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Thread: Whittier Silvers

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    Member Raptor_1's Avatar
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    Default Whittier Silvers

    Went down to Whittier over memorail day weekend in May and had fun catching chums from the salt off the two big rocks on the left as you head into Whittier. Was wondering if silvers make their way in there and when?
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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    They do, although you're more likely to find them in the harbor, Smitty's Cove, or Cove Creek. The schools sometimes do meander around the end of the bay, though.

    It tends to be a later run, often peaking mid-September, which can make for excellent fall fishing. Once it gets colder and wetter, it rapidly becomes less crowded, too. If you're really needing to catch fish, they can be caught through October and even into November if you're willing to put the time in to locate them.

    They also tend to be big silvers, which makes it even more fun....


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    Thanks for the info coho. Can they be caught at Smitty's from shore? Say, down there from the end of the boat launch?
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    are these areas that can be accessed by driving there and walking? i would like to get into any salmon fishing off of land in whittier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishak View Post
    are these areas that can be accessed by driving there and walking? i would like to get into any salmon fishing off of land in whittier.
    You can drive to Smittys and fish by the boat lauch. You can also fish inside the harbor but cannot fish from the docks or from the sea wall.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raptor_1 View Post
    Thanks for the info coho. Can they be caught at Smitty's from shore? Say, down there from the end of the boat launch?
    Yeah, along the rocks on the inside of the cove next to the ramp, too. If the fish are there, so will there be people. That spot concentrates them pretty tightly, so the snaggers come out in force there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishak View Post
    are these areas that can be accessed by driving there and walking? i would like to get into any salmon fishing off of land in whittier.
    It's all easily accessible. Cove Creek is a few minute drive. Go up to the big abandoned barrack's building, hang a right on Shotgun Cove road, and follow it to the pullout. Then wander around looking for fish. Be careful of high tides, though...they can flood the whole cove and leave you to climbing into the woods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    Yeah, along the rocks on the inside of the cove next to the ramp, too. If the fish are there, so will there be people. That spot concentrates them pretty tightly, so the snaggers come out in force there.
    Thanks again coho. I won't be one of the snaggers though. Not a fan. Did it once down in Seward and was pretty disgusted. Won't be going back. I'll be trying with pixies and vibrax.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raptor_1 View Post
    Thanks again coho. I won't be one of the snaggers though. Not a fan. Did it once down in Seward and was pretty disgusted. Won't be going back. I'll be trying with pixies and vibrax.
    Yeah, I'm not big on snagging, either. I will if I'm desperate, but I'll try everything else first.

    Bait works quite well in the harbor if the fish are present. Dead-drift a herring.

    Just to the left of Smitty's boat launch people don't usually snag much. It's pretty rocky and you lose hooks fast, but often times the fish kind of circle back and forth. I've had decent luck on that side with herring under a bobber to keep it off the rocks. One year my father-in-law had relatives up and they just killed them there with that technique. They had so much fun they've been coming back up here every August for 5 or 6 years now...lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post

    It tends to be a later run, often peaking mid-September, which can make for excellent fall fishing. Once it gets colder and wetter, it rapidly becomes less crowded, too. If you're really needing to catch fish, they can be caught through October and even into November if you're willing to put the time in to locate them.

    They also tend to be big silvers, which makes it even more fun....

    The later fish were when PWSAC was using Cordovas Power Creek Cohos for brood stock. They used to alternate between Power Creek stocks and the 18mi (copper river hwy) stocks. Now they exclusively use the 18 mile stocks and they peak about the 1st of sept. If you remember a few years back Whittier had mass silvers around aug 15, that was because they had to use Corbin Creek Stocks (Valdez) because the pipes froze at Ester hatchery and all the fry died, so they bought fry from VFDA in Valdez. PSWAC creates these fish for all user groups at the Ester hatchery. They release a percentage of them in Whittier, Cordova and Chenega for sport and subsistence the rest are released in Lake Bay (Ester Island) for commercial harvest

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    The later fish were when PWSAC was using Cordovas Power Creek Cohos for brood stock. They used to alternate between Power Creek stocks and the 18mi (copper river hwy) stocks. Now they exclusively use the 18 mile stocks and they peak about the 1st of sept. If you remember a few years back Whittier had mass silvers around aug 15, that was because they had to use Corbin Creek Stocks (Valdez) because the pipes froze at Ester hatchery and all the fry died, so they bought fry from VFDA in Valdez. PSWAC creates these fish for all user groups at the Ester hatchery. They release a percentage of them in Whittier, Cordova and Chenega for sport and subsistence the rest are released in Lake Bay (Ester Island) for commercial harvest
    Wow. Thank you.

    I had no idea they used such a variety of stocks, and with different built-in timing. Very good info to know.

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    Raptor:

    What were you catching those chums on and what condition were the fish in? This was off the beach? Looking forward to the silver season down there. Heard from some people in the harbor that the canal will be stocked with kings again next year. Anyone confirm this?

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    yep PSWAC is returning to their king program. I don't know what Rapter was using but the chums at the hatchery were hammering purple egg sucking leeches
    Quote Originally Posted by kimjn View Post
    Raptor:

    What were you catching those chums on and what condition were the fish in? This was off the beach? Looking forward to the silver season down there. Heard from some people in the harbor that the canal will be stocked with kings again next year. Anyone confirm this?

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    In Sept/Oct I have found them more consistently at the end of the bay than in the harbor. Sometimes it's just a pod that mills around for weeks, but in the harbor they are either there or they are not, and I've never been lucky enough to be there when they were in strong. Some pinks hang out at the end as well as the odd chum (what other kind is there?) I have done well there with Flash Flies, and spinners seem to work, though the fish can get spooked easily there when the water is clearer. The less splash it makes going in the better. Unless you know a holding area that I don't know about, I wouldn't bother with the snagging hooks. They don't make for a very solid hookup anyway for all the damage they can do. If you're going to commit to the tunnel trip you might as well bring a bait rig for the rocks next to the restaurants in case the salmon are not in. At least you'll have a chance at some pollack and you never know what else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kimjn View Post
    Raptor:

    What were you catching those chums on and what condition were the fish in? This was off the beach? Looking forward to the silver season down there. Heard from some people in the harbor that the canal will be stocked with kings again next year. Anyone confirm this?
    We were getting the chums on pixies from the two rocks on the left side of the road as you head into whittier. The fish were in superb condition, dime bright, beautiful looking fish. Didn't know a dog could look that good!

    fullbush:

    Is that hatchery in the bay there?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raptor_1 View Post
    fullbush:

    Is that hatchery in the bay there?
    no Raptor its in Lake Bay on the southwestern part of Ester Island

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    Are the chums in May hatchery fish or are they from area streams? Thought the runs were later for some reason. Is it worth targeting them?

    Good news on the kings. Such a beautiful location to fish and with kings becoming available, even better.

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    where is smittys cove? ive google mapped it and havn't found anything

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishak View Post
    where is smittys cove? ive google mapped it and havn't found anything
    It's kind of hard to describe. The end of Depot Road, I think it's called. Opposite side of the Ferry Dock than the harbor. There's a giant boat sitting there at the moment, in the parking lot. I'm really curious how they got it there. It's not much, just a little tiny cove. There's a boat launch ramp there as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kimjn View Post
    Are the chums in May hatchery fish or are they from area streams? Thought the runs were later for some reason. Is it worth targeting them?

    Good news on the kings. Such a beautiful location to fish and with kings becoming available, even better.
    The chum stock comes from Wells Bay over by Unakwik. The run starts the middle of May and peaks around June 20th
    The state only permits the hatcheries to enhance stocks w/ run timing that won't interfere w/ wild stocks. The early run chums from Wells Bay are perfect for the Ester Hatchery release because the Port Wells Stocks don't come till July. They also do a remote release of these stocks in Port Chalmers, w/ an annual return of about a million

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