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Thread: Elfin Cove self guided trip

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    Default Elfin Cove self guided trip

    I have scheduled a trip to Elfin Cove with a self guided lodge. As I have never fished this area, I was hoping to get some tips for fishing this area in early Aug.

    Can you catch king salmon without having to go to the outer water in early Aug? Since this is a self guided trip, I am inclined to stay inside in protected waters. Any productive and hopefully not to deep halibut and cod spots, once again in protected waters? Idaho inlet for salmon fishing? Areas around Lemesurier Island? Dundas Cove? How calm will Icy strait be on most days? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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    Member carolinaboy's Avatar
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    The King Salmon run in that area is peaking in mid-June to early July. That said you still might find some late ones or feeders. The Silver action should be hot during August with some humpies and chums still around as well.

    Study the charts especially #17302 in detail. Go to YouTube and search a LOT! Find the lodges in the area and watch their posted videos and look at their photo gallery pages. Often you'll see dates of the catch noting what and when they caught it.
    Doc Warner's Fishing Lodge has a 500 plus photo gallery. Their website has at least 5-6 years of catch data listed by week. Doc's is located near the mouth of Excursion Inlet just west of Pleasant Island in the Icy Strait waters. After looking over the Elfin Cove area web info i think Doc Warners is going to be your best source. It's a self guided lodge. I'll be up there mid June.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by torpedo View Post
    I have scheduled a trip to Elfin Cove with a self guided lodge. s.
    hi torpedo!....would love it if you gave a report on your trip and pics when you get back!!!!!..we would like to get up there next year in july/aug for a fishing/sight seeing adventure!..we would be leaving from Prince Rupert, then head north!!...thanks larry


    thanks carol for the tips!!!!!

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    Give Dennis a call at South passage outfitters LLc Doc Warner is always trying to buy his place because the location is way better. You can stay in or go outside to three hill depending on the weather. Been going there for 8 years now.

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    Who is providing self guided trips in Elfin cove? What size of boat are you being provided with? I have done well fishing kings there in August but June would be my preferred month. Just about all of the king fishing I have done was on the outer coast. You will find good fishing for silvers right off of three hill island (westside). There are plenty of spots for halibut and it should be great fishing that time of year. You should be able to find halibut from 100 -250. That time of year Mud bay and Lemesurier east will be good. I have had good fishing in the passes when the tide permits fishing.
    You can PM for more details if you like.

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    I was there in early August last year. Coho are a much better bet than kings that time of year. From what I saw, the typical charter boat catch for the guys targeting salmon was something like 6 silvers and 1 king for 3 or 4 guys fishing all day. All of the boats I saw came in from the west, so they were fishing on the outside. Many of the silver were really nice fish with many over 10#. The kings I saw were 15# to 25#. I have caught a few feeder kings on the inside, but they have mostly been just a little over legal size.

    Three Hill Island is a good spot for coho, but it can sometimes be overrun with pinks. The guys you charter from will have a bunch of spots for you to try out. I have sometimes done well drifting for halibut and rockfish in South Inian Pass, but it can be a wild ride through there on a big tide, and is completely unfishable outside of about 20 minutes on either side of slack tide.

    Icy Strait usually has wind chop less than 2', with many days less than 1' somewhere, but I have been out there when it has been 6'. And it can certainly get worse than that. The wind can come up fast and the direction can spin around 360 degrees during the day, so not paying attention may mean you end up spending the night in Gustavus or Pelican.

    Big_E

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    Thank you all for all your great advice. I have been studying chart #17302. I greatly appreciate the info on Three Hills Island as it is nearby Elfin Cove. Is Three Hills Isl considered outside or Yakobi Island? Why is the South Inian Pass such a "wild ride"? Is it because of the funnel effect with all that water squeezing past a narrow pass? If you need to go east, is North Inian Pass the preferred route or it is only fishing that is difficult? Finally anyone heard of the pumpkin patch for rock cods that I see mentioned on Tanaka lodge website?

    We are going to stay at Northern Star Lodge and they have 22ft CC for us to use. I think because of the "bust" of a charter operator at Elfin Cove last year, I think the owners are very careful about even appearing questionable in regards to DFG's rules regarding how much advice they can give out for self guided anglers. I have no problems with them being careful and figured I can obtain quite a bit of info before I get there.

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    Member carolinaboy's Avatar
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    Sounds like you'll be having a great trip. I looked at the lodge site and the equipment appears top notch. The owners hail from up the valley near me and were at the Intl Sportsmans Expo here in Salt Lake a few weeks ago. I was paying the balance for my June trip with DW's. Apparently Kelly worked for Doc and is a son in law (I think) before buying his own place in Elfin Cove.

    On those charts, you'll see the warnings for tide rips and those narrows will have some doozys. The lodge staff will get you on the fish and away from the rocks. However, the charts and other info serve as a guide. It's your eyes and brains on the water that keeps YOU safe. Several of the self guided lodges in the area have photos on their websites of "the other guys" stranded at the tide change, beached on the rocks, swamped from trying to go ashore and other mishaps.

    Sounds like we'll be doing about the same thing but at different times/different self guided lodges for the same $$$. Again good luck planning and preparing for your trip......only 67 days to go for me!

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    Default Elfin

    Quote Originally Posted by torpedo View Post
    Thank you all for all your great advice. I have been studying chart #17302. I greatly appreciate the info on Three Hills Island as it is nearby Elfin Cove. Is Three Hills Isl considered outside or Yakobi Island? Why is the South Inian Pass such a "wild ride"? Is it because of the funnel effect with all that water squeezing past a narrow pass? If you need to go east, is North Inian Pass the preferred route or it is only fishing that is difficult? Finally anyone heard of the pumpkin patch for rock cods that I see mentioned on Tanaka lodge website?

    We are going to stay at Northern Star Lodge and they have 22ft CC for us to use. I think because of the "bust" of a charter operator at Elfin Cove last year, I think the owners are very careful about even appearing questionable in regards to DFG's rules regarding how much advice they can give out for self guided anglers. I have no problems with them being careful and figured I can obtain quite a bit of info before I get there.
    I would consider Yakobi island(west side) the outside as you are still in Cross sound @ Three hill.
    The tides can rip preety good in South Inian Pass I would agrree the fishing can be very tough unless you wait for slack. Transiting in a skiff should be no big deal. Guys from south passage do it all the time in 18ft lunds.

    Yes I have heard of and fished the pumpkin patch. I think this year non residents are only allowed a limit of one yellow eye. It is on the outside south of Yakobi rock.

    Have fun and see you there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by torpedo View Post
    Thank you all for all your great advice. I have been studying chart #17302. I greatly appreciate the info on Three Hills Island as it is nearby Elfin Cove. Is Three Hills Isl considered outside or Yakobi Island? Why is the South Inian Pass such a "wild ride"? Is it because of the funnel effect with all that water squeezing past a narrow pass? If you need to go east, is North Inian Pass the preferred route or it is only fishing that is difficult? Finally anyone heard of the pumpkin patch for rock cods that I see mentioned on Tanaka lodge website?

    We are going to stay at Northern Star Lodge and they have 22ft CC for us to use. I think because of the "bust" of a charter operator at Elfin Cove last year, I think the owners are very careful about even appearing questionable in regards to DFG's rules regarding how much advice they can give out for self guided anglers. I have no problems with them being careful and figured I can obtain quite a bit of info before I get there.
    Inian pass can be quite a site to behold with the way the water back's up. Good times!!!! I used to set my halibut skate in parts around Willoughby cove. Some good area in there for some flat fish.
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    Three Hill Island is technically on the inside, but the west side (where the fish are) is exposed to weather from the west and can get really nasty at times. The south end is a good place to get swept into the rocks on an incoming tide if you aren't paying constant attention. The bottom is really irregular, so if you are trolling deep for kings you have a good chance of hanging a ball and losing gear. Other than that, it is a great place to fish!

    Yakobi Rock is on the outside. There is often some great ling cod fishing there.

    The current through South Inian Pass can hit 8 - 10 kts according to the chart. Combine a strong ebb and some swells and wind from the west and it can look like the end of the word is near. DO NOT try to go through here under these conditions; wait for slack or incoming tide.

    During big tides North Inian Pass has whirlpools that are creepy, but less dangerous than the big standing waves in South Inian Pass. The North side of North Inian Pass usually has the calmest water, particularly when the ocean swells are out of the Northwest, which they often are.

    Big_E

  12. #12

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    Lots of great opportunities around Elfin Cove that time of year. Head to the big beach just south of Three Hill Island and find the giant bait balls that pile up there. The silvers can be great. If the tide is right, you can drop to the bottom as well and find some halibut and all the black bass you care to catch. Straight to the east of there is across Port Althorp is a place called the Salt Chuck. Troll right along the cliff toward Elfin Cove and in along the beaches there for a possible King. The head of Port Althorp is a great place to go and look for brown bears. Pinks pile up there and head up the stream. Just watch the tide. You can be high and dry in no time!

    Everything everyone said about South Inian Pass is very true! Be super careful going through there. Standing waves on the ebb are common and not to be messed with. Also watch for million dollar rock. You should be able to see water breaking over it, but not always.

    Some great halibut inside. The cove just East of South Inian can be a good spot to anchor and try for Halibut. Further in head to Mud Bay. Try anchoring just out from any creek you see dumping into Icy Straight or head for the middle of Mud Bay and drop the hook. Slack tide is the best any where inside due to the tides. They can rip through there as well making it tough to get to the bottom. A little further east is Point Adolphus. Amazing whale watching there!

    The whole area is amazing! Lots of fish, wildlife, and scenery! Have fun.

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    WOW! Thank you all for such great information about Elfin Cove. I can't wait to see it for myself.

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    I just came back from from my self guided trip at Elfin Cove with Northern Star lodge. What a trip! I want to once again thank you all for providing valuable info. I will try to add pictures later. Elfin Cove and the surrounding areas were truly spectacular with amazing fishing and scenery. We lucked out with very calm ocean which allowed us to go to Yakobi rock twice in our 19ft center console.

    Day1: Fished outside 3 Hills Island and generally getting used to the area,boat and fishing setup. Picked up 3 silvers and then moved to a pinnacle outside of Soapstone point trying for halibut but instead ended up with 2 yelloweyes and 3 lingcods including a 55incher for my son and I.

    Day2: Fished same ares for 9 silvers and a 40 lbs halibut.

    Day3: I became more courageous/stupid and decided to follow charter boats out to Yakobi rock. Pretty good size swells on the way out but settled down nicely. Silver fishing was insane. I never could get the second bait down without hooking up on the first bait. Easily caught limit of silvers. We also had a blast deep jigging for various rockfish and lingcod in this area. My son caught 6 ling cods using the Shimano butterfly jig. This jig which was brand new as I never caught anything wit it before, by the end of the day had no paint left. On the way in picked up a 72 lbs haibut. This was the most fun fishing day we ever had. We lost so many silvers but with fish so plentiful, it really made for an enjoyable day.

    Day4: Another boat wanted to go out to the Yakobi rock so we buddy boated out there. Once again super flat ocean. While they were trying to catch limit, we messed around using only hoochies and Brad's super cut plug bait. We also were trying to shoot videos. By the time the other boat limited out we had 9 silvers. Bottom fished without as much success as the current was ripping and could not get down as easily. Picked up another 60 lbs halibut.

    Day5: Since we were completely full of fish even after giving our silvers and halibut from yesterday to another group, we try to shoot more videos and released all fish caught. Tried to go to Yakobi rock again as 2 other boats wanted to go but it was much rougher and we bailed. Silver fishing outside of 3 Hills was amazing. We did lot of sight seeing with the middle Inian pass proving too numerous to count whale sightings and sealion rock loaded with sealions. We finished off our trip catching and releasing black bass. We must have caught and released over 100 fish each. In the process lost remaining jigs and all our plastic tails were shredded but we still caught them on empty leadhead jigs.

    Overall this was by far the best Alaska fishing trip ever. After visiting 7 different Alaska locations/lodges, I think I finally found the one. I will definitely go back.

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    That is awesome! The self guided trips are a great way for folks to bypass the charter halibut limits. Good job!

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    Yes, that is a really neat area, it might be my favorite too when you consider scenery and fishing. Sounds like you had a great trip.
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    Did you go check out the Hobbit Hole on Three Hill.

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    Where or what is "hobbit hole"?

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    A few years ago stopped over in Elfin cove for one day (May) in route bringing our new (old) boat up from Seattle. Stormy so we waited out one day in Elfin. Absolutely beautiful place, hummingbirds were all over, people very friendly and helpful. We just went straight out one afternoon and dropped halibut line in 200 ft of water, before we had the other line bated, we had a fish on. Turned out to be 150 lb halibut, and we were though for the day. Great place to fish and vacation. Bud
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    thanks for the update!..sounds like you had a blast!....we "should" be up there too next year!..larry

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