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Thread: Southeast King timing

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    Member redleader's Avatar
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    Default Southeast King timing

    I'm planning a trip up the inside passage this Spring/Summer and looking for the best timing and locations to hit some of the bigger Kings. I'm keeping an open schedule but it may be sometime in May before I'm ready to head out of Bellingham. Thanks for any and all input, Steve.
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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    What's your definition of "bigger kings"?? My experience with SE, the Inside Passage is not where you will find bigger kings. Outside waters of POW and Sitka as those fish transit south would be much better than inside.
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    I've seen some pictures and heard a few reports of some hogs coming from the Rivers Inlet, Coffman Cove, Wrangle and Juneau areas, I know I'm just scratching the surface and don't have a clue but miss the days of catching 30+ pounders on the rivers in the South central area and wanting to try to time my trip for some of the best opportunities.
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    Clear your inbox, tried PMing ya but got rejected.
    Life's to short for an ugly boat

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    When I lived in Juneau, the biggest king salmon were mostly Mid to late May. Used to pull some nice ones out of homeshore area in icy straights later into mid June.

    For the outside waters of POW and Sitka, biggest Kings were later June to mid July.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abel View Post
    Clear your inbox, tried PMing ya but got rejected.
    Done.......
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlingitwarrior View Post
    When I lived in Juneau, the biggest king salmon were mostly Mid to late May. Used to pull some nice ones out of homeshore area in icy straights later into mid June.

    For the outside waters of POW and Sitka, biggest Kings were later June to mid July.
    Thanks, I've got a picture of a huge King from a Pilot (relative of a friend) from Juneau, having trouble downloading it.
    Might be a long trip.
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    Fishing will be best on the outer coast in the summer time. June and July will be your best months. Fishing outside of Sitka is your best bet. POW is another good choice. I wouldn't waste your time in Juneau, or Ketchikan for that matter. Just because you see a picture of a big fish out of a given town doesn't really mean anything; there are big salmon all over the place. Saw a picture last year of a 60lb King, and my friend caught a 43lb, and someone else I know had a 50lber.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by redleader View Post
    I'm .... looking for the best timing and locations to hit some of the bigger Kings.
    ....It has to start somewhere It has to start sometime
    What better place than here, what better time than now?....

    Seems like finding size AND finding numbers can be a bit of a tricky business. Good news for you is there seems to be a few bigger fish than in years past!

    Here's a link that might help you choose a spot.

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=commercialbyareasoutheast.salmon_tr ollsummer

    Here's some pics to hold your interest! Not "BIG BIG" but fought plenty hard and sure were tasty!
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    Thanks that info helps a lot, it looks like we will be passing by unlimited Salmon areas, It sounds like we should plan for late May/June and take our time. With so many possibilities the hardest thing may be deciding where to Fish.
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    Odds are in your favor fishing Noyes Island during July and early Aug. Mid to late July has a very good track record for kicking out a handful of 50's and the occasional 60+ from around noyes. There are spots that will get caught and will give up a 40lb+ kings a tide change for periods of time, but competition is stiff and the guides park on them. Moochers rule, but trolling kelp lines can yield some big kings too. If you have a yacht or a trawler, you can forget about getting in there with the smaller boats to fish the wash rocks that the smaller boats camp on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    Odds are in your favor fishing Noyes Island during July and early Aug. Mid to late July has a very good track record for kicking out a handful of 50's and the occasional 60+ from around noyes. There are spots that will get caught and will give up a 40lb+ kings a tide change for periods of time, but competition is stiff and the guides park on them. Moochers rule, but trolling kelp lines can yield some big kings too. If you have a yacht or a trawler, you can forget about getting in there with the smaller boats to fish the wash rocks that the smaller boats camp on.
    Thanks, we will check it out when we are in the Craig area and take our time, I'll be in a 34' Aluminum, heavy but with a shallow draft and outboards, came clear from New Jersey, lol
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    Good luck. You a downrigger fisherman? There are plenty of good spots where you won't have to battle the charter fleet. The kelp lines around Hole in the Wall can hold some big kings. Steamboat Bay (little steamboat). The E Side of St. Josephs Island. (Hog Rock) The Tree area. (NW side of Noyes) and Cape Ulika. Trick is to be the first guy up and there in the morning. The fleet will show up in mass around 6:30-7am. You can have a good 2 hours of fishing by then. The fleet thins out by around noon, and with the exception of some 1/2 day waterfall boats, you'll have it to ourself. On the outside of Noyes, Seine Rock, Flat Rock, and Pineapple Rock are some of the best producers of 50lb kings. Think tide changes, early mornings, and evenings. But, you can get one at any time. When fishing for those bigger kings, just look for 2 or 3 bites a day.

    A good trick is to spend the first day just seeing where the guides are fishing. Then the second day being the first one there.

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    270, Thanks so much for the great advice, yah I fish Downriggers, seems like the only way to be consistent in the Homer area but actually I much prefer jigging and casting tube jigs without bait (same thing I use for Lake Trout). In Whittier they outfished everybody around the docks for Silvers and out of Seward were Killer, my first cast to the shoreline at Driftwood bay was a 40lb King.
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    When it comes to summer king fishing, big ones from my area (Juneau, pburg) happen but they are in the mix of smaller fish for sure. The runs for the Stikine and Taku rivers start in late April through mid June but most are caught in the salt earlier (mid april until late May) these will be your most consistently big fish in those areas. Since fish from these rivers rear far far away, you only get a wack at the returning fish in the times stated.

    I know less directly about southern SE and BC but I do know that there are a host of smaller rivers down there with smaller populations but they have much bigger fish on average than central and northern SE stocks. Many of them rear inside which extends the amount of big fish in inside and nearshore waters.

    Can't speak to Sitka, but from my experience in Elfin as of late, there average size is smaller and consistent, but limits are easy.

    From my experience, getting big kings is about time in the captains chair. I've caught a few at or above thirty each year, most were before June 15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    Good luck. You a downrigger fisherman? There are plenty of good spots where you won't have to battle the charter fleet. The kelp lines around Hole in the Wall can hold some big kings. Steamboat Bay (little steamboat). The E Side of St. Josephs Island. (Hog Rock) The Tree area. (NW side of Noyes) and Cape Ulika. Trick is to be the first guy up and there in the morning. The fleet will show up in mass around 6:30-7am. You can have a good 2 hours of fishing by then. The fleet thins out by around noon, and with the exception of some 1/2 day waterfall boats, you'll have it to ourself. On the outside of Noyes, Seine Rock, Flat Rock, and Pineapple Rock are some of the best producers of 50lb kings. Think tide changes, early mornings, and evenings. But, you can get one at any time. When fishing for those bigger kings, just look for 2 or 3 bites a day.

    A good trick is to spend the first day just seeing where the guides are fishing. Then the second day being the first one there.
    +1. Cape Ulika, specifically Ulika bay is one my favorite places to fish in the state. Calm and protected, peaceful and great place to troll early in the am and after the waterfall boats head to the barn. A real plus is lack of those dang sea lions that patrol the Pineapple. They seem to get worse every year along the outside of Noyes.

    The outside of Baker has some fun spots including a very nice shallow bay that is a freakn blast to hook salmon in. I'm sure 270 knows that spot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlingitwarrior View Post
    +1. Cape Ulika, specifically Ulika bay is one my favorite places to fish in the state. Calm and protected, peaceful and great place to troll early in the am and after the waterfall boats head to the barn. A real plus is lack of those dang sea lions that patrol the Pineapple. They seem to get worse every year along the outside of Noyes.

    The outside of Baker has some fun spots including a very nice shallow bay that is a freakn blast to hook salmon in. I'm sure 270 knows that spot.
    You speaketh of Little Veta. Some big kings can hang out in there and the scenery isn't bad. I found some big kings last summer in the back of Veta up against that wash rock. Not many, but the average size was rather nice. Trolled 30ft with downriggers, and when they hit, it was a thing of beauty they crushed it so hard and headed for deeper water. I love fishing Little Veta, the back of Veta, and Lil' Boom Boom on Baker. We fished out in the 220 in Veta a lot last summer. Had some huge king days in early Aug there, till it went insane for cohos. My hands HURT from the kings. It was a real cat/mouse game keeping it a secret from the fleet.

    Sea Lions can be an issue. I've never had one eat one that I think was over 40. I've had some 40+ kings do some pretty monster runs to get away from sea lions though.

    For years, almost a decade, the Chicken Hole was my first stop, and often my only stop for kings. Hasn't been too hot the last few years. Hoping this year I get to fish he Chicken Hole again.

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Veta is the one. Love that sandy beach in there. We go every year and spend a half day there during flooding tide. I have pulled some nice kings in 20-30 feet of water and man are they hot. Did really well at the chicken hole when water was too rough to fish the outside. My biggest king ever is from the kelp beds at santa cruz. I will be there again June 24-27. Best trip of the year.
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  19. #19

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    You are getting me all jacked up for fishing season. I've got about 80 days this season on the charter boat, and then a bunch more powertrolling. Gonna be a fishy year. Impatiently waiting for the abundance index to be released...

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    Being from Juneau - I will echo the sentiments of others who recommend fishing the SE's outside coast for larger Kings. I have been fishing this area since the late 50s and I believe you would be under-whelmed by the Kings available in this local area. Over the past three decades the average size of Kings returning to the Taku River has dropped and 30+ Kings are few and far between. I am partial to Sitka because that's where most of my recent commercial and sport salmon fishing has taken place - but there are plenty of stories about the fishing outside of Craig (including Noyes Is. and Cape Ulitka) and finding big Kings in the shallows in that general vicinity from early June through early August. Pay attention to any information 270ti passes along - he is a very good fisherman and he has a wealth of experience catching POW King salmon.

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