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Thread: Yellow-eye in se

  1. #1

    Default Yellow-eye in se

    I normally fish wrangell to icy straits. We typically fish shallower than most folks in the 50-75 foot range for buts. We don't catch a ton but enough for us. That being said, how deep do I need to be fishing for yellow-eye and what should I target, plateaus or high points if you will? I have never caught one and would like to add it to my list. Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Never fished SE, but as far as where to find yellow eye I'd say you'll need to be in 200-350' of water and fishing rocky drop offs or pinnacles. Even if the pinnacle crests at 100', just keep drifting into deeper water and you should be able to hook into some yellow eyes. One of my favorite spots is an underwater ridge that is 50' deep at it's shallowest, and drops off to 2000' of water. I'll motor to the high spot and then let the boat drift deeper. In a good area you'll be hooking lingcod, quillback and yellow eyes and some other incidental rock fish. The yellow eyes tend to hold in deepr water than the quill backs and you're not loikely to find a yellow eye shallower than 150' and more common is 200-300'
    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.

  3. #3
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    superdave,

    Wrangell to Icy Straits encompasses a pretty fair portion of SE. Where is your home port? I can think of a couple of spots between Wrangell and Icy that I have regularly caught yellow eye. One spot that comes to mind would be to run west of Wrangell out Sumner Strait. Try fishing some of the rock piles near Level Island. Or make the run out to The Eye Opener. If you're going to be in Frederick sound I've had good fishing along the north end of Kuiu Island. Seems like you have to get west of Wrangell and Petersburg to do real well on rock fish, I suspect it has a lot to do with the Stikine river mud.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

  4. #4

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    Thanks Guys. In May/June we typically fish kings in Wrangell and then run up towards Junea/Hoonah in August. I know where you are talking about AK in Sumner. We might try that if kings are slow or if we just want to mess around with some rockfish.

    Thanks for the hints Paul H. We'll employ that too. I'd love to catch a Yellow-eye or a big Ling. We caught a few 33-34 inch Ling last year which was fun but I'd love to hang a bigger one and I need to cross the Yellow-eye off the list.

  5. #5
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    As others have said, rocky ledges. Paul's correct on the depth, I don't recall hooking into a yellow shallower than 200'. I know I'm in the right spot when I start getting smaller rockfish.

  6. #6

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    Assuming you drop to the bottom and jig and as you drift deeper you continue to let line out?

  7. #7
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    Not a pro by any stretch but here is how I do it. Everyone was correct in looking for rockpiles or deep drops. What I do is look for these areas on the chart, head to the spot and use the sonar. I cruise along until I see some fishes hanging by the bottom and stop up current of that spot. I typically use the larger Kodiak Jig and drop it to the bottom and backtroll over the structure dropping shallow to deeper. You don't want to drag bottom for gears sake but keep it within 5-10 feet. I slowly jig keeping a tight line (no snapping) and drop to check bottom every 30 seconds or so. Typically they are easy to catch and quickly bite. Bigger jigs help to keep smaller rockfish off the line and since you have to keep every fish you catch until the limit is reached you don't want to dominate the quillbacks before you get the yelloweye. Silvergrays are commonly found with the yelloweye and they eat as good. Good luck!
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  8. #8
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Yes, as you drift deeper you'll be letting out more line to stay near bottom. You don't have to constantly thunk bottom but you'll want to know that you are near bottom. I'll try to let out enough line so that I hit bottom with the rod approximately horizontal that way as I drift deeper I can keep on bottom by just dropping the rod time more until I get to the point I can't hold bottom then repeat by letting out more line. Also yellow eye seem to get bigger as you fish deeper, the nice ones seem to hold at 300' and deeper. I'd say look on the charts for the tips of islands and bays that are rocky and drop off into deeper water. If you're in rocky steep relief with good current flow to bring in bait fish and the right depth, you should have no problem catching yellow eye. You might even have the problem of catching too many so have a means of returning them to the bottom or stop fishing once you catch your limit.

    Here are a couple of pics from years past to get you motivated:



    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.

  9. #9

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    Thanks for all the tips guys...I really appreciate it. When 'but fishing we just anchor and soak bait or jig, so I'm a noob at the drift jigging thing. This should help and I'll be sure to give it a try this spring. I'll let you guys know how I do.

    ps. That ling-cod is sick. I gotta get one of those too.

  10. #10

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    Superdave. Head south to the Niblacks. On the south side of the islands there are yellow eye. And if its during our derby you may hook into one of them Bradfield kings.

  11. #11
    Member BigBrown767's Avatar
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    Here's some more motivation but we catch ours up north, the first one isn't very far off the state record.
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    <)))><
    Live to fish, fish to live...

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    Thanks for all the tips guys...I really appreciate it. When 'but fishing we just anchor and soak bait or jig, so I'm a noob at the drift jigging thing. This should help and I'll be sure to give it a try this spring. I'll let you guys know how I do.

    ps. That ling-cod is sick. I gotta get one of those too.
    I usually get yellow eye if my chum lines heads over some rockpiles. Look for "rky" on the chart, in 200-400ft of water, and jig. If you are in an area with them, you'll get them.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBrown767 View Post
    Here's some more motivation but we catch ours up north, the first one isn't very far off the state record.
    Attachment 69574And my brother with just a little more motivation !! all stop now

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    WOW!!!! nice fish nemo

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