Prince Of Wales Sportfishing – Craig, Alaska Fishing Reports

* Late July Date Open!

Posted on March 12th, 2014 by .

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Prince of Wales Sportfishing is a very small charter company in Craig, Alaska and we simply don’t have many opportunities this late in the game to plug groups in during the peak of our summer charter season. That said, one of our groups has chosen to take a 70 foot yacht to Southeast Alaska this summer and leave the slot that they normally take the third week of July wide open. A 70 foot yacht…who can blame them?

The result, however, is that this prime time fishing slot is currently open and it will most likely fill up rather quickly. We have four seats open for the July 21-25 time slot aboard Capt. Kim McCarthy’s brand new 28′ North River. You’ll fly in July 21st, fish July 22/23/24, and fly home on July 25th.

The third week of July means trophy kings, silvers, halibut, and plenty of bottomfish. If you’re interested in this great summer opening please call Rob at 360-961-2116 or shoot him an email – rendsley@earthlink.net for more information.

The King Salmon Abundance Index will be announced sometime in the next three weeks that will set our salmon limits for the summer.

While we don’t have any inside word yet on what it will be the indicators are pointing towards a one king per day limit for the entire summer.

The Columbia River in Washington is forecast to have it’s best Chinook return since counting began in 1938 at 1.6 million Chinook.

Last years run of 1.2 million Chinook provided some seriously hot king salmon fishing in our June fishery and with even more kings forecast for this summer it should be oustanding fishing. The Puget Sound and most of the outer Vancouver Island hatcheries are also seeing improved king salmon runs this summer.

I’ll send out some news about the summer salmon limits just as soon as the Abundance Index is announced. In the meantime let us know if you’re interested in booking with for the late July slot that we’ve got open. Once you fish in Craig, Alaska you’ll look at things back home a little differently!

Thanks a bunch everyone!

Rob Endsley
Prince of Wales Sportfishing
Craig, Alaska Salmon and Halibut Fishing Charters
888-943-4746
www.princeofwalessportfishing.com

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* Revving Up the P.O.W.H.A.!

Posted on January 30th, 2014 by .

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The POWHA, or the Prince of Wales Hatchery Association, is the salmon hatchery located on the Klawock River near the small town of Klawock on Prince of Wales Island. This hatchery produces an astounding 5 million coho and 300,000 Chinook annually which makes it the largest sport-producing hatchery in the State of Alaska. The POWHA is largely funded by sportfishing interests.

Unlike most hatcheries that are operated by a State or Federal agency the POWHA is a non-profit 401C corporation that derives all of its operational income from state loans, cost recovery, and contributions. A small group of individuals in the Craig/Klawock area work their tails off to keep this hatchery operational every year and the economic impact this one privately-operated hatchery has in Southeast Alaska is astounding.

Here’s some statistics that may surprise you:

-Alaska Department of Fish and Game attributes 30% of all coho’s caught in Southeast Alaska in 2013 to the POWHA

-90% of all the coho caught in the Craig area by both sport and commercial fisherman are from the POWHA

The POWHA had very inconsistent coho returns until the board of directors decided in 2009 to make a change of management and staff. They brought in an experienced hatchery manager with a history of turning hatcheries around and they also implemented a Chinook program which now contributes to an early season king salmon run in the Craig/Klawock area. The huge coho run of 2013 was a direct result of these changes in leadership and hatchery management.

The POWHA needs your help though. State loans and cost recovery only bring in a portion of the income needed to keep the POWHA up and running. Money from derby ticket sales, the yearly Craig/Klawock Salmon Derby banquet, and direct contributions are needed to provide the additional funds necessary to keep the lights on at this vitally important hatchery.

If we want to keep the POWHA operating and continue to see spectacular fishing in the Craig/Klawock area we’ve got to step up. Funds are running short and there’s a chance the POWHA will have to close it’s spillway and quit planting salmon altogether.

We’re going to be asking all of our guests in 2014 to purchase derby tickets that help fund the POWHA. Tickets are $35 per person and there’s a May/June derby and  July/August derby. First place in either derby pays out $2,000, second place $1,000, and third place $500. Your derby ticket also enters you to win the jackpot of $10,000 at the annual Craig/Klawock Salmon Derby raffle at the end of summer. Best of all…you don’t need to be present to win. That jackpot would buy a lot of fishing trips!

It seems like every summer one of our guests catches a king salmon that would qualify for some cashola in the Craig/Klawock Salmon Derby, yet we haven’t done a good job of informing our guests of the derby tickets. Placing in the derby is definitely fun, but the real fun is knowing that your donation will help keep the POWHA operational so you can enjoy excellent fishing in the Craig/Klawock area for years to come.

If you’d like to make a direct donation to the POWHA please call 907-755-2231 or purchase your 2014 derby ticket when you see us this summer. Thanks a bunch everyone and we look forward to seeing you this summer!

Rob Endsley
Prince of Wales Sportfishing
Craig, Alaska Salmon and Halibut Fishing Charters
888-943-4746

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* Halibut Limits Announced for 2014

Posted on January 30th, 2014 by .

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The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) just released the halibut catch limits for guided anglers in Southeast Alaska’s Area 2C and they look much the same as last year. The charter sector lost a small amount of quota under the new Catch Sharing Plan resulting in a decrease in quota from 788,000 pounds last year to 760,000 pounds for the 2014 season. This minor adjustment in quota shifted the reverse slot limit to one halibut per day under 44 inches or over 76 inches. This equates to one halibut per day under 40 pounds or over 234 pounds.

Area 2C actually saw a slight increase in the halibut biomass this past year, but under the conservative guidelines of the new Catch Sharing Plan the quota was adjusted down slightly. It’s nice to see an uptick in the halibut biomass, however, as we all want to see this resource thrive.

I’ll post more news about the salmon and lingcod limits as they become available. After the absolutely awesome fishing we had last summer we’re all anxious to get back on the water in Southeast Alaska again. From the sounds of things we should have excellent king salmon fishing once again in 2014. More news later!

Rob Endsley
Prince of Wales Sportfishing
Southeast Alaska Salmon and Halibut Fishing Charters
888-943-4746

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* Whale Video Just Posted

Posted on December 13th, 2013 by .

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One of the sights that we all enjoy while we’re fishing in the many islands near Craig is the sight of the whales. A biologist once told me that there are around 1300 humpback whales in Southeast Alaska and many of them spend the summer months feeding in the waters around Prince of Wales Island. We see the humpbacks on a daily basis while we’re fishing.

In addition we also see transient killer whales in our waters on a regular basis. The sight of these amazing creatures never gets old!

I mashed some of the better whale video clips I’ve gotten over the last couple of years into a short video that I thought ya’all might enjoy. Here’s the link to that video:

Southeast Alaska Killer Whales and Humpbacks

I’ll be working on another fishing video that I’ll post up in the next couple of months. In the meantime enjoy the whale action and Happy Holidays to you!

Rob Endsley
Prince of Wales Sportfishing
Craig, Alaska Salmon and Halibut Charters
888-943-4746

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* Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Posted on November 28th, 2013 by .

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Nicole, Ava, and myself would like to wish all of our friends and customers and very Happy Thanksgiving. We have a lot to be thankful for on this special day!

Rob Endsley
Prince of Wales Sportfishing
Craig, Alaska Salmon and Halibut Fishing Charters
888-943-4746

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* Winter Troll Fishery Off to Good Start

Posted on November 15th, 2013 by .

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I constantly monitor the fishery data that comes out of Southeast Alaska as it pertains to our fishery in Craig and this totally awesome piece of news just landed in my email inbox about the winter commercial troll fishery that’s underway right now.

One of the many indicators that ADF&G uses to determine Chinook abundance in Southeast Alaska is the winter troll fishery that started about a month ago. So far in the troll season it’s the best fishing the commercial troll fleet has seen in the last 20 years. As of right now the catch is three times greater than the 10 year average for this fishery and that spells good news for the summer of 2014. The data from ADF&G points towards the best winter troll fishery in over 20 years!

The Chinook the trollers are catching right now are the “feeders” that make up the bulk of our Chinook fishery in Craig in the early part of the summer. Of course by the time they reach us in Craig, Alaska they aren’t feeders anymore but full-fledged adult king salmon.

If you were with us in 2013 you got to witness some of the most amazing king salmon fishing most of us have ever seen. Many of the salty old veterans that have fished our waters for close to 30 years say it was by far the best they had ever seen. I don’t want to jinx us…but the summer of 2014 could be just as good!

In between chasing mule deer, duck hunting, and river trips here in Washington this fall I’m already pining to be back on the water in Craig soaking a herring for king salmon. It just doesn’t get much better than that!

We’ve still got some prime June dates open for 2014 if you’re interested in a trip like this. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll keep you posted when we get some more news. Ciao!

Rob Endsley
Prince of Wales Sportfishing
Craig, Alaska Salmon and Halibut Fishing Charters
888-943-4746

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* Vedder’s “Coho Chaos” Article Now Online

Posted on September 30th, 2013 by .

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I just updated the press page on the website with an article that my good friend Dave Vedder wrote for Saltwater Sportsman magazine back in 2009 aptly titled…”Coho Chaos”. It’s uploaded as a .PDF and you’ll have to use your viewer to zoom in on the read. Vedder fishes with us just about every summer and we have a ball with this guy. Here’s a link to the article…“Coho Chaos – Saltwater Sportsman Magazine”.

I’m already busy plugging groups into the 2014 fishing calendar for next summer. If you want to have some fun fishing in Southeast Alaska next summer give me a shout at 888-843-4746 or you can shoot us an email from our Contact page on the website. We’d love to see you in Alaska next summer!

Rob Endsley
Prince of Wales Sportfishing
Craig, Alaska Salmon and Halibut Charters
888-943-4746

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* Halibut Enchilada Nights a Hit

Posted on August 27th, 2013 by .

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This is the second year that we’ve done the halibut enchilada fundraiser for the Craig High School wrestling team down on the dock and it was once again a bit hit. Over the course of the summer all of you were kind enough to donate over $4,000 to the wrestling program here in Craig. The money is mostly applied to travel and it allows the team to participate in tournaments throughout Southeast Alaska and at the state championship. As you can imagine traveling to and from wrestling tournaments from remote Prince of Wales Island is quite costly and your kind donations go a long ways to allow these kids to make the trips. We can’t thank you enough for your donation!

Capt. Troy Thain’s wife Di caters this incredible dish once or twice a week for our guests and she does an amazing job. If you missed the link above here’s another link to Di’s delicious Halibut Enchiladas.

Do we plan on doing this again next summer? Heck yes we do!

Rob Endsley
Prince of Wales Sportfishing
888-943-4746

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* Closing the Books on an Amazing Season

Posted on August 24th, 2013 by .

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We were blessed with amazing fishing here in Craig, Alaska right up until the last day of our charter fishing season, which happened to be yesterday. Fat coho’s were eager to bite our cut plug herring in the islands yesterday morning and then we blasted outside of Noyes Island to enjoy flat calm seas, monster coho, and the last of the king salmon run off of the coast. There are some huge silvers cruising the outside of Noyes Island right now!

Here’s Greg Schermann from Carmel, California with the last king salmon of the 2013 charter fishing season at Prince of Wales Sportfishing.

Greg, Mollie, Brent, and Terry enjoyed limits of big silvers, halibut, and sea bass on a blustery day in Craig two days ago.

One of my childhood friends, Mollie Heilesen, joined me with her husband Brent for our final trip of the season and she nabbed this enormous 44″ ling cod. Great job Mollie!

We’ll make our final run to Island Air Express this morning and then it will take about a week to winterize and put everything away here in Craig. I’ll post some final thoughts here in a couple of days, but one’s things for sure…this has been an amazing fishing year in Craig, Alaska. Oh what a summer!

Rob Endsley
Prince of Wales Sportfishing
888-943-4746

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* Coho Fattening Up, Still Catching Some Nice Kings!

Posted on August 16th, 2013 by .

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The weather has been nothing short of “WOW!” the last few days here in Craig, Alaska.  Most of us are sporting raccoon eyes and some serious farmer tans from our days on the ocean. The fishing, well, it’s been just as hot as the weather!

The silvers have gotten a lot chunkier this past week with quite a few of them hitting the twelve pound mark and few big coho larger than that mixed in. In addition to the fat silvers there’s been some really nice kings on the outside of Noyes Island, as well. The incredible king salmon run this summer has yet to come to an end.

Here’s a nice king salmon that Gary Nugent slid off the kelp on the north side of Noyes Island with Capt. Kim McCarthy about a week ago. Look at the weather…what an amazing morning!

Richard Painter is all smiles after hooking into this awesome 29 pound king salmon that went bonkers after being hooked. This nice king must’ve thought he was a coho because he was slashing all over the surface, jumping, and changing directions every few seconds. It was Richards first experience with a king salmon and I’m pretty sure he’s hooked!

Shortly thereafter Richard tied into this 15 pound silver that went totally “schizo” with amazing leaps and blistering runs. Awesome!

We’ve been having some fun days on the ocean that’s for sure!

I’d like to issue a huge thanks to our guests that have donated to the Craig wrestling team at our halibut enchilada nights down on the dock this summer. Thanks to all of you coach Thain and his wife Di have raised approximately $3500 this summer to help with uniforms, travel, and meals. We can’t thank you enough for all of your help!!!

There’s a little crummy weather in the forecast for the weekend, but I don’t foresee any significant change in the fishing from it. Knock on wood! NOAA is calling for rain and 15 to 20 knot winds thru Monday. If we get closed out on the ocean we’ll spend our time chasing silvers in the islands.

Rob Endsley
Prince of Wales Sportfishing
Craig, Alaska
888-943-4746

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Prince of Wales Sportfishing
Call Toll Free: 1-888-943-4746
Cell: (360) 961-2116
E-mail: info@princeofwalessportfishing.com