor and try and turn the boat to try and get so we COULD follow whatever it was." Maybe you don't understand the situation. Jane was leaning over the port rail with her rod doubled over and the tip basically sticking down under the surface of the water and the line was running out under the boat and to our starboard. From what I could see of the line it wasn't deep enough so that if I had started one or both of the motors and tried to turn the boat it would probably have gotten caught in the prop. To me that's something to be avoided. And I couldn't have started the motors and turned toward whatever it was because the line (mono) would have run the length of the hull and I doubt the line would have held up doing that.
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  16. #16

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    Go visit Ken Goldman at ADF&G in Homer. He got his PhD. researching salmon sharks. Tell him Phil B. sent you.

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    why do you act like a 12 year-old girl on here? you get so defensive/pissy when asked questions. lighten up, this is the internet

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    Well like I said in my last post "Jane's rod was absolutely doubled over and there was just no way we could clear the line around the props, even if I'd lifted the motors, so I didn't want to even start the motor and try and turn the boat to try and get so we COULD follow whatever it was." Maybe you don't understand the situation. Jane was leaning over the port rail with her rod doubled over and the tip basically sticking down under the surface of the water and the line was running out under the boat and to our starboard. From what I could see of the line it wasn't deep enough so that if I had started one or both of the motors and tried to turn the boat it would probably have gotten caught in the prop. To me that's something to be avoided. And I couldn't have started the motors and turned toward whatever it was because the line (mono) would have run the length of the hull and I doubt the line would have held up doing that.
    For next time: lightly thumb in freespool with the rod pointed straight down, deep in the water. When they don't have a big bend in them, most downrigger rods are plenty long enough to walk the tip around and under the props.

    Big_E

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    Well like I said in my last post "Jane's rod was absolutely doubled over and there was just no way we could clear the line around the props, even if I'd lifted the motors, so I didn't want to even start the motor and try and turn the boat to try and get so we COULD follow whatever it was." Maybe you don't understand the situation. Jane was leaning over the port rail with her rod doubled over and the tip basically sticking down under the surface of the water and the line was running out under the boat and to our starboard. From what I could see of the line it wasn't deep enough so that if I had started one or both of the motors and tried to turn the boat it would probably have gotten caught in the prop. To me that's something to be avoided. And I couldn't have started the motors and turned toward whatever it was because the line (mono) would have run the length of the hull and I doubt the line would have held up doing that.
    I think most of us on here are trying to wrap our heads around this "fish tale" you are telling. I can't think of anybody who cuts their line with 1/2 a spool left, or who can't get a rod around a motor to clear it. Kings run under the boat all the time and walking around the back with the rod buried in the water is part of king fishing.

  20. #20
    Member Soundfisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    Well like I said in my last post "Jane's rod was absolutely doubled over and there was just no way we could clear the line around the props, even if I'd lifted the motors, so I didn't want to even start the motor and try and turn the boat to try and get so we COULD follow whatever it was." Maybe you don't understand the situation. Jane was leaning over the port rail with her rod doubled over and the tip basically sticking down under the surface of the water and the line was running out under the boat and to our starboard. From what I could see of the line it wasn't deep enough so that if I had started one or both of the motors and tried to turn the boat it would probably have gotten caught in the prop. To me that's something to be avoided. And I couldn't have started the motors and turned toward whatever it was because the line (mono) would have run the length of the hull and I doubt the line would have held up doing that.
    So I did understand correctly. Also, I understand your concern about wrapping the prop, but the line went from port to starboard. Not from port to stern. Not trying to argue with you, but I am surprised that a guide would not be able to work with this. If I was a paying customer, I would have been very disappointed (pissed) if you did this to me. It was not heading toward the props. Raise the engine, or let it spool you while you work your way around any obstacles. I guess Im just surprised that you handled it this way. Just seems like a rookie move from someone who has some time on the water. Like I said, makes a good story though.

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