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Thread: Must See / Do First Couple PWS Trips?????

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    Member wildwill's Avatar
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    Default Must See / Do First Couple PWS Trips?????

    Not sure if I should post this here, in the saltwater fishing forum, or bear hunting forum, so simply decided to bug you guys first.

    Just like the title says, what should a fella make sure to see and go the first few times out of Whittier in PWS? This is our first season with the new SeaSport and am planning to go out at least two weekends towards the end of April and early May to shrimp and look for a black bear or two. Need to look at the regs yet, but if allowed, we will likely try to jig a couple places, but mostly going to drop pots and sight see.

    Right now we are torn between heading north up towards College Fjord or south back around Culross. Never seen either, so sure both will be absolutely breath taking. The Southern option looks like might prove to have better areas on bears, but that is just from looking at the map--no experience.

    So, what are the prettiest spots to make sure to at least check and not roll by in the Western PWS area?

    Thanks,

    Will
    Since the World is 2/3 Water and Only 1/3 Land, Figures the Good Lord Intended I Fish More Than I Plow.

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    wildwill you need to take a left at Pigot Pt and head north up Port Wells hugging the west side on the way up. You can explore Bettles and Hobo Bay as well as the Granite Mines right before Barry Arm which are awesome and historic. You'll then want to head toward Pakenham Reef. When you're in the horseshoe of the reef drop your shrimp pots right there at 400' and go hit the gravel beach of Pakenham and have a bonfire and picnic while your pots soak. Then go pull your pots get your quick 5 gallons of jumbos rebait and deploy your pots and head around the reef up to Coghill. Gorgeous country! Ok then on your way back cruise down the east side, you'll pass Avery river (lots of cool mines) Golden is next before Esther passage. Go into Esther passage and check it out its really cool. Maybe camp for the night in the Pass. In the morning shoot straight across Port Wells to pakenham and pull your pots ( they'll be loaded w/ jumbos) rebait/redeploy, go the the end of the reef jig rock fish and halibut till your arms sore, pull pots go home....
    Last edited by fullbush; 04-04-2011 at 10:15. Reason: entirely too much info but I'm feeling generous this morning





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    All I can say is, if the weather is good, you're in for a real treat. When the weather is bad (wind, rain and fog), well is just kinda dampens the experience (pun intended). One route I took a few years ago, was really beautiful. Leave Whittier, go across Port Wells into Culrose Passage, across Port Nellie Juan, down into Dangerous Passage and dropped hook in Jackpot Bay (Dropped our shrimp pots at the mouth of the Bay first). Then fished south and west of Knight Island (silvers and rock fish) and traveled north on the east side of Culrose and dropped hook in Hidden Bay (again, dropped pots just out side the bay). Next day, we traveled back home. I'm sure there are other routes to take and folks here are glad to share. This is a trip that just sticks in my mind as one of the best. Good luck and have fun.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I can't think of any areas to avoid, so I'd suggest going through the Lethcoe book and seeing what areas appeal to you. My problem is I tend to be guilty of running way out in the sound and missing the areas relatively close to Whittier. Your plan of dropping shrimp pots and sight seeing is perfect for areas not to far out from Whittier. It's the fishing that really requires running further out.

    No bad trips in the sound, just the occasional bad weather.

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    Ditto on the Lethcoe guide. It's a must have for PWS.
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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    wildwill you need to take a left at Pigot Pt and head north up Port Wells hugging the west side on the way up. You can explore Bettles and Hobo Bay as well as the Granite Mines right before Barry Arm which are awesome and historic. You'll then want to head toward Pakenham Reef. When you're in the horseshoe of the reef drop your shrimp pots right there at 400' and go hit the gravel beach of Pakenham and have a bonfire and picnic while your pots soak. Then go pull your pots get your quick 5 gallons of jumbos rebait and deploy your pots and head around the reef up to Coghill. Gorgeous country! Ok then on your way back cruise down the east side, you'll pass Avery river (lots of cool mines) Golden is next before Esther passage. Go into Esther passage and check it out its really cool. Maybe camp for the night in the Pass. In the morning shoot straight across Port Wells to pakenham and pull your pots ( they'll be loaded w/ jumbos) rebait/redeploy, go the the end of the reef jig rock fish and halibut till your arms sore, pull pots go home....
    That was my plan for the first weekend of the Shrimping season. I guess I'll have a partner or two following me around now.

    Wildwill, if you're going to be out that direction look me up and we can share a few spots together.

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug from Anchorage View Post
    Ditto on the Lethcoe guide. It's a must have for PWS.
    I've never heard of the Lethcoe guide. Is there no sense of adventure anymore, why do people need a guide to explore this country? Theres jewels everywhere, make your own favorite spots! I don't go w/ the sheepish mentality of the modern age humans, sorry if I sound abrupt but gee whiz...





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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    I've never heard of the Lethcoe guide. Is there no sense of adventure anymore, why do people need a guide to explore this country? Theres jewels everywhere, make your own favorite spots! I don't go w/ the sheepish mentality of the modern age humans, sorry if I sound abrupt but gee whiz...
    Never heard of anyone advise against the PWS guide before. Your logic to remain uninformed escapes me. But I'm kinda slow that way.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    I've never heard of the Lethcoe guide. Is there no sense of adventure anymore, why do people need a guide to explore this country? Theres jewels everywhere, make your own favorite spots! I don't go w/ the sheepish mentality of the modern age humans, sorry if I sound abrupt but gee whiz...
    Considering the fact the charts aren't that accurate after the '64 quake (and weren't 100% accurate before the quake) having detailed info on what to watch out for when visiting our mostly rock infested bays is very sage advice. I'm sure the guide has saved me at least one prop.

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Fullbush,

    The Cruising Guide to Prince William Sound is worth looking at some time. There are a lot of spots in it that I would have never found in my lifetime without it. It doen's just have a few popular ones, but literally hundereds of spots to go in PWS. Yes, there is some fun to an adventure, but I would rather read about an enterance and know that there is a shole or rock on the port side entering that will not be on my charts before I enter and find it for myself. For us weekend PWS'ers the guide lets us spend more time seeing the wonders of PWS and less time looking for them.
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  11. #11
    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug from Anchorage View Post
    Never heard of anyone advise against the PWS guide before. Your logic to remain uninformed escapes me. But I'm kinda slow that way.
    I dunno I guess I never thought about it much, but my pops turned me loose w/ a skiff w/ a CB radio, an anchor, a string of gear (gillnet), a tide book, a compass and a buoy pole. He said use that pole as a depth finder, and off I went. Never thought much about a PWS guide, now and then I'd flag somebody down to ask them just exactly where in eff I was and inquire if they had any spare gas and if not a tow line. That was in '82
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Considering the fact the charts aren't that accurate after the '64 quake (and weren't 100% accurate before the quake) having detailed info on what to watch out for when visiting our mostly rock infested bays is very sage advice. I'm sure the guide has saved me at least one prop.
    Not dissing the guide buddy, sorry if I didn't realize what Doug meant by Lethcoe guide I certainly stand corrected---I still think it more fun to go by the seat of your pants. I'll tell you one thing it'll make you a better navigator. Make you able to read water and currents, and weather, also there are plenty of uncharted rocks and reefs in the North Gulf Coast believe dat!

    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    Fullbush,

    The Cruising Guide to Prince William Sound is worth looking at some time. There are a lot of spots in it that I would have never found in my lifetime without it. It doen's just have a few popular ones, but literally hundereds of spots to go in PWS. Yes, there is some fun to an adventure, but I would rather read about an enterance and know that there is a shole or rock on the port side entering that will not be on my charts before I enter and find it for myself. For us weekend PWS'ers the guide lets us spend more time seeing the wonders of PWS and less time looking for them.
    jrogers thankyou for taking the time to point out the benefits of The Cruising Guide to PWS I'll certainly check it out if I ever run across one. I pretty much have my own cruising guide eternally stamped in my brain-- There is the "post spill cruising guide", my families old favorite steamer beds and razor clam digging are not the same because of obvious reasons. Theres also my "post road thru the tunnel cruising guide" Niether of these can be found in the official "Cruising Guide to PWS" because my cruising guide is hopefully as people free as I can get. No offense I'd love to meet some of you guys and enjoy some libations and shoot the shET thats for dang sure,..I'm sure theres some would just soon keel haul me, but that why I roll w/ 900 horses they can't catch me haha





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    Member akjeff's Avatar
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    +1 for the Cruising PWS guide. You can't go wrong anywhere in the sound. I spend most of my time south. I like Nellie Juan area and Knight Island. Last season I spent some time in Snug Harbor on E Knight, very nice.

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    Member wildwill's Avatar
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    I already have the guide as well, I just wanted to hear from some folk who have experienced first hand. I like Fullbush's idea. I am torn between the Fullbush plan and heading through Culross to somewhere like Deep Water Bay and exploring from there. Ultimately, I think my plan for a few trips is the likely solution, since regardless which way we go, I will wonder what the other was like.
    Since the World is 2/3 Water and Only 1/3 Land, Figures the Good Lord Intended I Fish More Than I Plow.

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    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    Every bay, cove, passage, bite, and island however small is worth exploring. We are into our 4th year and try to explore a different spot every time out, still a ton to see and do. We go to shore every day to walk the beaches and explore the islands. There is so much to see and do it’s impossible to choose a single best approach on your first time out. The Cruising Guide to Prince William Sound should be your bible, the Lithgow’s have visited and documented almost every square inch of PWS. When you enter an unknown bay or cove take their suggestions for anchorage.
    You’ll figure out really quick there is tons to see, that’s the beauty of the PWS.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Deepwater is great, but you might want to save it for later in the season. It tends to be the last place in the sound to loose it's snow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    I still think it more fun to go by the seat of your pants.
    Wildwill, I'm sure fullbush means well, but, I think the best advice is to do as much investigation that you can into where you want to travel. It can save you a lot of headaches and unwanted suprises. Like Paul said, it's hard to go wrong no matter where you go. The beauty of the land and wildlife are abundant everywhere in PWS. The Boy Scouts have a motto that every man should heed: Be Prepared.

    BTW: Post pics of your 1st outing!
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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug from Anchorage View Post
    Wildwill, I'm sure fullbush means well, but, I think the best advice is to do as much investigation that you can into where you want to travel. It can save you a lot of headaches and unwanted suprises. Like Paul said, it's hard to go wrong no matter where you go. The beauty of the land and wildlife are abundant everywhere in PWS. The Boy Scouts have a motto that every man should heed: Be Prepared.

    BTW: Post pics of your 1st outing!
    Hey Doug and the rest of the guys are correct you should be educated before you embark on the sound. My "seat of the pants" theory may have worked in a much simpler time when I was young, but I also always had people watching out for me, so I apologize for the bad advise. I still encourage you to take my advice on Pakenham/Coghill though. Its gorgeous, historical and best of all safe! The weather isn't really a factor because conditions are rarely to rough to navigate. I can't say the same for the Culross/NellyJuan plan. Nelly Juan can be one of the most dangerous places in the gulf, let alone the sound. Theres been more than one capable boat and skipper (large boats) that have met their demise between Nelly Juan and Eshamy. FYI 98% of the time the current smokes out of Kings Bay around Pt Nelly Juan. The prevailing wind is directly against the current. W/in 10 minutes I have seen the sea conditions go from a 6" chop to 12 foot confused rollers w/ white foam on top that are stacked so tight it's impossible not to take green water over your pilot house and smash out your windows like they were nothing...I'm pretty sure "The Cruising Guide To Prince William Sound doesn't include that little tidbit





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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    Hey Doug and the rest of the guys are correct you should be educated before you embark on the sound. My "seat of the pants" theory may have worked in a much simpler time when I was young, but I also always had people watching out for me, so I apologize for the bad advise. I still encourage you to take my advice on Pakenham/Coghill though. Its gorgeous, historical and best of all safe! The weather isn't really a factor because conditions are rarely to rough to navigate. I can't say the same for the Culross/NellyJuan plan. Nelly Juan can be one of the most dangerous places in the gulf, let alone the sound. Theres been more than one capable boat and skipper (large boats) that have met their demise between Nelly Juan and Eshamy. FYI 98% of the time the current smokes out of Kings Bay around Pt Nelly Juan. The prevailing wind is directly against the current. W/in 10 minutes I have seen the sea conditions go from a 6" chop to 12 foot confused rollers w/ white foam on top that are stacked so tight it's impossible not to take green water over your pilot house and smash out your windows like they were nothing...I'm pretty sure "The Cruising Guide To Prince William Sound doesn't include that little tidbit
    I can attest to your observation. It is worse the stronger the wind, the longer the duration of the wind, and the larger the tides. It can be inhospitable. It reminds me of the crud going out of Homer down to Elizebeth and Pearl......But, if you stay way off the point, it is much different.

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    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    +10 on the PWS guide for example the big rock in Esther Passage

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  20. #20

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    PWS guide. One of many tools for the toolbox. I consider it my big hammer.

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