Prince Of Wales Sportfishing – Craig, Alaska Fishing Reports » Salmon

Posts Tagged ‘ Salmon ’

* End of June Fishing Report

Posted on July 2nd, 2015 by . Filed under Uncategorized .


It’s been a while since our last report but it’s not because we haven’t been busy. In fact that’s exactly what’s kept me from posting more often. We’ve been posting almost daily to the Prince of Wales Sportfishing Facebook page though. If you’d give us a follow on Facebook we’d certainly appreciate it.

The king fishing in June definitely wasn’t as automatic as we’ve had the past couple years here in Craig. On my boat I’ve been switching between trolling and mooching on a daily basis to produce kings. When the kings are spread out as they have been it’s tough to beat trolling. Either flashers and hoochie’s or whole herring have been the ticket and of course when we’re mooching it’s all about cut plug herring.

With the Chinook limit dropping from two per day to one per day on July 1st I’ll probably be pulling the Cannon downriggers off the boat at least for a while. With silvers showing up and some really nice kings hitting the kelp I can’t see myself trolling much for the remainder of the summer.

Speaking of big kings there’s been some dandies around this past week. 14 year old Austin Bunting had a 50 plus pound Chinook nearly to the net on Capt. Howie’s boat a couple of days ago only to have a massive bull sea lion swoop in and steal his fish. Heartbreaking but also quite exciting. There’s been a few other fish in the 50 pound range caught around Noyes Island and a few more in the 40 pound class. July is when the big boys show up here and I’m excited to see what the next month has in store for us in the way of trophy king salmon.

Silvers are just now starting to hit the outside and a few schools have already made their way into the islands. Catching silvers on the mooching gear is a total blast and we’re looking forward to that fishery heating up real soon also.

Here’s a few photos from the last couple of weeks of king salmon fishing here in Craig.

The guys from Lowrance electronics were here and had a great trip!

Ren Martin with a 32 pound king salmon.

Bob Keller with a nice halibut that barely made it under the 42″ slot limit.

Happy 4th of July to everyone and good fishing to you!

Rob Endsley

Prince of Wales Sportfishing

888-943-4746

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

Posted on January 30th, 2014 by . Filed under Uncategorized .


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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* Hot Silver Fishing Continues in Craig, Alaska

Posted on August 8th, 2013 by . Filed under Uncategorized .


It seems as though just about everywhere we go lately there’s at least a few silvers to be caught and some of the better spots have been really hot. Mooching cut plug herring in a swarm of silver salmon is a thrill that you’ll never forget. One second they’re going this way, the next you think you lost it, and seconds later they are jumping on the other side of the boat. Such is silver fishing in Craig, Alaska!

Here’s the Lynden boys after a great day of fishing in Craig, Alaska with Prince of Wales Sportfishing.

Bob Reed caught this 44 3/4 inch ling cod aboard the Polar Bear the other day. Multiple measurements confirmed that this was indeed a keeper within the 30 to 45 inch slot limit. Nice one Bob!

And then lucky Bob followed it up with an awesome 36 pound king salmon that went totally berserk…thrashing all over the surface before falling to the net. There’s still a few of these big dudes around to keep things interesting!

Bob Tessier with a chunky silver salmon that he caught on a morning bite off Noyes Island.

Outdoor writer Dave Vedder caught a ton of fish while he was here. The one that bit this herring eluded him however : )

We’ve had some windy conditions off and on for the last week which have prevented us from spending a ton of time on the ocean. Nothing major…just a little sloppy on the ocean. Luckily there’s plenty of cohos in the islands and we’ve found some halibut in protected waters. Halibut fishing just off the coast has been decent, however, and on most days we’ve been able to get limits of chicken halibut fairly quickly. On calm days, well, the skies the limit!

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

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* Jeff’s Stubby King Salmon

Posted on July 9th, 2013 by . Filed under Uncategorized .


Check out the shoulders on the 31 pound king salmon that Jeff June caught today while fishing on the Polar Bear. The big king was as long as another king salmon that weighed about 17 pounds, but the freakish girth blew it up to an amazing 31 pounds. We were all amazed that it weighed that much given it’s short length. Either way…we’ll take it!

In addition to a few nice kings there has been a tremendous amount of coho in the waters around Craig recently. Coho fishing has been downright awesome!

We’ve got some foul weather here for a couple of days that will keep us off the ocean. Hopefully we’ll be back out there again after tomorrow. Until the next report…good fishing to you!

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* Meet Kara Barlow!

Posted on July 4th, 2013 by . Filed under Uncategorized .


When you arrive at the airport in Klawock you’re likely to meet Prince of Wales Sportfishing’s new customer service representative, Kara Barlow. You might recognize her from years past, as she worked on the dock for Tim Koentopp processing our guests fish for the last three years. Kara attends college at Linfield in Oregon and spends the summers here on Prince of Wales Island where she grew up. She’s got a big smile and she’s been a huge asset for Prince of Wales Sportfishing so far this summer.

Look for Kara when you arrive at the airport with Island Air Express and, of course, one of us is likely to be there too. We’re looking forward to seeing many of you here real soon!

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

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* Norm’s Big Nookie!

Posted on July 1st, 2013 by . Filed under Uncategorized .


Norm Allan was lucky enough to catch this nice 42 pound king salmon amidst the horde of king’s out there right now. He caught the big king this morning on a mooched cut plug herring fishing aboard the “Makai” with Capt. Troy Thain at Pineapple Rock.

For such a low abundance index the king salmon run this year has been nothing short of extraordinary. There’s also plenty of silver salmon mixed in to keep the rods bent all day long. Life is good here in Southeast Alaska right now!

I’ll post another quick report in day or two. Until then…good fishing to you!

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

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* 2013 Southeast Alaska Charter Season Draws Near

Posted on May 6th, 2013 by . Filed under Uncategorized .


Aaah….I just tied my last mooching leader for the upcoming fishing charter season in Craig, Alaska. Shame on me for not getting this done during football season. The Seahawks were so fun to watch last fall that I hardly had time to tie leaders during the games. With all the moves the Seahawks have been making next fall could be even better!

I used to tie all my leaders with a 5/0 hook in the front and a 4/0 trailer and now I’m just using straight 4/0’s for everything. The larger 5/0 hook was great for holding the front of the cut plug herring, but the larger size made it a little more difficult to drive the hook home on a king or silver salmon. The 4/0’s seem to set the hook themselves. Some of the other charter captains run straight 5/0’s, some run a 4/0 with a 3/0 trailer and they all catch plenty of fish. The straight 4/0’s just seem to work a little better for me.

And yes, I’m a huge fan of Mustad hooks. In Alaska I use Mustad 92568 black nickel hooks, which are 2X strong hooks that hold up to the wide variety of fish that our guests might hook while we’re mooching for salmon. In Washington, however, I pretty much stick with the Mustad 92604 fine wire bait hook whenever I’m using herring. All of these hooks are super sticky sharp and they work great…or I wouldn’t use them.

Troy’s new North River is in Washington right now getting it’s full compliment of Lowrance electronics installed and then it’ll be headed for the barge next week. In the meantime I’m as busy as ever loading up on supplies and trying to get some quality time in with the family before heading north here soon.

I’ve talked to a few of the guys in Craig the last couple of weeks and there’s already some king salmon showing up around town. A troller friend had a solid catch on his last trip of the winter season last week and I’m crossing my fingers that more king salmon will right behind the fish that he found off the coast. In the meantime there’s lots of work to do to get things ready for this summer.

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

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* Thain’s North River Nears Completion

Posted on April 17th, 2013 by . Filed under Uncategorized .


Capt. Troy Thain’s new 26′ North River is nearing completion at the North River factory in Roseburg, Oregon. It’ll arrive in Gig Harbor, Washington the first of May to have a full compliment of Lowrance electronics installed before being loaded on the barge in mid-May to head to it’s new home in Craig, Alaska.

Chet at the Bay Company in Craig will be rigging this bad boy with twin 150 Mercury outboards and it should be ready to roll and put our guests on the fish by early June sometime.

Troy’s new ride with have a ton of deck space so everyone has lots of room to roam and maneuver in the midst of a wide open salmon bite.

We’re hearing early reports of a few king salmon being caught around Craig and Klawock already. When the herring spawn in Craig and Klawock, well, the king salmon aren’t too far behind. Summer can’t come soon enough!

There are still a couple of great dates available for the summer of 2013. One of them is July 14-18, which is prime time for a big king as well as a mix of silvers, halibut, and bottomfish. If you’re looking for some awesome king salmon fishing two seats just opened up on the Polar Bear June 16-20. Shoot us an email or call 888-943-4746 if you’re interested in learning more about these great fishing dates.

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll post another update soon. Good fishing to you!

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

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* New Bait Station for 2013

Posted on March 4th, 2013 by . Filed under Uncategorized .


I’m finally adding something to the Polar Bear that I never thought I would need…a bait station. I’m having Three Rivers Marine in Woodinville, Washington build me a custom bait station that is almost identical to the one below that a good friend has on his Duckworth.

At six and a half feet tall the constant bending over of cutting bait and bending over to get bait out of the cooler when the hooks are empty pretty much thrashes my back in the summer. We all spend enough time hanging over the rail taking care of fish there’s just no need to increase that repetitive motion cutting bait and baiting hooks.

I’m fairly certain that both Rafael Ramirez and Troy Thain will also be ordering bait stations for their boats, the Brown Bear and the Makai. It just makes perfect sense to have one of these on the boat.

Three Rivers Marine custom builds the stations to your specifications and I’m getting pretty much everything you see in the photo below except for the recessed cup holders. Those will simply fill up with herring heads and guts…there’s no need for that.

No longer will there be tools scattered all over the top of the fish tote. Everything will now be conveniently stored in it’s proper place on the bait station. Well, most of the time anyway. I’ll still leave the pliers laying aroundnd just to keep things interesting.

The bait station mounts in two “pockets” on the stern of the boat and they can make them as high or short as you like. Mine will just be high enough to open the transom hatch where I store cleaning supplies and other miscellaneous items.

If anyone else in the Craig area would like to order one I’d be happy to ship it north in May when we ship all of our supplies on the barge. If you’re outside of the Craig area Three Rivers Marine will ship your custom built station anywhere. For more details call Kent Alger at Three Rivers at 425-415-1575.

I’m also going to have them build me a custom UHMW rack for holding halibut and ling cod jigs. I’m tired of them banging on the storage trays when we’re running offshore.

Only three months until we start fishing again in Craig, Alaska. Time sure flies!

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

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* Halibut Limits to Remain the Same in 2013

Posted on January 26th, 2013 by . Filed under Uncategorized .


The International Pacific Halibut Commission met in Victoria, BC this week and decided to take no action on guided angler regulations in Southeast Alaska for 2013. This results in the same regulations we had in Craig as last summer with a limit of one halibut per day under 45 inches or over 68 inches.

If you’re wondering what that equates in size it’s one halibut under 43 pounds or over 163 pounds. We’re still able to keep the nice chicken halibut that we’re fond of catching and if you happen to catch a big one you can certainly keep it if you like. We released quite a few halibut very close to the 68″ mark last summer, providing both angst and entertainment for our customers. Watching us measure halibut very close to 68″ inches proved to be quite entertaining!

There won’t have any solid salmon news from Alaska Department of Fish and Game until April. Judging by the run forecasts the last couple years, ocean conditions, and the rebound of quite a few king salmon stocks on the West Coast we expect king salmon fishing to be quite good again. I’ll post more news on the salmon front when we get something solid from ADF&G.

We’ve still got a few seats open throughout the summer. If you’re interested in fishing in Craig now is the time to jump on these openings before someone else does. Call me at 888-943-4746…happy to help or answer any questions you might have.

Good fishing!

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

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