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Thread: Aussie in need of advice.

  1. #1
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    Default Aussie in need of advice.

    G'day gents, my name is Bill and I'm typing this from beautiful Sydney, Australia.

    I am a very keen angler and am looking for some help/advice if you would be so kind. My wife and I are disembarking an American Safari cruise in Juneau on 13 may 2011 and will be staying for a couple of days (13-14May). The missus has given me a leave pass on 14th to go fishing if I can organize something for the day.

    Hopefully, this is where you come in.

    Can anyone tell me if this is a good time to have a shot at Salmon? If not, what is the available species at that time? Can someone recommend a good charter operator.

    I appreciate your time and hopefully you can point me in the right direction.

    Cheers

    Bill.

  2. #2

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    Hello Bill,
    In my opinion you may be a bit early for the breeder Kings in mid-May on the upper inside waters. The outside waters will be more productive. That would involve a flight to Elfin Cove or Sitka. In Haines, the Winter Kings are well fed with the herring run and the breeders are still waiting to make the run up to the rivers. Feeder Kings are always a possibilty, but the bigger Kings will be a few more weeks. Have fun. If you find your way to Haines, send me a PM.
    Ken

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    Thanks for the info Ken, disappointing news but appreciated nonetheless.

    If the Kings are off the menu, what species is available mid May?

    Cheers

    Bill

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    I agree that you will be early for the king salmon run around Juneau. If it is acceptable with your wife to take a half day trip during your cruise you should look into doing that. American Safari can arrange it for you. Your cruise will take you through some spots like Sitka, Prince of Wales Island, and Elfin Cove / Glacier Bay that can have great king salmon and halibut fishing that time of year. If you fish in the open ocean in any of those places you will also catch ling cod and rock fish.

    There is much less going on around Juneau that time of year. There are some "feeder kings" around all year, so you might get lucky. A better bet is to fish for small halibut (10# - 25#) on a day trip from Juneau, with the possibility of getting one over 100#.

    Big_E

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    There was a thread on this recently about Elfin Cove and the Pelican area. That is the best area for a chance this early in the season, but for halibut and Kings. I woudl do a seach for charter operators in these two towns, and talk to them about when they start up, and what they think your chances are. The timing of the runs varies each year, but that is on the early side of things for Kings, but you should have a chance if you are willing head out to this area. I think you can get a seaplane ride there, I am not sure what the cost would be.
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    Thanks vaaler. We can fish from our boat but never having fished for "American" fish, I don't have a clue how to go about it. That's one reason I wanted to go on a charter.

    I will have a travel rod with me, a 5-10kg spin stick with a 4000 size Shimano Fireblood spooled with 30lb braid. Is this a suitable outfit? As for bait/lures what would you suggest? Is fishing with Berkley Gulp or other plastics an option? Any other hints or tips would be greatfully accepted.

    Thanks for your indulgence.

    Cheers

    Bill.

  7. #7

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    Bill,
    Typically when I fish for breeder Kings I use a down rigger and troll a herring at 20 to 30 feet. I use a light action Ugly stick and 20 to 25 pound test. It makes fighting the fish a real challenge. Feeder Kings are usually fished at a deeper depth (50-70 feet). Halibut fishing is jigging the bottom with fairly heavy gear. I am always amazed at the size of the fish for the fight involved with Halibut.

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    The spinning outfit would be great for fishing in the rivers, but in early May I would think that salt water is your best bet due to a lack of fish in the rivers. The salmon hatch in rivers and streams and then go out into the ocean where they live for the majority of their lives. They then return to the place where they were hatched to lay their eggs and die. Different “runs” of salmon enter rivers to spawn (lay and fertilize their eggs) at different times, so a river might have zero fish in May, but then have lots of fish in June or July, it just depends on when the group of fish “run” up the river. Usually King salmon (the biggest ones) will hit a river first; this may overlap with sockeye salmon during that run. Silver salmon and steelhead generally return later in the year. It all depends on the time when the fish are entering the rivers to spawn.
    The “feeders” that somebody mentioned earlier are salmon that live in the area and are feeding on local baitfish out in the saltwater. These are different from a run of fish that is in an area to spawn, although they may spawn in a nearby river.
    Halibut spend their entire lives in the saltwater. They move around from deeper water to shallower water throughout the year. They are a bottom fish and can get very large. If you went on a charter for them then you would not even want to bring your spinning outfit. The boat will provide all of the gear and bait. You might also hook into other odd bottom fish while fishing for them and they are fun to fish for.
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    Thanks for the replies fellas, it's all good information.

    Looks like I need to find a charter for halibut.

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    I fish mostly with jig heads and scampi or grub tails, but some guys swear by gulp baits. I would take a few 4 oz and 8 oz jig heads and some tails, all in white. Other colors can work well too, but I have never found any other color to be as consistent as white.

    I think the American Safari guys can arrange a trip for you on a 25' charter boat for a half day or so. Doing that out around Elfin Cove would save a lot of hassle but may not fit into your schedule.

    I also like the float plane idea. That is the standard way to get to Elfin Cove, so there are often several flights a day. There are also charter flights that fly when an where you want them to. You could fly to Elfin Cove from Juneau in about an hour, fish all day on a local charter boat (a web search on Elfin Cove will turn up ads from several lodges) and then fly back to Juneau.

    BIg_E

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