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Thread: Seward Butts

  1. #1
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    Default Seward Butts

    Wife, son and myself drove to Seward on Tuesday to mainly chase butt's. We headed out past Pony Cove and drifted while my son and I jigged and my wife bounced bait along the bottom.
    Couldnt seem to keep the rock fish and golden eyes off the hook so we moved spots because it bothered all of us to see those pretty golden eyes lay on the surface till an eagle swooped down and made off with them. Managed to hook into one nice butt on the jig (108 pounds). Heading back we watched a pod of Orca's feeding around Pony Cove for about an hour as some even came up to the boat and watched us. Man those things are huge up close!
    Pretty good day all in all. Now you know why most of us contend with the winters
    Tennessee

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    Are you referring to yelloweye rockfish? How many did you kill before you decided it was best to move?

  3. #3

    Unhappy

    Killing the rock fish and such is done a lot. I have seen dozens of them floating away from the charter boats. But I guess the ocean can handle it, because it has been going on for several years now.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfish6025 View Post
    Are you referring to yelloweye rockfish? How many did you kill before you decided it was best to move?
    Well, not sure how to answer you. We drifted the entire time and never anchored.
    Perhaps you know how to keep a golden eye from hitting a halibut jig, but I don't.
    Tennessee

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    are yelloweye closed to fishing? I thought you would just keep them... Theyr'e pretty good eating.

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    They are good eating and it is illeagl to just throw them back. Catch your limit and stop fishing. F & G will not care what you excuse or reason is. They will cite you for any violations

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I had a similar experience fishing for buts out of Seward a few weeks ago, the yellow eyes were hitting us hard, as well as lings, but buts were few and far between.

    I'm curious about the statement that it is illegal to keep fishing after you have limited out on non-pelagic rockfish. When we were fishing in a bay, we were visited by the troopers. We chatted for a bit, they checked our licenses, were glad to see the kids had their lifejackets on, and then my son caught a quill back, which put us at each having landed our one non-pelagic fish.

    The troopers suggested we fish around the 50 fathom line on the points of the bay as people have taken good halibut fishing there. Nothing was mentioned about having to stop fishing since we'd limited on our non-pelagic fish. So we went out to those points and fished them, and ended up hooking yellow eyes, but no buts. No we didn't kill scores of fish, but a few of them were thrown back. I don't care what you say, when you pull up a fish from 300-400 feet with it's bladder sticking out of its mouth and it's eyes popped out of it's head, it's not going to survive. And, we did see an eagle swoop down and make off with one of them, which was pretty neat.

    Considering how easy it was to catch the yellow eyes, I wonder about the 1 fish limit in the Bay and surrounding waters. Unfortunately alot of fish get wasted due to that rule. But, not really, nothing is wasted in nature, something else eats what we aren't allowed to eat.

    To my knowledge in Resserection Bay, the only time you can't fish in the bay is if you've landed a lingcod outside the bay. On the way back to the dock it's lines up.

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    Limit is one per person where we were fishing and I agree they are fantastic table fare as we had some for dinner last night.

    Some of you may be missing the point here and are quick to try to paint someone as being illegal. You take a well meaning posting and then try to twist it around to act like we were intentionly targeting illegal fish. We did not target catching them as we were fishing for halibut.

    Paul is right on in his comments.

    But if anyone here thinks our family is going to stop fishing for halibut because we caught one yellow eye each you are nuts, lol.
    Tennessee

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    Hey Snowwolfe, don't sweat these guys. I know exactly what you mean.

    I have sat on some awesome Halibut holes with tons of rockfish right above them. If you could get your bait past them the halibut bite was on. It is not illegal to throw them back once your limit is met, just make sure you keep your limit before releasing any. You will get a ticket if you keep more than your limit. If that is all you are catching it is time to move.


    Now before you guys jump all over me, I am not sitting out there floating dozens of yelloweye waiting for that one halibut to bite. If I hit a couple after I have gotten a limit I will move. Sounds exactly like what Snowwolfe did.

    For you guys slamming him for it, I want to hear reports of you taking your boat down that you pay $200-$300 a month or more for, spend money on bait, fuel, food for a day, not to mention the cost of gear, catch your limit of 3 or 4 yelloweye in the first hour you are fishing, reel em up and head back in. I will be patiently waiting.

    Oh and lets not forget.

    Glad you and your family had a good day on the water.

  10. #10

    Default Yelloweyes can be old fish

    There aren't as many of these older lived fish (15 to 75 years old according to the F&G brochure) and that is why the limit is one of the non-pelagic rockfish species. There are more of the pelagic rockfish, blacks and duskies, but they don't live to be quite so old (7-30 years).

    I think most folks move if they catch more than their limit and are still catching them. If you have more than one or two that are released and are floating around the boat then I think it is the responsible thing to do to move to a new spot. Releasing fish that you know won't survive, as evidenced by floaters by your boat, can be considered wonton waste of the resource and the troopers can ticket for wonton waste.

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    I am not telling anybody what to do or slamming them. Just the facts, 4 rockfish allowed per day, including 1 non-pelagic (sp). do what you like. Fish as long as you like for what you want. If F&G finds you with a bunch of floaters laying around your boat and determines that you have caught more than the limit they will cite you. Trooper Cloward does not care how much you pay for your boat or how many hours you have on the water. The rules are black & white. The limits and regs can be confusing going in & out of the bay with the different species ie: 6 salmon in the bay & 3 outside / lincod allowed outside but not inside etc... Do what you like, it is your wallet. There are still a lot of rockfish. Years ago the limit was 10 per day & lingcod could be kept inside the bay. Pressure and over fishing cause the regs to get tightened down. The rockfish get more pressure due to the ease of catching them. They are easy to find and the limt is caught pretty quick. But they can not survive being released very often.

    It is illegal to throw them back! Hey how about I shoot a moose that has only a 48" antler and I throw it back. Ya know I spent a lot for my wheeler & gun & food & RV & .......

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    Polaris, let it be known hereby that you are FOS.

    Read the regs. "The intentional waste or destruction of any species of sport-caught fish is prohibited."

    If you're camped out on a deep pinnacle and leave a string of half a dozen floaters, then yes, the troopers have cause to cite you for wastage. If you anchor up and catch one or two non-pelagics and then move, they can't. Had a f/g driveby at Junken last year - trooper asked about if we caught any more non-pelagics than the ones we told him were on board (our limit). I said yes, we caught two "extras", picked up anchor, and moved to our present position. He thanked us, turned the boat around, and headed for Resurrection.

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    Here's my understanding of the regulations:

    According to the book, in some areas of the State, you must keep all non-pelagic rockfish until your bag limit is reached (no discarding if you haven't limited out). I see that southeast has the rule that you must keep them until your limit is reached, but apparently not so for the waters of the North Gulf Coast (out of Seward), unless I missed it in the book. I don't know what other areas may have the retention rule. ALWAYS read the regs...

    I have not seen anything anywhere that says you must stop fishing when you have caught your limit of rockfish.

    Now, I've released a few floaters over the years (after reaching my limit) but not a whole lot. I typically like to fish a little deeper for halibut...mainly to avoid excessive rockfish catches in areas where I know I'm likely to catch them.

    Perhaps you can get cited for wanton waste if you're releasing "floaters"...it looks like a grey area in the regs. Sometimes, even if you get cited for something (especially for "gray area" things) and decide to challenge it, the prosecutor will decide it's not worth the hassle. Now, I'M NOT CONDONING OR ENCOURAGING THE ABUSE OF ANY FISH REGS...EVEN GRAY AREAS...but sometimes, different enforcement officers will view things differently.

    As it was stated before, non-pelagic rockfish, such as yelloweye, can be quite long-lived and probably can't take a whole lot of extra pressure in some areas. I would certainly encourage folks to "get off them" if you've taken a limit and are having to release many floaters.

    I know a few F&G guys frequent these forums...maybe they can chime in here and help clarify.

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    This crap is exactly why you never see me posting about my trips. I always follow the rules as I am sure Snowwolfe was. Someone always has to come in and blow things out of proportion.

    You will never see me out with floaters all around my boat, and unless I am completely off the mark, neither was Snowwolfe.

    You are going to have incidental bycatch when fishing for Halibut, whether it be rockfish, flounder, skate, lings, spiny dogfish. That is just the way it is. So you tell me, what is the "Legal Procedure" for this? Keeping in mind I am not talking about a dozen or more Yelloweye, I am talking about hitting a couple more after your limit is filled. If you keep them you are over the limit, so the only thing to do is release them, if they live or die is beyond your control at that time. As I stated in the previous post if this happens it is time to move, NOT quit fishing altogether.

    And the moose comment isn't even close to the same thing and you know it.


    My point in this little rant of mine is that you can go out, have a good time and do everything right, come on here and post about it and just because of the way you word things someone has to start spouting off about how you are fishing illegally, abusing the resource, and are generally a POS. It gets old, and I get tired of reading about it.

    Snowwolfe had a good day on the water with his family and wanted to share about it, but does anyone chime in with anything positive? No.

    I am heading to the Russian in a half hour, you guys can keep it up if you want. Cya

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    Well I hope I am FOS (wrong to be more polite) but don't think so. Catching fish that die and tossing them overboard is unavoidable with these fish. To keep on fishing and tossing them overboard looking for more fish just depeletes the stock. But what the heck, they are only fish and there are plenty of them in the water. You don't have to stop fishing, but you have to stay within the limits of what is allowed. To continue to try get thru a species that schools as densly as the rock fish do is to know that you are going to be throwing dead fish over the side. I know what I do to avoid being cited. I err on the side of caution with respect for the species. My thought is if the fish dies I have no choice but to count it towards my limit. It is dead, I took it out of the system

    I hope there is a F&G person that reviews this and offers an opinion

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    Catch your fish & have fun. But the regs can be confusing and read differently by everybody. The final reading is how F&G reads them when he or she pulls up to your camp

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Nobody wants to waste the resource. We have regulations in place that are intended to protect the resource, but unfortunately they result in us having to engage in practices that we don't like.

    One time sticks in my mind about a fish I wasted. I was fising in the stream that feeds into tangle lakes for grayling, tossing a spoon and working it up the current. I did finally catch a fish, my u/l rod doubled over and eventually I pulled in a nice lake trout. Unfortunately the small treble hook on that spoon was well imbedded in the trouts mouth, and it was under 18" so I had to through it back. Eventually I got the treble hook out, but the fishes mouth was torn up and I know it was going to die.

    Now if the troopers policy is to cite you for fishing over your limit or wanton waste once you've limited out on non-pelagics, why would the troopers have suggested some spots for me to fish for halibut (that hold yellow eye) after they saw we'd limited on non-pelagics on our boat??? They didn't even suggest that we might want to stop our fishing. They told me points where'd they've seen folks take nice halibut over the years.

    So, I don't think folks are going out to leave scores of rock fish floating on the surface. Unfortunately the way the regulations are written, and the fact that fishermen can't target a specific species, there are going to be bycatch that die. Really no different than the catch and release folks on the rivers that end up killing many fish. The only difference is they don't see them floating on the surface to feel bad about it.

  18. #18

    Default Hey Paul

    That is why you cut the line! yes you let your lure go with the fish. The hooks rust in little to no time and the fish is okay unscathed. you lose the lure. It is in the regs too. Under, how to release a fish.
    And my understanding is that if you pull up another yellow eye your in deep doodoo! Move after you catch one. or the boat limit. Change water depths, something but you don't get to throw them back. That is how it reads to me. Guess you should have a hot skillet ready just in case

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    Default impact

    Guys and gals, this sort of thing will have an impact up here. I've seen it happen before. Let me explain.

    There are no longer fishable numbers of yelloweye or canary (another orange rockfish) in mid and south Puget Sound in Washington. There were lots of them when I was a kid. People basically killed them off, and much of them were released as floaters (dead, and wasted) just like what people have been writing about in this thread. Yelloweye were thought of as a nuisance back then.

    Yes, we can damage the population of yelloweye and other non-pelagic rockfish in the areas of AK that get fished a lot, like Seward. Non-pelagics don't move much, are very slow growing, and if you find a spot that has them and keep pounding it, killing a few fish each time, and you tell a couple friends who do the same, you can wipe out that little population. The yelloweyes grow so slowly it might take until your kids are your age before that spot produces big yelloweyes again, and that's assuming people have stopped fishing it.

    The answer? If you care, avoid the high-relief, deep water rockpiles if you're targeting halibut. Yes, there are some halibut there. But usually there are more yelloweye in that kind of structure. If you do fish these kinds of areas and get into Yelloweyes or other non-pelagic rockfish, move, and note the spot on your GPS as a place that has them.

    A floater is part of your bag limit. If you catch one of these rockfish in water greater than 60 feet and release it, it's most likely going to die. It's better to keep it, then move to avoid exceeding your bag limit and overfishing the stock. Yelloweye are extremely susceptible to overfishing; the populations are fragile.

  20. #20
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    Default Yelloweyes

    First of all, I am glad the guy and his family had a nice day fishing. Sometimes a few rockfish are colateral damage to a great day of halibut fishing...But it can be avioded.

    I have seen the yelloweye populations around Seal Rocks, Montague and Elrington get decimated in the last 15 years.

    The idea of staying away from pinnacles is the easiest way to aviod them. You can fish Barwell and seldom catch one. Same with the 50 fm edge of Ailiak and the entire east side, day harbor, horsehead, mansfield, junken....not yelloweyes to be worrring about. I would bet you are catching them from Pilot Rock over to the Chiswells. This area is really not that great for halibut and is loaded with non pelagic rockfish. You have to work hard to aviod them. I would suggest these other areas after you catch your limit.
    Trooper Cloward is very strict about enterpreting the regulations and the man loves his job. So...stay of the exessive yelloweyes or you will likley get a ticket. Take it from his best customer... I get them all the time....

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