Whittier Balck Bears??
I normally go black bear hunting out of Valdez. However, this year I am taking my brother-in-law and he only has a limited amount of time off of work. To save the time of driving we figured we would go out of Whittier. I have never hunted out of Whittier and assume there is more pressure than fValdez. Does anyone have info on how far to get out or places to avoid to get away from the crowds? Also, any fishing information, (salmon?/halibut) would be appreciated. Thanks.
Hunting pressure in Whittier is definatly higher then in Valdez but there is still plenty of bears to get if you don't mind a little work. Cruising up and down the shores may work for some people but I've never liked the style of hunting. I've taken some pretty nice bears up high, and have had the opportunity to be successful every year I've gone out. (some years I chose not to shoot) Areas to focus on (Its tough since I don't know your boating skills) include: Esther Passage, Eaglek Bay, and if you want to go south try McClure Bay in Port Nellie Juan.
Avoid Culross Passage and Pigot Bay. A lot of people hunt close in, as much of the pressure comes from those with smaller boats who are not familiar with the sound.
As for fishing, it is too early for salmon (unless you can find some feeder kings), and halibut are pretty hard to come by in the Sound. They're there, but the average depth is over 1,000 ft. in most places. You might get into some rockfish, though - just look for pinnacles and ledges on your depth charts. While you're at it, either buy or borrow some shrimp pots. There are some good threads in the archives here about where to look for shrimp.
chums are available in the northern sound in may-june. they return to the hatchery on esther island i think. some years ester passage is super good for chums in late may. a small spoon or jig mooched like you're fishing for silvers works great.