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Thread: Sablefish success!!

  1. #1
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    Default Sablefish success!!

    Well, it took me a few tries over a couple of years, but I FINALLY got my first sablefish ... followed by a second and a third on subsequent drops!

    Here's what details I can share that may help anyone wanting to fish for them:

    Started on 600 foot drops & went successively deeper ... caught a bunch of arrowtooth flounder from 600-900 feet (isn't there some kind of repellent or something to keep them away?). Finally found them at 1200+ feet deep on muddy bottom on a calm day during the tide. Without the tidal movement it was hard to get a good drift over potential spots.

    Gear: Shimano TLD-30 2 speed with extended 5" handle loaded with 80# braid (about 900 yards) & Ugly Stik Tiger Lite extra-heavy jigging rod. 2 hook dropper rig tied on a 6 foot leader with 2 lb of sinker. Used strips of arrowtooth flounder as bait, cause it stayed on the hooks very well (guess they have some use after all, eh?)

    Observations: They bite harder than I expected, and have zero fight once hooked. They apparently stay tight to the bottom, because all my fish came on the bottom hook (2 feet off bottom), and the bait on the top hook (4 feet off bottom) was untouched. Each drop & drift was about 30-35 minutes ... cranking that much line is a breeze with the right reel! They have some SERIOUS teeth, with a secondary row on the roof of their mouth about an inch behind the first row.

    Will post photos once I figure out how. THANK YOU to the guys who have shared advice on locating & catching these DELICIOUS fish!

  2. #2
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Looking forward to pic's.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Was this in PWS or ??
    BK

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    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    can't wait to see the pix... Larry is going to be JEALOUSSSS! LOL
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    Prospecting at over 1,200 feet ... no, I wasn't using the downrigger, just the rod holder.



    First sablefish! You could probably hear me three miles away whooping and hollering, I was so excited!






  6. #6
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Wow, those are genuine beauties,... you did well on that venture
    Impressive fishing and telling the story here also,... Thanks

    How are you planning to cook 'em up ?
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member Anythingalaska's Avatar
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    Don't forget to cut out the collars/tips! Best part on the fish!

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    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    you said you drifted - no anchoring out? I can't imagine trying to manage over 2k feet of anchor line. LOL....GREAT PICS! thanks for sharing all the info...definitely on our 'to do' list!

    Juli
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    Quote Originally Posted by JuliW View Post
    you said you drifted - no anchoring out? I can't imagine trying to manage over 2k feet of anchor line. LOL....GREAT PICS! thanks for sharing all the info...definitely on our 'to do' list!

    Juli
    Yes to drifting, I could not imagine trying to manage an anchor set at that depth. Deepest I've ever tried anchoring is about 600 feet in the Gulf of Mexico. In Alaska, it's been about 380 feet max for anchoring. I do deeper drops in GOM with my TLD50 without difficulty, though it can get boring reeling back up without a fish.

    Yes, I did save the collars to eat that same night. I figure on baking the fillets over rice or potatoes, but for now, they're vacuum packed in my freezer.

  10. #10

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    Great story, info, and pic's. Thanks!!
    "Miss Mary"
    Kingfisher 2725, twin Yamaha 150's

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Zeek, care to say where you found them? We have been searching with the electric reel for a year now and haven't been able to put on in the boat. Nice fish. Congrats.
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    Zeek, care to say where you found them? We have been searching with the electric reel for a year now and haven't been able to put on in the boat. Nice fish. Congrats.
    How deep are you able to fish, Rob?

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    How deep are you able to fish, Rob?
    Brian. I can fish about 2100' with my diawa 750
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  14. #14
    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Always found em out off of Lone Island back when I was longlining....Deep.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
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  15. #15

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    Thanks for the pics and inspiration. I've been looking for them in PWS for two seasons but no luck yet. I can't tell from the pics but i'm guessing you used circle hooks? What size? It's good to know they will hit arrowtooth. I've been able to fish to 1800' so far. It's hard to find that magic moment when the tide and wind cooperate for a good drift that deep.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kisutch View Post
    Thanks for the pics and inspiration. I've been looking for them in PWS for two seasons but no luck yet. I can't tell from the pics but i'm guessing you used circle hooks? What size? It's good to know they will hit arrowtooth. I've been able to fish to 1800' so far. It's hard to find that magic moment when the tide and wind cooperate for a good drift that deep.
    Uh, circle hook sizes vary so widely that it's hard to say, but these were much smaller than I would use when fishing for halibut. These were old Rapala VMC circle hooks leftover from the 1990's that were supposedly 10/0 size. I think the nearest corresponding modern circle hook would be a Mustad 12/0.

  17. #17

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    We enjoyed fresh rod-and-reel black cod for dinner last night, but coming at them from a completely different angle. While I admire your planning, effort and results, we're taking advantage of another aspect of black cod life history.

    Long about now younger models move shallow in large numbers, from what we've seen mostly into bays with sand or gravel bottom, but sometimes over muck bottom. We're talking 30'-80' of water. None so big as yours, but 12"-15" is a pretty fair average. Really fun fish with light rods and 1 oz jigs tipped with a bit of herring. We quit after getting a dozen in about half an hour yesterday. On your fathometer look for a layer of fish tight to the bottom.

    Worth seeking out for the brief period they're shallow, but I'm taking inspiration from your deep efforts. The move into the shallows just never seems to last long enough for us, so deeper will rule the rest of the year.

    Thanks for the great post!

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