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Thread: Winter kings in Whitier

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    Default Winter kings in Whitier

    How far out do you have to go for winter Kings in Whitier. Been working 14 hours a day 7 days a week for over 2 months now would like to take the boat down in Jan. but got no idea where to go. any help would be greatly appritiated

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    When I was getting ready to take the family to Homer for the first time this summer some folks stepped up and loed right to a graet honey hole for smaller (better eating) halibut. I am hoping some of the Whitier folks will help me out too.

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    you would have a much better chance going to Homer for winter kings, I have not heard of too much success out of whittier for winter kings this time of year, or any time of year for that matter

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    Theres Excellent winter king fishing over on the eastern side of the sound. Along the west side of Hawkins is good. Just a short jaunt to Cordova if the weather gets bad

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    I've seen feeder kings caught near the processor, but that was in September.
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skagit22.5 View Post
    How far out do you have to go for winter Kings in Whitier. Been working 14 hours a day 7 days a week for over 2 months now would like to take the boat down in Jan. but got no idea where to go. any help would be greatly appritiated
    I lived in Anchorage for 18 years and drove to Homer any time I wanted to fish for winter kings because I never heard of anyone catching winter kings anywhere near Whittier. Seward has winter kings, but you have to go out to the outer bay areas to get them. The whole reason I moved to Homer was that you can catch winter kings only 3-4 miles or so from the small boat harbor.
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    I hung two ~17lb feeders during a late June shrimp pot soak at the mouth of one of the northern fjords between Whittier and Valdez. The habitat was similar enough to popular late summer silver spots closer to whittier (N and S Culross in particular) that I wouldn't be too quick to rule out hanging a king within an hour of Whittier.

    As for Seward, a charter runs a converted commercial troller (top speed ~7 kts is my guess) on day trips. She has big fish in her website photos. Her boat doesn't lend itself to getting too far out, but I don't know what is considered "outer bay". I've caught precisely one good (30 lb) king inside Res bay, about 40 minutes out from town, but I haven't given it a full day's effort - only stopping by when transiting outside and prior to silver time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vek View Post
    I hung two ~17lb feeders during a late June shrimp pot soak at the mouth of one of the northern fjords between Whittier and Valdez. The habitat was similar enough to popular late summer silver spots closer to whittier (N and S Culross in particular) that I wouldn't be too quick to rule out hanging a king within an hour of Whittier.

    As for Seward, a charter runs a converted commercial troller (top speed ~7 kts is my guess) on day trips. She has big fish in her website photos. Her boat doesn't lend itself to getting too far out, but I don't know what is considered "outer bay". I've caught precisely one good (30 lb) king inside Res bay, about 40 minutes out from town, but I haven't given it a full day's effort - only stopping by when transiting outside and prior to silver time.
    He's talking about fishing for WINTER kings. Not just any kings.
    You have to go out to the outer fringes of Res Bay to catch winter kings. And then it's a "hit or miss" sort of proposition unless you know exactly where to go and how to do it. I can run 5 - 7 minutes from the harbor here in Homer and catch winter kings that can tip the scales at over 20 lbs. I'd much rather be 3 or 4 miles from "home" if the weather decides to get nasty than out by Pony Cove and have to travel all the way back to Seward.
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    The PWS fish were nowhere near ready to spawn, and they weren't near a terminal area. That's a feeder in my book, as is any winter king. You find feeders where you find them, and that's about that. Some places are substantially more consistent than others, close in to Homer being the case in point.

    I've not seen the lady out of Seward out farther than Callisto. I have seen her loop from Callisto over to Fox and Eldorado. I doubt she runs farther in the winter, with less daylight and worse weather. Her website shows winter-caught fish. Therefore, I'd go out on a limb and say there are feeder kings to be caught in resurrection bay, still a good ways from the mouth on either end. I'll go even farther and say that there are winter kings to be had in PWS, owing to the huge area it encompasses and the pockets of feed present.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vek View Post
    The PWS fish were nowhere near ready to spawn, and they weren't near a terminal area. That's a feeder in my book, as is any winter king. You find feeders where you find them, and that's about that. Some places are substantially more consistent than others, close in to Homer being the case in point.

    I've not seen the lady out of Seward out farther than Callisto. I have seen her loop from Callisto over to Fox and Eldorado. I doubt she runs farther in the winter, with less daylight and worse weather. Her website shows winter-caught fish. Therefore, I'd go out on a limb and say there are feeder kings to be caught in resurrection bay, still a good ways from the mouth on either end. I'll go even farther and say that there are winter kings to be had in PWS, owing to the huge area it encompasses and the pockets of feed present.
    Hmmm. I suppose you'd have to ask the fish if they were anywhere ready to spawn or not. And if they weren't near a terminal area that to me would indicate that they might have a ways to go before they do get to a terminal area and might be feeding as they are heading that way.

    I guess it comes down to a matter of terminology. I don't call all "feeder" kings "winter" kings. I'd say all "winter" kings are "feeder" kings, but I don't necessarily think all "feeder" kings are "winter" kings. Just because you catch a king in June that appears to be just feeding and isn't near a terminal area doesn't mean it isn't going to spawn a month or two later. I've caught plenty of 17 lb. or less kings in the Kasilof to ever think they don't spawn when they're that small.

    I think the point is, if there were winter kings to be had out of Whittier---that don't take hours or more to get to---there would be as many charter operators working there as there are in Homer. Same thing with Seward. As far as I can tell---and someone correct me if I'm wrong---but winter kings are few and far between in Res Bay. That's why very few people target them there. They are plentiful in the Homer area and can be gotten to, often in less than a 15 minute boat ride, which is why there are so many people that fish for them here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    Hmmm. I suppose you'd have to ask the fish if they were anywhere ready to spawn or not. And if they weren't near a terminal area that to me would indicate that they might have a ways to go before they do get to a terminal area and might be feeding as they are heading that way.

    I guess it comes down to a matter of terminology. I don't call all "feeder" kings "winter" kings. I'd say all "winter" kings are "feeder" kings, but I don't necessarily think all "feeder" kings are "winter" kings. Just because you catch a king in June that appears to be just feeding and isn't near a terminal area doesn't mean it isn't going to spawn a month or two later. I've caught plenty of 17 lb. or less kings in the Kasilof to ever think they don't spawn when they're that small.

    I think the point is, if there were winter kings to be had out of Whittier---that don't take hours or more to get to---there would be as many charter operators working there as there are in Homer. Same thing with Seward. As far as I can tell---and someone correct me if I'm wrong---but winter kings are few and far between in Res Bay. That's why very few people target them there. They are plentiful in the Homer area and can be gotten to, often in less than a 15 minute boat ride, which is why there are so many people that fish for them here.
    Nobody is arguing about consistent proximity of feeder kings to Homer versus Seward or Whittier. I also don't observe the feed/bait density in inner PWS as comparable to the outside capes, entrances (analogous to Homer), and Kodiak. I'd propose that the Seward/Resurrection fishery is less mature/developed than Homer because weather does not permit consistent effort out of Seward. There are places out around the corners of the bay that I'd love to try and troll in the winter, but they're a bit exposed...

    As for the fish, when the egg skeins inside are smaller than ketchup packets and it's June, I'd go out on a limb and say they're not spawning anywhere that year. But hey, I'm no biologist.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vek View Post
    I'd propose that the Seward/Resurrection fishery is less mature/developed than Homer because weather does not permit consistent effort out of Seward. There are places out around the corners of the bay that I'd love to try and troll in the winter, but they're a bit exposed...
    Exactly what I was saying. Skagit asked about fishing for winter kings out of Whittier and I thought my explanation pretty much covered why no one does it there, why it doesn't get done very much out of Seward and why Homer is such a popular place to do it.
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    Ok, lets all come to an agreement here. There are winter kings to be had in Whittier, Seward, and Homer. Out of the three, the most consistent place to catch them from is Homer. Winter Kings in Whittier and Seward are much harder to locate than in Homer. Does this pretty much sum it up for the original poster?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    Ok, lets all come to an agreement here. There are winter kings to be had in Whittier, Seward, and Homer. Out of the three, the most consistent place to catch them from is Homer. Winter Kings in Whittier and Seward are much harder to locate than in Homer. Does this pretty much sum it up for the original poster?
    No hoose but nice try! The original posters query was simply, "how far out would he have to go to catch a king in the winter out of Whittier?" The ongoing Homer versus Seward debate always pops up when someone has a charter question.... A person could be wondering about a crappie fishing guide in walla walla and it never fails, Mr Homer chamber commerce man of the year is gonna pimp his town and the fishing opportunities... thats all

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    All this talk of fishing is making my mouth water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    There are winter kings to be had in Whittier
    When I see someone post a picture of one that was caught out of Whittier I'll believe you. "Mr. Homer Chamber of Commerce" or not, Homer offers the best chance of catching both kings and halibut 365 days a year. Saying someone is "pimping" a wonderful place to live and fish really cheapens you Fullbush.
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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    When I see someone post a picture of one that was caught out of Whittier I'll believe you. "Mr. Homer Chamber of Commerce" or not, Homer offers the best chance of catching both kings and halibut 365 days a year. Saying someone is "pimping" a wonderful place to live and fish really cheapens you Fullbush.
    Are you saying that there is zero kings that feed in the winter in western PWS? Nobody fishes there in the winter is why you don't hear about them being caught, because there isn't too many to be had, but there is no question in my mind there are a few around. Like you say, you can catch them in Homer a lot easier, most people know where the fish concentrate in K-bay, and winter time is not really the time of year people want to spend a lot of time trying to locate fish.

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    People, theres a bountiful winter king fishery in PWS and theres been ongoing charter operations for the last 30 years. They are based out of Cordova. There is Ralph Lohse w/ Winterking Charters and then theres Ron Horton w/ Cordova Charters. The sound has the biggest winter bio-mass of herring in the gulf of Alaska, the spill didn't do it any good though thats for sure. Up until like '95 there was a healthy winter bait seine fishery, boats would catch upwards of 800 to 900 tons a piece, and the herring would supply the crab fleet out of Dutch. I know for a fact they caught many winter kings in a set and released them. It was a night time purse seine fishery done w/ sonar, any lights or a moon and the herring would sound out (dive), you didn't hit the sodiums till you were pursed up, holy crap when the sodiums would come on the geese would head straight for them and fly into the rigging and pile up on deck lol. Anyway you would have to run about 3hrs out of Whittier, but only about 10 minutes outside of Cordova harbor around Salmo Point is some of the best winter king fishing this side of Sitka

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    The question was any winter kings out of Whittier? the answer no...........Taking a small boat from whittier to cordova this time of year is a fools game, the kings might as well be in Sitka.

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    Maybe they could hide out at Naked Island with the Ferry if the weather is bad.

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