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Thread: Salmon Sharks in Southeast

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    Member Ak Fireman's Avatar
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    Default Salmon Sharks in Southeast

    Does anyone have any experience with salmon shark fishing in Southeast?
    I have heard Icy Strait, north Chatam strait, Frederick Sound are good spots to start looking.
    What kind of bait and how should I rig it, what depth. Do I fish it like halibut or do I troll or jig in open water, do I fish above or below the thermalcline or does it matter? Any thoughts would be helpful..

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    We had a shark hit our flasher last year while trolling for salmon off the South end of Shelter Island.

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    Though I don't target them, I've seen probably a half dozen or so around Cape Bartolome near Craig in recent years. Had a guest actually hook 1 last year while halibut fishing, hit a salmon belly in 270' of water, tail wrapped and blew up the reel, hand lined it to the surface, took a few pics then cut it loose. I've thought about going out there targetting them sometime on a day off but haven't yet done it, maybe this summer.

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    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    my stepdad was sure good at catching them in the sein when i was a kid. we had so many one time we just had to cut the purse loose and drag the net in straight. cant remember what area that was but they are definately available in southeast.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    I think most people troll whole pinks to catch em.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    I don't know of anyone that targets them on the inside... gotta get out close to Cross Sound to have much luck finding them... I've been keeping a rigged pink on hand whenever we're out fishing halibut in August.

    On the inside waters, they seem to be deep, lurking, stealthy types... never seen one finning this silty water, but I do know they're here...

    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanCanCase View Post
    I don't know of anyone that targets them on the inside... gotta get out close to Cross Sound to have much luck finding them... I've been keeping a rigged pink on hand whenever we're out fishing halibut in August.

    On the inside waters, they seem to be deep, lurking, stealthy types... never seen one finning this silty water, but I do know they're here...

    -Case
    How do you rig the pink? Do you rig it similar to herring, or are you using a much larger single hook? Also, how do you get the pink deep enough--do you use a downrigger?

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Don't know about the inside water at all. Last year we caught them out of Valdez. Large single hook through the pink. I think that we used a couple ounce weight just up from the long steel leader. The fish were hitting the surface a lot so we didn't go deep. They were jumping all around the boat and the hook set took place on all 4 fish within 50 foot of the boat. We tried to catch some halibut - and had a couple hook up's on the bottom in 270feet of water though.

    Let her take it a ways before you set the hook. If you want to release then don't let her take it as long. If you are going to kill it letting them take it a while puts the bait further into their stomach and also lessens their fight - or so I was told.

    They pull pretty hard and you need good gear.

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    Saw this post ref :salmon sharks and had no clue there were sharks in AK waters so I looked them up on the inter-net.
    Found a load of information on what, where, etc. Now I know.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    They are there for certain...hopefully will be for a long time. Much research is needed in an attempt to understand them.

    One thing though - they pull pretty darn hard.

    My g-friend landed her king on the Klutina in about 10 seconds by flipping it out of the water and into the net....2 days later she hooked a 350ish pound shark and it was dead and gutted next to the boat within 10 minutes (it was a male). I thought I was going to have an easy time of it....not so!

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    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruger01 View Post
    How do you rig the pink? Do you rig it similar to herring, or are you using a much larger single hook? Also, how do you get the pink deep enough--do you use a downrigger?
    I've rigged several ways - chunks of meat dropped deep, like for halibut; plug cut pink; single hook through the mouth of the fish. I'm toying with a bait threading needle to rig them like a mackerel when you're fishing blues down south, but we'll have to wait till August to know if it's effective.

    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
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    Member Ak Fireman's Avatar
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    Can I legally use pink salmon as bait or chum and if so, is it affective as chum with so much dead salmon scent in the water to begin with?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanCanCase View Post
    I've rigged several ways - chunks of meat dropped deep, like for halibut; plug cut pink; single hook through the mouth of the fish. I'm toying with a bait threading needle to rig them like a mackerel when you're fishing blues down south, but we'll have to wait till August to know if it's effective.

    -Case
    Where are you going to target them at?

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    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruger01 View Post
    Where are you going to target them at?
    I can't go giving up all of my secrets this week, can I? I will say that it's within day-trip range of Juneau... Whether that means Stephens Passage, Chatham, Lynn Canal, Icy Strait or Cross Sound, I'll leave a mystery for now...
    ;-)

    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak Fireman View Post
    Can I legally use pink salmon as bait or chum
    Look here...
    and if so, is it affective as chum with so much dead salmon scent in the water to begin with?[/QUOTE]
    I'm told (and my experience agrees) that they're much more of a visual feeder than other species. It's awful hard to draw them into an area with chum when they've already got a few million pinks schooling to follow. If you're fishing "blind" (ie: don't know if they're there or not), I would concentrate on getting a good action on a rigged whole fish. If you know they're there (seen finning, jumping, etc.) the chunked baits can work well, although a semi-natural looking presentation works well...

    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanCanCase View Post
    I can't go giving up all of my secrets this week, can I? I will say that it's within day-trip range of Juneau... Whether that means Stephens Passage, Chatham, Lynn Canal, Icy Strait or Cross Sound, I'll leave a mystery for now...
    ;-)

    -Case

    Fair enough. I was hoping I could go to South Shelter or somewhere close.

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    Member Ak Fireman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanCanCase View Post
    Look here...
    and if so, is it affective as chum with so much dead salmon scent in the water to begin with?
    I'm told (and my experience agrees) that they're much more of a visual feeder than other species. It's awful hard to draw them into an area with chum when they've already got a few million pinks schooling to follow. If you're fishing "blind" (ie: don't know if they're there or not), I would concentrate on getting a good action on a rigged whole fish. If you know they're there (seen finning, jumping, etc.) the chunked baits can work well, although a semi-natural looking presentation works well...

    -Case[/quote]

    Thanks for the reply.

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    Member Ak Fireman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruger01 View Post
    Fair enough. I was hoping I could go to South Shelter or somewhere close.
    I've heard of a few hooked in Northpass, usually around derby time. I've also been told the deep water around Vanderbilt reef can produce. I would like to stay close to Juneau as well, but like the saying goes, "lower your standards and up your average".

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    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruger01 View Post
    Fair enough. I was hoping I could go to South Shelter or somewhere close.
    There are usually a few to be had close to town, but it's "fishing blind" and would probably take quite a bit of rod time to figure out. South Shelter sounds good, as does the Lincoln/Shelter pass. Also might try Fritz Cove/N. Douglas when there are salmon schooling there. I've lost many whole trolling rigs bit off at the flasher... seal? sea lion? shark? who knows?

    I usually go away from town to areas where we can see them finning... My dad taught me early on to "never fish where there aren't any"... unless I'm certain the fish are in an area, I don't care as much to fish there. (Prospecting trips are what we do for fun when nobody's around!)

    Oh, I remember all of my Dad's stories from when he owned Rosie's in the early 70's... there were days when the trollers would quit fishing because they couldn't keep the sharks off their gear (and fish).

    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Default Trollers and Sharks

    Case - as you must know, those days your Dad heard about back when he owned Rosie's - of sharks decimating trollers gear still occur up and down the coast every year. Putting troll gear in the water can still mean saying good-bye to that gear. Sometimes its in Cross Sound, sometimes its at White Sisters, sometimes its at Whale Bay or even in the middle of Sitka Sound. For me, it most consistently happened at White Sisters, but then we had days while concentrating on coho (and I still hear about these situations) right off Inian Cove when literally anything sent down was never seen again.

    I whole-heartedly agree with your earlier post that for someone looking to target them in an area that consistently has shark, a place close to Cross Sound like the Passes by the Inians would be my choice. Fishing close to Juneau would be hit or miss for shark at best unless you happened to find some milling in Taku Inlet or possibly with the DIPAC chum returning to Amalga. The chances for success would be numerically higher out in the Passes.

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