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Thread: Charter for Kings: River vs. Salt

  1. #1

    Default Charter for Kings: River vs. Salt

    Hi guys,

    I am booking a few charters because Ive failed too many times in unknown waters. Im sure everybody knows what I mean.

    Anyways, Im booking a charter out of homer in July, and will most likely book a guide for kings on the Kasilof the day I arrive in Anchorage (May 30th). Im obviously not wasting any time.

    Anyways, my question is, whats the difference between booking a guide and booking a saltwater charter? Why do some book for kings on a charter and not a guide vice versa?

    I know the experience is different, but I cant even imagine it.

    What do you guys prefer doing? Why?
    Last edited by sodabiscuit12345; 03-21-2008 at 13:43. Reason: dates

  2. #2

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    The Kings In The Salt Are Feeder Kings That Are Not Ready To Spawn Yet..they Are The Best...one Day Combos Are Tough Usually You Spend Most Of The Time Trolling And Then Go Catch Small Halibut It All Depends On The Tide..you Are Better To Book One Day Trolling And Then The Next Day Halibut Fishing.....

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by boneyardbaits View Post
    The Kings In The Salt Are Feeder Kings That Are Not Ready To Spawn Yet..they Are The Best...one Day Combos Are Tough Usually You Spend Most Of The Time Trolling And Then Go Catch Small Halibut It All Depends On The Tide..you Are Better To Book One Day Trolling And Then The Next Day Halibut Fishing.....
    By 'best' you mean, they taste really good? Or they're fun to catch?
    Im asking because every picture I see of 'BIG' kings, always seem to be on a river for some reason. Im very new to this as you can tell.
    Maybe you catch more on a full day charter, but bigger with a guide in the rivers?

  4. #4

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    Yes They Taste Better And They Are Super Fighters...i Have Always Considered A River King As A Dead Fish...that Just My Thought ...i Dont Like The Crowds..in The Inlet I Have It To Myself...your Biggest Kings Come From The River And There Are Some Fantastic Guides Do Your Homework And I Wish You A Trip Of A Lifetime:d

  5. #5
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    your best bet is to go with a charter. They fish the waters over and over and often know where some fish are. Guides on rivers are a gamble because you have to deal with people, fluctuating rivers, low fish count, etc.

  6. #6

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    Does anybody prefer going with a guide as opposed to a charter?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sodabiscuit12345 View Post
    Does anybody prefer going with a guide as opposed to a charter?

    Same thing.

  8. #8

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    I seem to prefer the ocean caught ones for eating. But, even a river king is great if caught fresh and bright.

  9. #9
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sodabiscuit12345 View Post
    Does anybody prefer going with a guide as opposed to a charter?
    As Yukon pointed out, there isn't a difference between a guide and a charter. Some folks choose to call themselves guides, while others refer to their business as a charter. Same thing.

    As for salt vs. river, it somewhat depends on when you'll be there. Saltwater fishing out of Ninilchik can be awesome in May and June. As an added bonus, if you play it right you can catch a couple of halibut as well.

  10. #10

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    It's harder and more of a challange to hook and land a King from a river as opposed to the ocean. More obstacles, and a King can utilize the current (rapids) to it's advantage. In addition, it can expand it's energy in a smaller area making the fish harder to control. Personally I like catching big (chrome) Kings from the bank on small coastal rivers. I always felt the hook-up when ocean trolling was more luck, as opposed to reading a river and making the proper prenstation with the right bait & tackle.

  11. #11

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    If you don't think that river fishing for kings involves a good deal of luck you are truly fooling yourself. Every time I go river fishing and come home empty handed I attribute it to luck: that is BAD LUCK.......

  12. #12

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    I guess salt vs fresh is was what I meant. sorry.

  13. #13
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    with that timing I would be in the salt for sure.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  14. #14

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    While I am not a fortune teller, I would say that you would better off to not go on the May 30th Charter unless locals and everyone says it is decent. From my experience, late May and early June on most years can be really tough. But, it all depends on the year. If this weather pattern keeps up, and it looks like it will, May 30th might be the perfect time.

  15. #15
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    I would do a Deep Creek combo. If I really wanted a king I would forget the combo and find a guide with a smaller boat that only does kings in the salt. There will be a few kings in the Kenai and a few more in the Kasilof but I would think your odds would be better in the salt out of Deep Creek.

    I just re-read your first post, I see the dates, if you are staying from May 30 until July I would wait until I got here, see what is going on for fishing. There is plenty of time and you won't have trouble finding guides with openings in early June.

  16. #16

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    I know that they are not Kenai Kings, but I have done really well in Resurrection Bay in late May and early June for kings in the salt. They are feeding heavily and between 20 and 40 pounds. I have found that they are an early morning feeder, and I mean before 6 am. They are however, hard to find sometimes and intermixed with other salmon cruising to wherever they are going. They are a blast to catch with lightish salmon gear.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by T.R. Bauer View Post
    I know that they are not Kenai Kings, but I have done really well in Resurrection Bay in late May and early June for kings in the salt. They are feeding heavily and between 20 and 40 pounds. I have found that they are an early morning feeder, and I mean before 6 am. They are however, hard to find sometimes and intermixed with other salmon cruising to wherever they are going. They are a blast to catch with lightish salmon gear.
    I sent you a pm.

    Basically wondering if you've hired a guide/charter to do this or if you target them on your own from shore or something?

    If you head out from shore in the mornings, Ill join ya for sure!

  18. #18
    Member boejali's Avatar
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    soda, when you figure all this out let me know, i just got up here last month. fishing up here seams part voodoo part science

  19. #19

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    boy as a charter captain and river bumm this is really tough to answer.

    Ok no it's not. I really love river fishing. The kings taste just as good as any salt king *mind you I dont keep purple rotten fish either*, a blushed king is just fine though. They fight just as well, though may not get as wild. May 30th is to early for where I fish though I've heard of early runs I've never personally done them in rivers.

    But dang it the ocean...shoot I dont need to say more do I? really? Fish every day, whales, sea life, the salty air....really mess's with a guys head. Did I forget the scenery? And the run never seems to end.......Well some years anyways. It's definatly longer then 2 or 3 weeks or heaven forbid 3 or 4 weekends.

    Tough tough tough.

    May 30th in southeast Alaska (sitka) king fishing can be very very very good! So is the halibut fishing. I've never fished the kenai that early but I'm sure there are fish around considering those fish are moving freshwater shortly. The halibut fishing should be picking up also.

    WHen it comes to charter fishing, depending on the weather and the runs, you need to express your desires upfront to your skippers so you are NOT dissappointed. On my boat, boat majority rules barring any brawls fist fights or duels with gaffs. If a group wants to spend more time for white meat then red so be it. If the red meat fishing is good I usually encourage them to stick it out for a few fish unless the few fish theory produces slow. Also dont show up on the docks at 0500 and tell your skipper you want to white meat fish all day. It can be tough to plan for this when you're running 100+ days out of the year and it can be quite wasteful of bait. A simple call the nite before to let them know your thoughts atleast will let them be prepped for your morning or mornings on the water. And just because for the last 2 weeks we've limited on our 4 kings in 15 to 30 minutes after the rods hit the water, doesnt mean today we wont get skunked! It's sucks to say it but this is afterall fishing. More time on the hook for flatties is a definatly plus! Just some things to consider, take them or leave them. Hopefully you find a skipper who just loves to be out on the water and seems to come in a hour or three late daily for this reason alone.

  20. #20

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    BoJ,

    It's all about timing and location. neither of which are difficult. A few phone calls will answer your questions. Or better yet fish reports on old posts here will likely do the same.

    Figure out what you want to fish, where you want to do it and start digging in.

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