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Thread: advice for Craig, AK King Salmon trip?

  1. #1
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    Default advice for Craig, AK King Salmon trip?

    Well, my better half & I are preparing for another trip to POW island. We stayed at Thorne Bay last September for a week, did some fishing, mostly played tourist. She fell in LOVE with the town of Craig, so we checked out a few B&B type places to stay, found a source for rental boats and so on ... my plan is to spend about a week near the end of June, before the commercial fishermen start up (read somewhere that July 1 is the start of season for the netters).

    Here's the information I'm lacking:

    1) Fish processing. There's a cleaning station at the dock where the rental boat is, and if necessary I can pack my foodsaver from home. However, I don't mind paying someone local to pack, freeze, box & store my fish for me.

    2) Methods. From what I've seen so far, mooching with a cut plug herring seems to be the preferred method over trolling in this area. The rental boat doesn't have downriggers, so if we troll, I'll have to use banana weights or pink lady type devices.

    3) Timing. Is late June going to be a productive time generally? I'm assuming that there'll also be some pinks & silver showing up and that halibut, black rockfish, etc will be readily available.

    4) Crabbing. We're going to have crab pots and I'd REALLY like to put them to productive use. Are there generally good areas not too far from the docks that I can set them?
    5) LOCATIONS. I won't ask for secret GPS coordinates for someone's halibut honey hole, but it would help immensely if I could sketch on my chart of the area what places I should be trying to fish i.e. "mooch along south side of Blank island" or such.

    Thank you to anyone who can help!

  2. #2

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    The last week of June it peaks, most years. Halibut will be good too.

    No "secret" king spots. Just secret king bites. The key is knowing where they are at, at that particular period of time. Hot bites vary from from area to area from year to year. There are hundreds of good kings spots around Craig, and I've had good king fishing in just about every area at some point in time. Depending on the weather, the outside of Noyes is typically hot that time of the year.

    The trick is this at the end of June: On the first day, plan on spending some gas money. Run around and see where the charter boys are fishing. They are typically on good fishing. Get in there, and see exactly where they are mooching along the kelp. You'll probably catch a few too. Then, the next day, get up at 0 dark thirty, (leaving the dock at 3am at the end of June) and run out there and be the first one there. You'll have about 2 hours before the first boat shows up, and mostly likely you'll have the boat limited. I do it all the time on my days off. It's fun as hell to have your limit before the first charter boat shows up.

    Crab fishing it tough out of craig. Sea otters suck. But, I know they get a few in front of town. (across from the fuel dock) just look for buoys.

    2 Girls Fishing for your fish processing/packing/freezing.

  3. #3
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    Thank you! Odds are that most days it'll just be me fishing alone (since her back hurts too much to get on the water very often), so I guess 'limiting out the boat' ought to be easy enough by catching 1 good fish, eh?

  4. #4

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    What kind of boat did you rent? I see that somebody was offering a 22' Olympic for a rental.

    There are also kings closer to town. St. Nick has hatchery fish coming back. When the date gets closer, drop me a PM and I'll let you know what I know.

  5. #5
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    Zeek, word of advice from an Eastsider who has fished the Westside - It is hairy over there compared to our side. My boating companions were a bit white knuckled when we chased kings over there last June. The fact someone is renting boats over there is a bit dicey IMO, make sure it is a big one! Also make sure they have insurance ;-) Skiff will work around town, outside Noyes I wouldn't do it personally but I am a bit of a wuss. Another option would be to stay at a B&B and do day charters, For 2 folks the cost would be similar I would think after rentals and fuel.

    Should be fun, take 270 up on the intel.
    Mike
    www.coffmancoveak.com
    Prince of Wales Island

  6. #6

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    That's some good advice from Gooch. Wind/tide can really churn things up at times. With the price of a rental/fuel, you'd almost be better off jumping on with Catch-A-King. I think they'll take just 2 or 1 and put you on a boat with others. Pretty much guaranteed to get your fish too. But, if you are determined to do it yourself, then it's doable. Just pay attention to the weather.

    BTW, when did you hit weather last June gooch? I seem to remember sunshine and flat water all month.

  7. #7
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    Well, I'm planning on renting a 16' smokercraft & being cautious i.e. stick to protected waters unless its REALLY calm. I know this will limit my fishing area, but not too intolerably much. Where did you see a 22' Olympic for rent?

  8. #8

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    With a 16', you are pretty much limited to right in front of town. Plenty of kings to be had in June in areas that you'll be limited too. Not sure where I saw that rental.

    The good news is that you can leave the harbor and pretty much start trolling. Some of my favorite spots are right in front of Craig.

  9. #9
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    Oh, here's another detail I may be overlooking. We're flying in to Klawock & staying in Craig ... is there a bait/tackle shop where I can pick up a few trays of blue label herring near there? I can't seem to find such a place with Google Maps.

  10. #10
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    Log Cabin Sports in Craig or the grocery store. Lots of bait.
    Mike
    www.coffmancoveak.com
    Prince of Wales Island

  11. #11
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    Well, we changed our travel plans. There comes a certain point where the logistics & cost of traveling with a wheelchair get to be too high, so we're staying at Knudson Cove in Ketchikan ... at least there I'm moderately familiar with where/how to fish.

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