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Thread: Salmon Shark

  1. #1

    Default Salmon Shark

    I'm very interested in catching a Salmon Shark. Can anybody share there experiences. What is the best time of year to go. I would have to charter a boat to go. Is this a trip that could be done over the weekend, meaning how far out do you normally have to go?

    Thanks Much

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    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
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    From the search engine on here..looking for this info, it shows that out of Whittier is your best bet, Late August and yes it can be done on the weekend trips. Dont know who out of Whittier will charter a boat for it..but sure others will chime in.

    I have personally seen them out in the Res Bay..will chase some myself this year..time is still the same late July-late august..they pretty much follow the silvers in and will be best seen early in the morning or on flat water in coves where the salmon pool up at the mouths of creeks etc.
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    Member Reel Bob's Avatar
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    Call Matt at Whittier Marine Charters... He won't steer you wrong

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    Member Milo's Avatar
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    I won't recommend anyone in particular, but I would go to Valdez.
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    Up until about 5 years ago, there were an abundance of salmon sharks in eastern PWS, but now that has really fallen off. Every day, there were sharks coming into the docks at Valdez. Haven't even seen one in the last couple of years. One year on the 4th of July I saw 26 of them cruising back and forth at the same time. I was always under the impression they followed the pinks in, and that is what the charters were usually using for bait, perhaps because a whole pink is legal, a whole silver is not legal bait.

    The pinks used to run strong by the first week of July where we go and where a lot of the charter shark activity was. Now the pinks run 4-6 weeks late, maybe the sharks just got confused and left for other waters. At the time of abundance, a lot of the National Geographic show on salmon sharks was filmed in PWS, they got there a little towards the decline and had to work a lot harder than anyone expected, to even find sharks to film.

    So, not sure who fishes them now out of Valdez, maybe one of the charter captains on the forum will chime in. I know Pacific Mountain Outfitters used to fish them, but the owner and main guide died in an unfortunate accident last year, although the business is still going strong, I think. They are at pacificmountainoutfitters.com As an aside, I highly recommend their video "Beasts of the Boreal" and they have a new one too that should be out in a few weeks.

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    I think they have been thinned out. The nat geo show was Icy Killers....

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    Member captaindd's Avatar
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    The last 3 years the salmon sharks have been missing from the Eastern half of Prince William Sound. I do not know any charters that will be fishing them in 2013. Shark Tooth Charters out of Valdez might but with out a healthy population of Salmon Sharks why even bother to fish for them. I do not think that they where killed off by fishing I just think they moved to a different area.

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    I was wondering if it was the water temperture. These last few years it sure seams a lot colder to me than say 8 or so years ago.

    I also think that may have had something to do with the silvers not showing up in the sound also???

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    Quote Originally Posted by captaindd View Post
    I do not think that they where killed off by fishing I just think they moved to a different area.
    What lead you to this idea? I sure hope it is true. A few years back when the shark fishing was booming someone told me that all the sharks being caught were females. That gave me concerns for the sustainability of the fishery. There really seems to be changes occurring in the salmon runs so that would likely affect the presence of the sharks.

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    Member 907pride's Avatar
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    I would also go out of Valdez for them. I have seen more out of Valdez than I have out of Whittier, given that I did have to go as far as Hinchinbrook Island to get into the thick of them, so technically I guess thats not really Valdez, more like Cordova. They follow the runs of salmon. Troll a whole pink salmon with a 10-15' steel leader.

    I also don't think that the recent lower numbers has much to do with humans. Up until 1997 there were people that commercial fished for them in PWS and the numbers did take a large dive back then but I don't see the small amount of charters that fish for them now having that kind of affect on them.

    I personally think that we should be fishing more of them and open it up again to commercial fishing. Each female will have a litter of 2-6 babies every other year. The only predators that they have are humans and some white sharks. Researchers say that on average they eat at least 3 salmon per day to keep up their high metabolic rate. So lets say that there are 2000 of them out there right now following our Alaskan salmon runs. Thats 6,000 salmon per day. Thats 2,190,000 salmon per year. It's funny that I complain about the commercial fisherman's bycatch of kings when these things can devour an entire river run of kings or reds in a day or two. Those numbers were based on a total amount of only 2000 salmon sharks when in actuality there are many many more. I can't find any recent population numbers but the research shows that in 1989 there was a population of over 2 million salmon sharks. Keep in mind that they have a wide range and that many of those will never visit Alaska. Still, if 2000 of these fish can consume 2.1 million salmon per year, imagine what 2 million are doing. Researchers have stated that salmon sharks are responsible for consuming up to 25.2 percent of the annual run of pacific salmon. That makes them the #1 cause of ocean mortality for the pacific salmon.

    I hope you catch allot of them. I hope everybody does. Make sure you keep them. They have great tasting meet.

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    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Yep, lots of changes going on for sure. Easy to blame overfishing for the absence of sharks now, but I don't think anyone really knows. Like most things, a combination of effects. TRAKN...I've thought water temperature has messed up the salmon runs for sure, but on my boat, the water has seemed to be WARMER, at least by August...it used to be around 51 degrees, and now runs 56-58 degrees the last few years. Guess our cold water went out around to where you are fishing! I asked a fish biologist and he said that fluctuation is normal but that the fish do follow thermal conditions, and so populations move around to find their more ideal temperature conditions...well, when feeding maybe, I think their spawning behavior doesn't change, so something else is messing with the spawning times and why sharks are not around in eastern PWS, as Captain DD says. I agree that with their apparent scarcity, they shouldn't be targeted at this time, and that seems to be what all the Valdez charters are doing, good for them!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 907pride View Post
    Researchers have stated that salmon sharks are responsible for consuming up to 25.2 percent of the annual run of pacific salmon. That makes them the #1 cause of ocean mortality for the pacific salmon.

    I hope you catch allot of them. I hope everybody does. Make sure you keep them. They have great tasting meet.
    I call BS. Cite your sources.
    Salmon sharks are also extremely high in mercury, and consuming large amounts of mercury can lead to impairment of cognitive thought ability.
    Have you eaten lots?
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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    Might be less salmon sharks as there are less salmon for them to follow & feed on? I heard that they weren't that great for eating, though I have not tried any myself...and probably never will.
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    You guys have to remember that a large portion of the salmon in the sound are hatchery fish so the run timing can be tweaked a bit by the hatchery managers. There used to be quite a few sharks showing up early in the season in front of Ester when the chums arrived.

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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...9-Salmon-Shark

    O.K. it seems they can be some good eating if bled and gutted immediately, like all harvested meat should. I would eat one if I caught it.
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    We were out at Ravencroft lodge out of Valdez in Late May and saw salmon sharks fining the surface every day for a week. You might try calling Ravencroft and see if they do charters. I do believe hearing them talk about it. If you google Ravencroft lodge it'll take you to their website.

  17. #17
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    In the Russian literature they are called "Herring sharks". A major component of their forage is squid, shrimp and baitfish. They hammer the hooligan pretty hard.
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    Member 907pride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    I call BS. Cite your sources.
    Salmon sharks are also extremely high in mercury, and consuming large amounts of mercury can lead to impairment of cognitive thought ability.
    Have you eaten lots?
    Wow, maybe you should do your own research before calling somebody out. It's called reading. Try it some time.

    Almost everything I put in my post was a direct quote from one source or another. And yes, you can eat large amounts of salmon shark as long as it is gutted and bled out soon after catching it. Salmon sharks contain excessive amounts of uric acid that is expelled into the flesh if the animal is not dressed immediately. If prepared properly people could never tell the difference between salmon shark meet and swordfish. I have eaten it, and I have fished for them.

    They are a fun fish to catch because they are one of the fastest fish in the ocean. The navy has clocked them doing 50 MPH on short bursts, which makes them a blast to catch.

    You asked for sources. So here you go Homerdork.

    http://www.npafc.org/new/publication...(Nagasawa).PDF

    http://www.topp.org/species/salmon_shark

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmon_shark

    http://www.science.fau.edu/sharklab/...gs/Goldman.pdf

    http://books.google.com/books?id=i2B...ed=0CDIQ6AEwAA

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    Member captaindd's Avatar
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    Most of the salmon sharks around Valdez are female and those found in Russia are normally males. They must meet up some place to mate. The water temp has been going up do not know if that could be part of the problem.

  20. #20
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Yep, the 2 million number is one that was pretty much just put out by the Japanese. Actually there is no reliable estimate.
    Ken Goldman is one of the foremost salmon shark researchers in the world. He also lives in homer and work at fish and game. You have questions about current salmon shark data and research in Alaska and the North Pacific give him a call.
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