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Fishing Beyond the Northwest - Sitka Alaska

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Hal C
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Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 5:53 pm    Post subject: Fishing Beyond the Northwest - Sitka Alaska Reply with quote

Tony Floor on shrimping, lingcod, and fishing king salmon in Sitka Alaska! Gets your imagination going. Posted here with permission by Tony and NMTA

Fishing Beyond the Northwest

I can't believe it's June all ready and the summer solstice is only about three weeks away. My dad always said to my mom, "Hey, it's the longest daylight day of the year and the days are going to get shorter." My mom replied, "Shut up!"

In this column a month ago, I wrote about Puget Sound lingcod fishing focusing on north Sound and the San Juan Islands. I fished both areas successfully, with great memories imprinting my memory bank for year's to come. During the second week of May, I fished with Mike Lindquist on his 26-Osprey (Salmonater Charters) out of Anacortes. He put on an incredible show of starting the day with four shrimp pots for four of us limiting on big spot shrimp (80 per person) in one hour flat. Absolutely impressive. We then shifted to lingcod, boating fish up to 30 pounds along with a handful of big Cabazon. Mike has fished the Islands for nearly 40 years and knows how to connect the dots between fishing and catching. I love it when a plan comes together. Panko lingcod baby. I'm still recovering.

While I historically like to chase lingcod in Puget Sound through the month of May, it is also a time of year when I do the Alaska program, particularly in June. Don't be confused, my primary objective is to write and promote fishing and shellfishing opportunities here at home. At the same time, I like to hop on the big bird and whack a few northwest king salmon in southeast Alaska. Statistically, around 70% of the king salmon caught in southeast Alaska originate from the northwest and Canada. Logically, you may ask yourself, "Why in the heck do we have to go to Alaska to catch our fish?"

Sorry, Charlie, that's the way the salmon game has gone down for decades. Alaska, thanks largely to the political power of longtime U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, is in the catbird seat enjoying our fish that biologically pasture in the north Pacific. At this time of year, the king salmon have begun their annual migration south on what I call, the I-5 highway along the southeast Alaskan coast on their way through Canadian waters. Again, with relatively simple logic, we get what survives the gauntlet. So, you can stay at home, planning your summer fishing trips in July and August, or, catch the big bird north about a thousand miles and get a preview of the big show. I've never been known to wait. It's the difference between fishing and catching.

Since 1991, every year, I have fished out of Sitka with friends. And, every year, the fishing and catching is spectacular. Take it to the bank. Twenty-five to thirty pound king salmon, chrome bright, pulling on your string with gusto, causing my mouth to suck a lot of bugs. Still want to stay at home?

Southeast Alaska, in my view, is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Within minutes, of any southeast town, you get a feeling that you are one of the first people to see this untouched frontier. No hydro-electric dams affecting salmon migration, extremely little development, old growth timber, gin-clear streams and rivers, resulting in a beautiful environment entertaining the food-web for healthy salmon runs. For me, it's an annual pilgrimage to the center of the universe for king salmon, halibut and lingcod. And, it justifies the words on my tombstone: "Tony should have fished more."

So, take my counsel, what are you waiting for? Get outside! This is the beginning of one of our fundamental reasons why we live in the Pacific northwest. The rains of November are gone for now, only to return in six months. For me, every day is my best day, defined by time on the water. I know where they live and what they like to eat. It's summer in Washington when I do my best to run all day and all night. I hope my barking at the moon won't keep you up. See you on the water.

Next month, I can't wait to write about the new selective king salmon fishery in central an northern Puget Sound. Oh baby, buckle up!
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North Liner

Joined: 27 Apr 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 12:40 pm    Post subject: fishing for king salmon Reply with quote

Good advice, I also go to Alaska and catch kings - great scenery and great fishing.
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