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Thread: Why are winter/feeder kings always small?

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    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Default Why are winter/feeder kings always small?

    Ok, did a search and didn't find this topic....maybe I missed it..

    Is my impression correct that winter/feeder kings are always small....maybe 6-15 lbs.? why is this? The big ones that will come in to spawn next spring/summer gotta eat too this winter, and the summer feeders we catch where there is no spawning run are always little guys too....the big spawning run fish have to be somewhere, why do we only catch them when the runs start??
    Last edited by Cap'n Ron; 01-09-2010 at 20:17. Reason: Can't get my post titles bold, how is that done??

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    Member Raptor_1's Avatar
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    My guess would be they're more ocean going than the feeders. Just a thought
    Alaska: We're all here cuz we're not all "there"

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    biggest winter king ive caught was 26 lbs out of homer. biggest ive seen caught was a 34lb white fleshed female....also out of homer. they get good sized but they are hard to find....lotsa water out there.



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    What percentage of kings live to be four, five, six, or seven year old kings? The percentage of one, two, and three year old kings is much higher and survival rates simply decrease as they get older which makes the odds greater that you will catch one of the smaller age classes when out fishing the feeders.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Because they are from washington
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Because the are "feeder" kings. They are making thier way around the ocean, snacking and growing up. As far as where they are from I have no idea. Maybe monkey has tagged a few and tracked them. Or god knows he read it somewhere. A little freaking backup or proof would be nice instead of your traditional 1 sentence responses. Because they are from Washington????? Oh thats right. You were at the little salmon customs building. Im guessing your checked thier little fishy passports.
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    Member bigcox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    Because the are "feeder" kings. They are making thier way around the ocean, snacking and growing up. As far as where they are from I have no idea. Maybe monkey has tagged a few and tracked them. Or god knows he read it somewhere. A little freaking backup or proof would be nice instead of your traditional 1 sentence responses. Because they are from Washington????? Oh thats right. You were at the little salmon customs building. Im guessing your checked thier little fishy passports.

    haha..."little fishy passports"...Too Funny

    That's Hillarious!

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    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Ron View Post
    Ok, did a search and didn't find this topic....maybe I missed it..

    Is my impression correct that winter/feeder kings are always small..
    Tip....small ones are deep
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    Member rrjfish8's Avatar
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    I was told that the fish that spawn in Alaska feed in BC an vice versa. This maks a migration circle(maybe so a areas bait fish population is not destroyed) There is also a area hundreds of miles out in US water but closer to japan that has several gulf streams that come together and brings bait fish which brings predator fish. They do get a lot of big kings in the salt down there but few in freshwater.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    Because the are "feeder" kings. They are making thier way around the ocean, snacking and growing up. As far as where they are from I have no idea. Maybe monkey has tagged a few and tracked them. Or god knows he read it somewhere. A little freaking backup or proof would be nice instead of your traditional 1 sentence responses. Because they are from Washington????? Oh thats right. You were at the little salmon customs building. Im guessing your checked thier little fishy passports.
    For the most part, he's pretty much right. Ever wonder why so many white kings come out of that fishery? A lot of Fraser fish feed in that area. Look up "demographics" for SE catches and see how many originate from well south.

    In addition, salmon at this stage of their life grow phenomenally fast ... and silvers often can their body weight weight every 90 days in the latter part of their oceanic lifespan.

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    ouch akchuck thats a painful reply from the pro



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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakcombo View Post
    Tip....small ones are deep

    Minnow molester


    That is a very nice king no matter what the time of year
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  13. #13

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    It's my understanding (for my area) that we catch the bigger ones as they are migrating through to get back to there rivers in BC, WA, and Oregon, which peaks in late June. Kings feed and grow up in the Bering and Gulf of AK where the feed is more abundant in the winter months. (thus the high incidental bycatch my the trawlers) We have a few local "feeder" kings around in the winter, but nothing like what is here in the summer time when they are passing through. But, we do get a few big ones this time of the year who must be lost. I heard about a 40lb king caught on sport gear a few weeks ago.

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    this time of year we see lots of fish from 8-12 lbs, but lately there has been a cohort off the bluff that is 15-18 lbs, pretty nice by anybody's book...
    a couple years ago there was a cohort of HUGE feeders up the bay, in a matter of two weeks in the spring there were at least 6 fish caught that were over #40. the biggest was a #77 white king ... i know the guy that caught it and the charter operator, and the pic is in the window at inlet charters.
    no run of hogs like that since, but there will be a next time...
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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default please leave my Kenai kings

    Alone... please release any king caught in the ocean anywhere that is over 20 lbs, as it is probably a Kenai King.
    You are killing the resource... and if you continue to harvest the bigger salt water kings, there will be none left for our children,,,, oh lord,, think of the children!!!!
    Those that went after that big bunch of large kings out of Homer will have to deal with Karma... so the dude that caught that 77 lb fish needs to wear his life vest at all times,, even when on shore...
    Again.... Think of the Children...
    .. I would like to know the location of the larger kings being caught around homer in the winter, so I can patrol the area and attempt to battle those that would harvest these big kings, sorta like the guys that try to stop the Japanese whalers...
    .. Again do it for the Children...
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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default you goofball

    gee max, didn't see your brand on those
    i know you are joking... there ain't any white kings going up the kenai.
    the first job i had for F&G was doing coded tag recovery in a study designed to determine the origin of salmon caught in the saltwater troll fishery in k-bay and cook inlet. smolt were tagged in deep creek and the kenai (as well as tagged hatchery fish from ninilchick and some valley streams), and tag recovery went on for 5 years after the last kenai kings were tagged.
    no feeder ( sexually undeveloped fish not en route to a river) kings were ever found to be alaskan stocks, all the tags we recovered from feeders in that study were from BC, washington and a few from oregon.
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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default goofball?

    You been talking to my wife?
    She says I am a "goofball from the planet CornBall"
    Thats good information Dave.
    ....
    I have my boat front and center in the Aircraft hangar ready to go..
    All I need is a guy that knows how to catch these fish..
    In all my years here, I have never fished the winter kings, or the derby.
    I put a nice heater in the boat this fall for the Yukon trip, and so I think I can at least stay warm.
    If any of you winter king guys wants to talk me into taking out the boat, and showing me the ropes, I would be happy to take up the offer.
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    Max
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  18. #18
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    they all taste so good so who cares how big they are, well actually i like to catch the big ones, they take better pictures but they all taste so good i really don't care, and max i would love to go fishing i'm here in homer and ready to go most of the time

  19. #19
    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Default very good info

    Homerdave thats great info, tagging and releasing kings under 35 pounds would be interesting. We all wonder if they come back to the feeding spots till they are ready to spawn. Say we catch a 50 pounder in Feb, what would it weigh if caught in July? or a 25 pounder this year what would it weigh next year?

    got any left over tags?
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    Default They can get plenty big

    Over Christmas a couple of different hand trollers caught large fish. One was 35lbs and the other was over 40. However one hand troller I know takes a month off from work every winter, Jan/Feb and most years he said his average fish weight for the month is roughly 18 lbs dressed. He usually catches between 40-60 kings over the month. Most are cookie cutter 15-18 pounders but the occasionaly 35-40lb fish helps out the average.

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