Prince William Sound Halibut



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  • Prince William Sound Halibut

    A couple of buddies from Outside are coming up next week (beginning June 27). We'll be heading out of Whittier in my 28' Bayliner for three or four nights. The guys are looking for good scenery and the opportunity to hook a couple of decent 'buts.

    My total range is about 215 miles. Setting aside 1/3 of my fuel for emergencies, I'm left with about 140-150 miles to get out and back, as well as make three or four runs from anchorages to the fishing grounds.

    I am considering running out to the Knight Island area. If the weather agrees with our plans, we would probably fish near Seal Island, Smith Island, and/or Channel Rock. In the evenings, we would anchor somewhere near northern Knight Island.

    I am looking for advice regarding hazards and good anchorages. I'd also be grateful for any general recommendations about where to hunt the 'buts and how deep to fish, although I'm not asking for the coordinates of anybody's honey hole. And if someone would like to recommend another trip, I'm certainly interested.

    Thanks in advance to those who take the time respond.

    [email protected]

  • #2

    I'm not familiar with the places you've mentioned (not to the extent that I have an opinion/suggestion for where to fish), but if you're looking for anchorages and hazards then a must-have book is A Cruising Guide to Prince William Sound
    I think that anyone who has this book would agree. Call local bookstores to see if they have it.


    • #3

      i've fished out there. if there was one thing we had to do, that was fish deep! 300-400 feet is not too much. we caught some at 450+. that's about as far as i want to bring up butts. all over the area you mentioned sounds good, i think the farther from whittier the better.


      • #4
        I do have the book, "Cruising PWS," and you're right - it's invaluable. Was hoping for a few more specific suggestions, but I'll take what I can get. Have to say, I was hoping to fish in less than 300 feet, but you gotta do what you gotta do.



        • #5
          One way to make deep water fishing less grueling is to use thinner line, ie 50 pound spectra, and go with jigs vs bait/sinker setups. With the thin line you can effectively use a 6-12 oz jig even with current. I was fishing the N end of Culross with a 9 oz jig, 80# spectra and 400' of water with no problem. Fortunately/Unfortunately all I had to pull up was a ping pong paddle but that I put back to grow bigger.

          Seems like PWS is either fish deep water, or make long runs.
          Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

          If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


          • #6
            Deeeep water

            A few weeks ago we came back into Whittier and saw a guy with a 212# but on the dock. He said it was in around 700'. Another guide we spoke briefly with said early season he fishes in 900-1000' to find decent fish. Of course he has all electric reels for this. Too deep for me!

            The porcupine is a peaceful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....


            • #7
              Yep, deep water is king in PWS. It's not that the halibut don't move into shallower water, its just that the vast majority of PWS is very deep. I've commercially fished for halibut out there since I was a kid, and we rarely fish in water shallower than 1200 ft. 1500-2000 is the norm for us, well beyond the range of a fishing pole. Even though I've been on the Sound since I was a kid, I still don't know where to catch 'em on a pole with any consistency out there. Just too deep!



              • #8
                I was just wondering before I head out. Knight island south side is that a productive area? Also how about the needle?
                Last edited by Alaska Gray; 06-22-2006, 22:37.
                Living the Alaskan Dream
                Gary Keller
                Anchorage, AK


                • #9
                  PWS halibut

                  The Needle has been found and pretty well worn out. Manning rocks by Bay of Isles is a good spot but if you don`t want to go that far, consider the uneven terrain around Naked Island. One doesn`t need to fish deep to catch fish.


                  • #10
                    PWS Butt

                    Dipnet is correct. All the BS about "having" to fish DEEP water for halibut is just that!! BS. Naked Island, Perry Island, Lone Island, Seal Island, etc, etc are all good butt holes.
                    We catch 80 pounders off the N end of Perry. I was out last weekend and a buddy was yanking 50's out of 80 feet of water. 17 miles out of whittier.


                    • #11
                      Thanks. I can't wait for ling season to open
                      Living the Alaskan Dream
                      Gary Keller
                      Anchorage, AK


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