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Thread: 3-days self guided in southeast - what to do?

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    Default 3-days self guided in southeast - what to do?

    Afternoon all,

    I'm a new member with an old request that I hope you can help with. I'm in Juneau at the
    end of August and will have a few days to get on the water. I'm planning to do some self-guided fishing for salmon and halibut from an 18'-20' rental and Iím trying to decide if I should stick with the Juneau area, or jump on a ferry to another port. After looking at the ferry schedules it seems like I could make it to Haines, Hoonah, or Petersburg, or just stick around Juneau. I'm primarily interested in looking for salmon, and may take a day or half day if I get the weather to venture into more open water and look for some halibut. This is my first trip to the area so it will all be new to me, and I really want to explore and take in the scenery as much as anything. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance,

    Ryan

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    If it was me, I would bite the bullet and hop on a charter boat. Going to cost the same as a rental boat and more successful. If you do hop towns on the ferry, Sitka would be my choice, Petersburg as a second.
    Life's to short for an ugly boat

    Blaze N Abel Charters
    Kodiak, AK
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    Thanks for the reply Abel. I'd like to get on a charter for a day and then have a couple days on my own, but as I'm traveling solo the price for a charter gets a bit steep. Am I missing something when you say a charter and rental will be the same?

    Regarding Sitka, that's a great idea I hadn't considered, but I'm curious why this would top your list. Are there substantial differences in fishing between Petersburg and Sitka? Maybe more species to target, or greater abundance?

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Petersburg is a sweet little town, but the fishing in Sitka is going to be better, much better. As for charter prices, lots of guys run "per seat", you don't have to book the whole boat for the day. So you wouldn't be shelling out 12-1500 bones for a day, just 300ish.
    Life's to short for an ugly boat

    Blaze N Abel Charters
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    I live in Juneau, and just went fishing yesterday. If given the choice I'd fish Sitka and charter. Next I'd choose Hoonah there are a few people/outfits who you could grab a seat with. Juneau for chartering is ok, you'd be better off renting a skiff though if you know how to fish and where. But since you are from out of state, hoping on charter via seat price will get you a fish (hopefully).

    But if you want scenery bite the bullet and fly out to Elfin Cove or even Gustavus. Call the lodges you may be able to snag an open seat too. Some lodges accept day trippers. Or better yet fly out early, fish, overnight, fish in the morning and fly out in the afternoon.

    Sobie2

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    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
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    Do you think a person could do any good fishing from a kayak out of Sitka?
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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    I second Sobie2's suggestion.

    I don't know what your salmon trolling experience level is, but there's a learning curve to fishing a new area even if you are a seasoned salmon pro. Your time would be better served going out to Elfin, Sitka, etc. Granted the cost will be steep, but you will catch a bunch of fish.

    You'll also to be able to cast for silvers at DIPAC from shore around the time of your visit too. Not much cost, learning curve, or gear required for that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sobie2 View Post
    I live in Juneau, and just went fishing yesterday. If given the choice I'd fish Sitka and charter. Next I'd choose Hoonah there are a few people/outfits who you could grab a seat with. Juneau for chartering is ok, you'd be better off renting a skiff though if you know how to fish and where. But since you are from out of state, hoping on charter via seat price will get you a fish (hopefully).

    But if you want scenery bite the bullet and fly out to Elfin Cove or even Gustavus. Call the lodges you may be able to snag an open seat too. Some lodges accept day trippers. Or better yet fly out early, fish, overnight, fish in the morning and fly out in the afternoon.

    Sobie2

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abel View Post
    If it was me, I would bite the bullet and hop on a charter boat. Going to cost the same as a rental boat and more successful. If you do hop towns on the ferry, Sitka would be my choice, Petersburg as a second.
    ++ what he said. The learning curve is too severe for the short time you'll have. Spend a $$ and take a charter, rather than wasting time and $$ trying to figure it out yourself. I've fished in some pretty far flung and exotic places before I settled down in Alaska (USN Retired) and I can assure you, the fishing here ain't like anyplace else I've ever been...!

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    Wow, that's a pretty clear consensus - I'm glad I asked. I've looked over the trolling setups, but do not have much experience trolling at depth or any experience using a downrigger, and have never fished for salmon. I was planning to throw spoons and bounce baited jigs around reefs and relatively shoal structure for silvers and not try to do much trolling, out of curiosity is that just a long shot? I'll need to adjust my research to charters and make some calls about open seats and pricing out Sitka way. Any recommendations via private message would be appreciated.

    Regarding the DIPAC area in Juneau, any more info on how this works? Is there good access or is everyone piled up on piers and jettys? Is this area more productive than fishing other shoreline areas around Juneau and Douglas Island? Is it a relatively productive area to fish or more of a place to wet a line and maybe catch something (i.e., is it a long shot or would you expect to catch something, or somewhere in between)?

    Thanks again for all the great advice.

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    Gotta put my 2 cents in also and say Sitka is hands down the best salmon fishing in southeast. Still a lot of kings around here still too.

    As far as 'bouncing baited jigs around reefs and shoal structures', you want to be mid water for cohos typically. Bouncing baited jigs off the bottom of pinnacles and reefs will catch you lots of rockfish and lingcod. Mooch with a herring at 10 fathoms +/- in 20-40 fathoms of water around Sitka Sound and you will catch some Cohos.

    The charter guys will run you out to the Cape and will most likely get you your limit on Cohos and Kings no problem. But if you did find a boat to rent here in town (which I don't know of any) you could most likely do alright for yourself if the weather is nice and with a little local knowledge...

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    Dipac can be very crowded at times, but very productive too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcarrot View Post
    Dipac can be very crowded at times, but very productive too.
    It's really picked up this last week. Good numbers of cohos schooling up down by the ladder. Water should clear up later this week, and I plan on trying to fill the cooler.

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    What do you think L.G. maybe try the bobber and herring technique at DIPAC as discussed in another thread this week?

    Sobie2

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    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    Saw a guy get 3 in about a half hour yesterday using this technique right down on the line by the ladder.

    I personally like the "spot and rip" method myself. I'll leave the pure sportfishing when on the boat or streamside.

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    Took the advice and hopped on a charter out of Sitka for a day. We had a great day - I caught silvers, a halibut, and a king. Definitely would have been a challenge on my own, but next time that's a different story. Thanks again for the input.

  16. #16
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    Yea right on! Hooking into a king this time of the year is extra special.

    Sobie2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sobie2 View Post
    Yea right on! Hooking into a king this time of the year is extra special.

    Sobie2
    Absolutely! To pull in a King after the two commercial king trolls openings (especially with our huge quota this year) is an accomplishment. Congrats on your fish haul.

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