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Thread: Whats biting near Whittier / Passage Canal?

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    Member highestview's Avatar
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    Default Whats biting near Whittier / Passage Canal?

    I finally bought a skiff in preparation for my move to Haines this month. I want to take a saltwater shakedown run and the weather on Saturday and Sunday looks promising out of Whittier. I figure I'll stay in Passage Canal, I'd like to go back to a campsite I found in Poe Bay years ago when jet-skiing through the Sound. What fish are worth targeting right now out there? I'm clueless when it comes to saltwater fishing. Anyone been out for shrimp and caught anything else?
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Rockfish and cod are always around. Fish right up close to shore in 30-100' of water. Jig 2oz or 4oz herring jigs (or something similarly flashy) as you drift. You should be able to pick up rockfish and small cod, and you might even luck into a halibut or juvenile sablefish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Rockfish and cod are always around. Fish right up close to shore in 30-100' of water. Jig 2oz or 4oz herring jigs (or something similarly flashy) as you drift. You should be able to pick up rockfish and small cod, and you might even luck into a halibut or juvenile sablefish.
    I love me some cod, for sure. Do Cod have a preferred sort of terrain (rock/sand/mud/kelp) or are they just kinda wherever? Do they stick near the bottom?
    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I've caught them on rocky, sandy, and muddy bottoms. I think they may move up in the water column, but we've caught all of ours on the bottom. The ones we catch in Passage Canal are mostly small - 1 lb or so - but they're still awfully tasty.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    These are pretty typical for our near-shore catches in that area. Make sure you watch the regs carefully on the non-pelagic rockfish, as that's the majority of what we catch (mostly copper and quillback with a few silvergray and rare tiger rockfish thrown in).




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    Don't forget to drag a Brad's, Apex, King Kandy or plug cut herring, etc., at least for awhile in each spot you visit. Those Whittier kings are scattered all over the place. They taste real good and are plenty of fun to catch.

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    Most if not nearly all the P-Cod I've dredged up were also near shore in 30 -80'. Near the bottom as well. With 5 guys fishing off the dock the technique that killed them was to let the jig hit the bottom and start the retrieve with a few taps now and then. Reel a turn, thump, bump, Reel, bump bump, bump, lift the jig, bit and set the hook. It helps to know that fish are being cleaned on all the docks in the bay to attract schools of Cod right to you.

    Find the fish cleaning stations, find the Cod, IMO.

    Brian, that boy of yours is growing right up AND growing up right. Got his xtratufs, on a boat, fish in hand. Lucky you.

    Nice Copper, too.
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    Member highestview's Avatar
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    Alright, the weather is looking like it will be great on Saturday out of Whittier. Anyone else going to be out there? If you see a skiff with a family of 6 in it, swing by and say hi.
    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

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    Quote Originally Posted by highestview View Post
    Alright, the weather is looking like it will be great on Saturday out of Whittier. Anyone else going to be out there? If you see a skiff with a family of 6 in it, swing by and say hi.
    go to the rookery directly across from the harbor, fish in 50 - 100 ft of water. Lots of rockfish, flounder, sculpin etc. the kids will have a blast

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    go to the rookery directly across from the harbor, fish in 50 - 100 ft of water. Lots of rockfish, flounder, sculpin etc. the kids will have a blast
    I appreciate that. Are sculpin worth eating?

    My goal is to get to Poe Bay and camp for lunch and let the kids run around.
    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I don't know why but it seems I've had better luck catching fish on the South side of passage canal than the North side. It seems like I was more likely to be fishing rocky areas on the South and mud/silt on the North. But then again fishing is generally better much further out in the sound.

    Any flat gravely area 50-150' deep should hold some flounder. They are good eating if cooked right after you catch them, but they release an enzyme that makes the flesh mushy if you cook them up at the end of the day. They also have an extremely tough skin that's rough on your fillet knives.

    I'd suggest jigs in the 2-4 oz range with a salmon rod. This Gibbs is a good one



    but something from Chris at Roustabout, crippled herring, point wilson dart, etc should work as well or may be the hot jig any particular day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by highestview View Post
    I appreciate that. Are sculpin worth eating?

    My goal is to get to Poe Bay and camp for lunch and let the kids run around.

    Depends on who you ask. Big head, lots of spikes, not much meat....but after catching them for over a dozen years, I finally had to have the answer. Yeah they taste good. Ya gotta keep a big one or two to make a meal. Great Sculpin is what I have caught and eaten in the 3 pound range.

    Wrap a rag or towel around their head or thick leather gloves to cut the fillets off.

    Mind you I only ate two as I wanted the answer to the question you're asking. I put a little soy sauce and TrueLime powder on it and steam fried them in a skillet with a cover. Very firm texture with a little bounce like shrimp or lobster when you bite into it. Flavor like rockfish. Mild and sweet. Granted I'm no Sculpin connoisseur but now I know they do taste good. Do NOT eat the Staghorn Sculpin, it's muddy, yucky flavored.

    Those who would snub a sculpin would probably do the same with a Wolf Eel. if you catch a wolf eel - eat it! Watch the mouth- bad news for anything in its mouth. Strongest crush power of all fishes per pound. Eats urchins and Whelks like cupcakes and chips. cut out the cheeks.

    Agree on the muddy silt versus rocky gravel. Muddy silt can be barren of fish compared to a bottom with more structure.
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