Kodiak Halibut from a Kayak- August 24-30
Sorry for the long report. But it covers 6 days. I want to thank Brownbear, Abel, and KodiakCombo for all of the assistance they gave us. The information was priceless in our quest for the triple digit halibut!!!!!
Kodiak 2014 report (copied from my blogs)
I was fortunate enough to fish with Kokatat Pro staff Allen “Polepole” Sansano, Allen “Bushy” Bushnell, Mark “Spot” Veary, and Chris Mautino from Liquid Adventures. Jeff and I were the Alaska representatives of the NorthWestKayakAnglers.com team (Polepole and Bushy run that site along with KayakFishingMagazine.NET). I can’t believe I had the opportunity to fish with people of this caliber! Even if I don’t catch a fish, I am sure I would have come back with knowledge and connections worth every penny of this trip and then some!!!!
We took two vehicles via Ferry from Homer and rented a house. Cost for 5 people on a ferry plus two vehicles and berths for six one way was roughly $1,600. The house for the week was $1,400 making the cost $3,000 or $600 per person for a entire week of unguided fishing. Pretty dang reasonable!!!
We try Kalsin Bay. Silvers are jumping but generally speaking no love. Bushy hammers a nice 13-15 pound silver but that was the only fish for the entire day. Hmmm…this is going to be hardcore than we thought….
Maybe not though… I used my “new” reel today and left my girlfriend’s (and MY lucky reel) back at the rental house…. switched out to the pink abet sx on day two….
This time we get a tip from local fishermen and we try Pasagshak Bay. Weather is beautiful AND we find fish.
I manage a 40 ish pounder and a 20 pounder. I release another one. The other team members land 4 other fish. The biggest was Polepole’s 51 pounder. I’m feeling ya!!!! it’s the pink reel! lol.
Weather is blowing hard. It looks like we might not get on the water. We try Kalsin Bay a little further to the East. We fish in pouring rain and 20 knt winds. Fortunately, I was wearing a new Kokatat Hydrus 3L SuperNova Angler Paddling Suit and Kokatat SeaO2 PFD. The Hydrus 3L kept me bone dry and with a few layers of fleece, I fished comfortably all day! The SeaO2 is a new design with 7.5 lbs of flotation but you can inflate it (Co2 or manually) to get 22.5 lbs of lift. Super comfy! Highly recommend!!!
I troll looking for anything that will bite. 10 minutes from launch I troll up a 25 pound-ish halibut. The rest of the day almost nothing until once again I am minutes from the launch and almost in the exact same place I manage another 20 pounder. Hmmm…what’s that saying…”Never leave fish to find fish?” Well I guess we are exploring Kodiak so it was ok, but I was the only one lucky enough to run into the fish that day.
We head back out to Pasagshak Bay. Half of the group opts to fish silvers in the river even though it is a touch early in the season. They manage two SUPER nice silvers.
Out in the Bay, Spot, Jeff, and I fish in shifting winds. I miss four or five good takes because I had switched over to a circle hook. I HATE THOSE THINGS!!!!! Missed every single one despite letting them take the bait for 10 seconds or longer and engaging the drag as they are just ripping out line. I am sure its operator error since many many people are successful with the circle hooks, but I didn’t lose a single fish after a solid takedown using the Gamakatsu 12/0 Big River hooks.
Spot manages a nice 65 pounder in very challenging conditions. His fish would win the "fight of the week” award. His fish manages to take down an A2 Buoy for over 30 or more yards while 12 pounds or more of drag was also being applied. We aren’t talking “surface skimming” take down. We are talking “no wake” completely submerged takedown. His buoy was nearly as twice as large as the buoy I was using. Just AWESOME show of power.
I think the biggest disappointment was our failure to find Silvers in the salt. There were enough fish jumping and in the streams that we thought we could have hooked a few of them. From the launch which is right next to the river mouth, to the halibut grounds was roughly 3 miles each way. I trolled a dodger and hoochie on both days to and from halibut fishing and did not get a single strike! Not even from cod or pollock. Inside the Bay seemed fairly void of life.
Well we got to try Pasagshak Again after that nice fish. I pedal 3 miles out and in the first 15 minutes I am hooked up. The are we were fishing was super rocky and snaggy. Over the course of the week, I had to cut my line several times and I was actually running low on line for my “lucky” reel…ok, ok it;s my girlfriends but I think I am taking it back!
I drop my bait to the bottom and immediately it seems stuck to the bottom. I yank on it several times…thankfully I had switched back to a J-hook. All of the sudden the “snag” starts throbbing! NICE!!!!! The battle is on.
After a few mistakes, I manage to harpoon it, bleed, and apply the club. But now what? I can’t get it into my kayak so I pedal what turns out to be a mile back to find a suitable beach. I finally get it strapped onto the back of the kayak. Hmmm….it rides nicely….limit is two…I am going to back out again!!!
Bad idea that I was fortunately saved by luck. The halibut was so heavy, it was causing my rudder line holes to submerge under water. Fortunately for me the group was already headed back since I had taken so long dealing with this one fish. Once I got back to the launch, there were several gallons of water in my hull. ACK! I have closed cell foam noodles and empty gatorade bottles stuffed into my kayak so it wouldn’t sink. But it would have made a long pedal back a WHOLE lot longer if I had fished longer. Lesson learned.
I didn’t think the fish was that big but on tape it came out to 59.5 inches. 59 inches was 103 lbs and 60 inches was 108 pounds not he weight length so I am calling it 105!!!! WOW!!! mission accomplished for a triple digit ‘butt from a Kayak!!!! SWEEEEET!!!!!!!!!
Day 6, the final day.
We are too tired. We had to check out of the house so we fished the Buskin River. LOTS of pinks and a quite a few silvers. They weren’t hitting though and I was a little disappointed to see the method of choice for 90% of the Anglers was the “flossing” method. Beautiful river…but was disappointed in seeing that. I did manage one on a pink fly, but I think I flossed that one too….
So the trip was pretty dang good given that none of us had fished Kodiak from a Kayak before. It was just an awesome trip. I want to thank the Polepole and Bushy from KayakFishingMagazine.net and NorthwestKayakAnglers.com, Spot, and Chris Mautino from Liquid Adventures out of Seward and Baja, To be able to fish in the company of such skilled Kayak Anglers really gave me the confidence that much more can be done from this platform.
We fished some very challenging weather days. But the ability to launch from virtually anywhere gave us access to water that even power boaters would have had a difficult time fishing. In the 6 days, we saw two trollers on Day one in Kalsin and one troller who was waiting to pick up passengers in Pasagshak fishing the entire time we were there. It was amazing!!!!!!
We set out to catch a 100 pound halibut. Mission accomplished. I am pretty fortunate to have been the one to get that lucky strike. It wasn’t easy trying to learn all of the spots, Of course we all have our favorite fishing holes that we know like the back of our hands and that consistently produces fish. We had a lot of good assistance along the way. I want to specifically thank Hank and Abel who gave us TONS of good information and frankly made the trip for all of us.
In some ways you could sense the disappointment that more and larger fish weren’t caught. But we walked away impressed with Kodiak’s potential. With a kayak we could launch and fish in semi-sheltered areas no matter the wind direction. A few more trips and I think I could get Kodiak dialed in. Hmmm…maybe next spring? I hear they catch big kings in Kodiak in the spring time….I LOVE BIG KINGS. The wheels are already turning…..
A few pics taken by other members of the team. I will post additional material that the others have said they would share once they get back to their respective homes. They had much better media equipment than I did!
A few more pics by Chris Mautino (Reprinted with permission)
Nice Job Man! I would have like to have gone…. But had to get a moose.
Great adventure report, Rudy! Congrats on the triple digit halibut from a yak. I can't imagine the rush that was. Loved seeing the buoys submerge. Glad everyone was safe.
Awesome! love the report! The water looked great! How deep were you fishing? What was the deepest/shallowest you guys fished? What was the tides like? ft? Someday my wife and I will make a trip out there! I would have thought you guys would have caught more silvers too. Oh well, glad you guys had a good time!
Excellent! Listening to your laugh in the report sezz it all. Well done!
Too late for you, we finally have the silvers well-figured, along with the kings. They're right there in the bay where we motored up to you to talk. For the details, check my description on this thread here on the site. Weird for silvers, but it's really working. Makes me wonder if it would have worked over where you got the halibut, but no silvers, because the silvers are just pouring into the river but not showing in the bay.
Originally Posted by Kardinal_84
oops...its August 24-30. Arghhhhh. Can an Admin change the title. Obviously I was exhausted.
We fished a lot of places. But we fund the fish fairly shallow. Under 70 ft of water. The most productive spots were places where we would find kelp in about 40 ft of water, then back down the "hill" fishing. We didn't find many at the top of the pinnacle at 40ft. Nor at the bottom in 75 to 80 ft but they seemed to hang half down in about 65ft.
Tides made a huge difference but we are talking 10 ft tidal swings max, not the 30 we get in the inlet. So 1 knts type of current. I am sure there are places where the current just rips, but not where we were at.
Originally Posted by BrownBear
Impressive write-up Rudy! Too cool making the dream happen!!!
Thx ak2z. I should clarify the cost for ferry was round trip. We had the berths just one wY.
My personal pages...I'm not a guide.
Updated the report with a few more pictures... http://guidesak.blogspot.com/2014/09...ept-24-30.html
Wheels are already turning for a return trip in late April to Mid May timeframe for kings...LOVE big kings.....