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Thread: Spring Kodiak fishing

  1. #1

    Default Spring Kodiak fishing

    Work will be sending me to Kodiak for about 5 day in mid-may, I am bringing along my wife and kids and was hoping to do some fishing along with sightseeing. I've heard that dollies should be plentiful in rivers, feeding on outgoing smolt but I was hoping to do some fishing off the beach as well. I've fished Homer and Seward and almost always managed to catch enough to keep the kids interested. If anyone has any suggestions on road accessible beaches that might provide an opportunity to catch some fish, I would greatly appreciate the assist. I know I am about 2-3 months early from optimum fishing but I'm not looking at fillingthe freezer, just sharing a new experience with family.
    If anyone knows of a half-day charter they would recommend, that might be an option as well.

  2. #2
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    The rivers will be void of dollies in mid-May; no eggs to gobble from spawns not yet arrived. Your best bet is to fish from the beach, and for my money I'd be at Myrtle Beach with chest waders throwing Kodiak Custom spinners and taking them down. You can keep 10, and that's my dollie do-right advice.

    Forget the half day charter; to my knowledge they are non-existant. Go a full day with Kenny from Runnamuck Charters. He's top shelf and so is his mate. The boat is a six-pack. He might cut you a deal for the kids due to early season.

    If you want the book on Kodiak, this website has it. If not, e-mail me direct.

    Mid-may can have wind and rain; be ready for anything...

    Rosenberg; Florida
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


  3. #3

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    Ummmmmm.....

    Emergence of the salmon fry from stream gravel is the trigger for Dolly migration. And emergence timing is highly variable from one year to the next, depending on the pattern of water temps over the winter. Some years you'll be right on the money mid-May, some years early, and some years late. It's been a comparatively warm winter, so if I had to bet the run will be early-ish and you could be right on the money. If you're too late for the peak of the Dolly run, that means they're already in saltwater and the beaches will be good- incoming tide starting at low, and small spoons rather than spinners. Not much interest in spinners, but they'll get enthusiastic about anything small and fish shaped, moving slow like young salmon fry also in the saltwater.

    Great fishing for you and your kids is to be found in the dozen or so small lakes on the road system stocked with rainbows by ADF&G. It's not your typical stocking program. Rather than stocking "catch-able" size fish, the use fry which grow up in the lakes. They're wild as wild can be, and a few grow to surprising size- well over 20". Go to ADF&G's regulation page and download the PDF Kodiak Road Zone Sport Fishing Enhancement Projects. It's a map showing the lakes that are stocked. Power Bait on bottom is undoubtedly the hottest ticket, but you can catch them about any way you usually trout fish.

    Charters are charters. Mid-May the ocean is still going to be pretty cold, so the halibut are going to be deeper and usually a pretty good run from the harbor. If your kids are young, it could be a grunt due to water depth. King trolling can be really hot in May, but it's hard to forecast how long the boat rides will be because the kings follow the bait, which moves a lot. Talking to charter drivers at the time will give you a clear idea what to expect and help you decide whether it's worth the time and money with small kids.

    Kodiak's a great place for kids, and it's a pleasure to be on the water with them. You should be a real happy camper on this trip!

  4. #4
    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    I'm going to have to disagree with Berno on the dollies, the Buskin is loaded with them from ice out until say mid-end of May. And they are hungry. Usually no problem to go to the lake casting small spoons and load up, looking at my logs/pics, Apr 29th is about the startup date last 2 years. Their dropping back to the ocean in May and will be back in June/July. As for the ocean, we're already picking halibut, I never ran more than 20 minutes from the dock this weekend, not summer numbers, but nice fish. Took my friend and her 2 kids out Saturday and had a blast with rockfish, a few small lings that we returned, P-cod, halibut and one monster king that her 9yr old dropped at the boat (broke my heart). Mid-May is Big King time and numbers will start to show up in certain areas, and the halibut will be getting shallower.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for all the advice. Its funny you mention the book on Kodiak, once I looked it up I realized I already have it my bookcase, just haven't gotten around to reading it Any kid-friendly beaches that would provide a decent chance at cod, rockfish, flatfish, or anything exotic that kids might get excited about. Unfortunately, I think a full day charter is too much to ask unless the stars align, the weather warms, and seas lay down.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by chasethemoon View Post
    ...kid-friendly beaches that would provide a decent chance at cod, rockfish, flatfish, or anything exotic that kids might get excited about.
    It will be pretty early in the spring for any of those to get within reach of shore. Dollies are good at the mouth of almost any river if your timing is good. Those trout lakes in that ADF&G pub I linked are ideal for kids. Mostly small, and not much of a cast required.

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    I'll take all corrections; I only lived there 24 months and certainly there was a lot I missed.

    Good advice from all; shame for any visitor not to charter the full day. To go that far and not to do it is beyond my comprehension...

    Rosenberg; Florida
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


  8. #8
    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    I've been down to Kodiak a number times for work in May. My trips are usually in the first two weeks of May. As mentioned, the fry migration is what the dollies are after. I've had phenomenal dolly fishing in May at the mouth of the Buskin where it's tide effected. Most of the fry I saw were outmigrating pinks. One day in May down at the mouth, I literally caught over 100 dollies on epoxy fry patterns. I also did well further upstream for dollies and even caught a few rainbows. There are steelhead present here, but I would strongly urge you to leave them alone since they are preparing to spawn. We also did very well up in Buskin Lake for dollies in early May. The fishing was so good we even tried mouse patterns and did well. The other creeks at that time had dollies, but it was pretty spotty as far as consistency. As mentioned, the beach fishing for dollies can be a blast as well.
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

  9. #9
    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    As far as beaches for everything else, spoty that early. Later on, mostly starting in June you can have Kings, silvers, pinks, chums, halibut, rockfish, flounder and god only knows what else depending on the month and the beach. May would still be spoty tho unless your after dollies at the mouths.

  10. #10

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    Fishgod, I don't imaging you would have a picture of the epoxy fly pattern that worked for you? Anything special, or just a big eye and little body on a long-shanked hook? Bernard, I would generally agree with you on taking a charter but for me "going all that way" is really just a 70 min flight. I've taken charters out all over Alaska, that isn't really the focus of this trip (otherwise I'd be going in Aug/Sep). I've got little one that are still developing a love for the outdoors and fishing... trying to give that a little spring jumpstart after a less-than-ideal ice fishing season.
    Thanks again for all the advice, if weather cooperates I hope to try all your suggestions and more.

  11. #11
    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    Here you go

    thCAX4VK4O.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

  13. #13
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    Awesome looking flies. thanks for sharing UH the picture.

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