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Thread: Tricks for Catching Hatchery Kings?

  1. #1

    Default Tricks for Catching Hatchery Kings?

    I have hatchery king salmon returning to my house (they released the baby kings from the cove I live on) this year and I'm wondering if anybody had any tricks to getting them to bite when they show up? I'm well versed at catching open water kings, but not when they show up and just kinda mill around. I remember some guys in Sitka catching some nice kings at the hatchery from the dock too.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Rig a herring under a bobber, or no bobber or weight and just swim it back really slowly. Also a weighted treble fly seems to work good on hatchery brats, if its legal in your cove.

    If you wanna fly fish to them I've had my best luck on blue and black clousers for hatchery kings
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  3. #3

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    Not really tricks, but if you do see them milling around in saltwater, spinners and spoons work great. My favorite lures for hatchery Kings are Blue Fox Vibrax, size 5. Orange, Chart. gold and silver blades. Also I have caught a lot on buzz bombs. I have caught my share of Hatchery Kings, working at SE hatcheries for the past 15 years.
    Good luck, I hope you see a bunch of those Kings this year! I don't know if you will see any big ones, I think they will only be two ocean fish?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAK View Post
    Not really tricks, but if you do see them milling around in saltwater, spinners and spoons work great. My favorite lures for hatchery Kings are Blue Fox Vibrax, size 5. Orange, Chart. gold and silver blades. Also I have caught a lot on buzz bombs. I have caught my share of Hatchery Kings, working at SE hatcheries for the past 15 years.
    Good luck, I hope you see a bunch of those Kings this year! I don't know if you will see any big ones, I think they will only be two ocean fish?
    They should be 3 and 4 year olds coming back, if I recall correctly.. No really big kings, but big enough to interest me. I caught and released some 15lb jacks in the creek at the end of the bay last summer and the biologist told me that they'll have a good return this year.

  5. #5
    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    Rig a herring under a bobber, or no bobber or weight and just swim it back really slowly. Also a weighted treble fly seems to work good on hatchery brats, if its legal in your cove.

    If you wanna fly fish to them I've had my best luck on blue and black clousers for hatchery kings
    Hey 270ti akpowdermonkey is right. PSWAC used to release kings at fleming spit in Cordova. When they 1st show up they'll hit anything but after they've seen enough hardware they get finnicky. They also swim around in one big school. flogging a fly or lure can be a waste of time till they make their swing by again. The herring on the bobber worked really well, just a cut plug of herring hanging there and some guys got em that way w/ eggs

  6. #6
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    When they show up to your house, open the door and invite them in.
    (sorry 270 could not resist). just a friendly joke.

  7. #7
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    You already know how to catch them, 270ti. When they are pretty freshly returned to the area trolled and mooched cutplugs and strips work for them right up to where they were released from their net pens. (If you have any needlefish showing in your area, try some slender-cut strips of herring - they can be killer under the right conditions.)

    After they have been around in the same area for awhile I have found with both the Bear Cove (NSRAA) Kings near Sitka and the DIPAC Kings here in Juneau that they will go for gold-plated spoons or gold #900 or #407 Tomic plugs. Have fun!

  8. #8
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    Default Mepps

    I've done really well fishing the terminal kings around here using Mepps Flying C in Pink. For flies they've always gone for a Chartruese and White Clouser. Like other said, when they first return they will hit pretty good. But once they've seen a bit of hardware they can get pretty finicky.

    A friend of mine that used to fish kings at Medevije (sp?) hatchery in Sitka fished Bangtails and did really well. He said the key was to get the lure infront of the school and reel it in the same direction they are heading. Also he said targeting single fish doesn't work that well. you need to find the school because the singles are too spooky.

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