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

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* August 27th Craig, Alaska Fishing Report

Posted on August 28th, 2010 by . Filed under Uncategorized .


My big, fancy Nikon camera went kapuuut shortly after our last report on August 5th. I’ve taken a few shots since with a Nikon Coolpix and luckily we’ve gotten some additional awesome shots from guests to use here.

Our August salmon fishery has been about as goofy as it gets. One day we’re on the silvers and doing well and the next they are few and far between. Luckily we got a good shot of king salmon in the middle of August to keep us going.

The Ram Construction group that joins us every year had some exceptional king salmon fishing offshore during their stay here the first week of August. A calm ocean allowed us to roam around and we had some great fishing, with limits of king salmon to 27 pounds and some decent coho action mixed in.

Ram’s owner, Mike Hammes, snapped up the 200 pound halibut in the photo below on a 16 ounce glow-in-the-dark scampi tail jig. The battle was a total rodeo and lasted nearly an hour. It was Mike’s biggest halibut to date and he grabbed the Ram halibut jackpot that usually belongs to Stu Heaton. Good times!

The Candini’s were the next to join us and they jumped right in with some wide open king salmon action on their first morning. We tripled up on big Chinook immediately, losing one of them after a brief battle and getting solid hooks into the other two. While those two fish were screaming around the bay Chris kept bombing bait at the school and missing bites. He did everything text book and they just wouldn’t stick. No biggy!

Finally I had to spin the boat around to keep one of the fish from running into the kelp and we lost the school. After a great battle Jerry and Milo landed their kings, 27 and 39 pounders. I had some great photos of their kings, but unfortunately they went bye-bye when my camera went down. Sorry guys!

We slid offshore in the fog and Chris drove the hook home on a 20 pound king salmon within five minutes. The bite was on and we were getting bit repeatedly, but the combination of a six foot swell and pea soup fog drove us back into calmer waters. No problemo…we managed to grab a quick limit of chicken halibut on the way in. Below is a photo of Milo with the 30 pound chicken halibut he caught on an 18 ounce pipe jig tipped with salmon belly. He’s always smilin’…

The Kvam’s and the Quades were on tap next and got to experience some outstanding salmon action. We hit Hole in the Wall on their first morning and caught four or five coho before Sally hooked into a 30 pound king salmon. She landed the fish after a great battle under sunny skies. After the bite died we diddled around at Roller Bay, hooking a handful of fat silvers, a bunch of sea bass, and a limit of halibut.

The ocean was relatively flat the next day, so we blasted well offshore to an area another charter captain said was holding a good mess of silver salmon. We were the only boat in the area and it didn’t take long to find the fish. We hooked around 30 silvers in two hours and landed half of them before the tide turned the bite off.

Amidst all the chaos Kathryn layed into a king salmon that ran off 400 feet of line out of the gate. We chased the fish on glassy calm seas and she landed it 25 minutes later, an identical 30 pound Chinook to Sally’s. This was Kathryn’s first time salmon fishing and well, she was hooked!

We ran back to this area again the next morning and the silvers were still jumping on like crazy. Our first drift produced twelve hookups and while we only landed four of them…who cares…we were having a ball! The schools would come and go and every other drift would produce wide open action with silvers running all over the place. Ms. Nicole also joined us for the day and when it was all said and done we landed 27 silvers and lost just about as many. Fun stuff!

On the way home we dropped on an offshore rockpile and cranked up a mess of ling cod on pipe jigs and scampi tails.

Sally’s 30 pound king salmon

Kathryn’s first king salmon is a 30 pound beauty!

We took some time to go cave-hopping while we were there, pulling the charter boat into two massive caves full of puffins and other nesting sea birds. Awesome!

Strong winds forced us inside the islands for a couple days on our last rotation of the summer, the Webb and Mihalic groups. Salmon fishing was slow, slow, slow and after several hours of “watching the paint dry” we decided to torment some sea bass and halibut.

The Webb group, fishing on the Polar Bear, got nice limits of sea bass and three of their four chicken halibut messing around in the islands. We ran back towards town at the end of the day to look for signs of salmon and after actually hooking up on two silvers Neal’s salmon rod doubles over with a huge halibut.

An hour and another rodeo later we landed the 160 pound beast and the guys were all smiles. In Alaska you just never know what’s going to happen!

Here’s Neal hooked up on yet another strange sea creature, this time a huge octopus.

Greg holds up the big yelloweye that he caught fishing aboard the Siketi with Capt. Mike Hailey. The guys had a great time fishing with Mike, catching a mixed bag of just about everything in the sea.

After four days aboard the Siketi with Capt. Mike I was lucky enough to take Greg, Tom, John, and Ted on my last charter of the summer. Nice group of guys from Colorado that fished with us for 5 days. Here’s Tom with his first saltwater king salmon.

Check out the teeth marks on Gregs silver salmon. All of our salmon on this particular day were gashed up with teeth marks…salmon sharks!

A few play days for us before we pack up everything and head back to Washington for the winter. Even though our fishing here in Craig, Alaska was a roller coaster ride this summer we still had a great time, had many memorable experiences, and look forward to seeing you all back here again sometime.

Rob Endsley

Prince of Wales Sportfishing

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* July 2nd King Salmon Fishing Report

Posted on July 2nd, 2010 by . Filed under Uncategorized .


Fishing has been great here the last few days despite the opening of the power troll season. Our customers have caught a few limits of silver salmon already and we’ve had limits of king salmon on the Polar Bear and Sea Hunt just about every day. Halibut fishing has been great for chicken halibut from 15 to 30 pounds, but we’ve found very few of the larger halibut around thus far. Not a big problem for us, however, as most of our guests prefer the better-eating chicken halibut anyway.

Here’s a few pics from our last groups here in Craig, Alaska.

Will and the first king salmon he’s ever caught, a 35 pounder. He’s also the only person taller than me to ever fish on my boat.

Jim was too tuckered out to hold up his 38 pound king salmon for a picture. No problem at all…don’t have to ask me twice!

Craig’s 24 pound king salmon from Granite Point off Baker Island

Craig and the boys with their limit of king salmon, halibut, and a bunch of late June silver salmon.

Vince with a tiger rockfish. We catch a few of these a summer out there bottomfishing…pretty cool fish

The Morrow group fished on the Sea Hunt and hammered every day. Here they are with a whole bunch of fish.

Vince with a 10 pound silver salmon he caught with us on June 30th. The silver salmon are running big for this time of year.

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* The Saltwater Experience!

Posted on October 2nd, 2009 by . Filed under Uncategorized .


A saltwater angling adventure in Southeast Alaska is perhaps is one of the most dynamic experiences one can enjoy in the outdoors. Five species of salmon, halibut, ling cod, and over 30 species of rockfish make the west side of Prince of Wales Island a very special place for wetting a line, but the experience doesn’t stop there. The fishing alone isn’t what makes this place so special, it’s the scenery, marine wildlife, the North Pacific’s rugged coastline, and the ever-changing tide and currents that swirl around hundreds of islands that really make Prince of Wales Island an exciting place to fish. Sharing this dynamic experience with close friends and family is what life in the outdoors is all about!

A picture is worth a thousand words! I can describe this experience a hundred different ways, but nothing highlights the saltwater experience better than a photo.  These photos and more are available on the Prince of Wales Sportfishing Photo Gallery page.

We’re hosting all of our Southeast Alaska fishing videos over on The Outdoor Line video page. Check’em out when you get a chance!

Preseason scouting turned up this mid-30’s Chinook for Jim “Bucket” Heins. A better king salmon run than 2008??? You bet it was!

Pre-season scouting turned up this mid-30's Chinook for Jim "Bucket" Heins. A better king salmon run than 2008, you bet it was!

The sweetest lady on Planet Earth, Diana Rumley, bags her first Chinook ever. After a 30 minute battle-royale she landed this 42 pound Chinook!

From the sweetest lady ever to salmon slayer extraordinaire. Tim Linderman with a mid-30’s King on one of those mornings at Cape Ulitka.

You’ve heard that women catch more fish. Well, they do! Bob Say snaps a few photos of Danielle’s 37 pound beauty over on Capt. Kims boat.

A double on a king and silver, both in the upper teens, made this rodeo-bite a memorable experience for all of us! Lots of fun with Al and Julie again this year.

Mac’n Cheese, Top Ramen, and king salmon with a side of halibut. Food for college! I just found this pic from 2008 and couldn’t resist.

Tim “Slice and Dice” Koentopp prepares to slice and dice a thousand pounds of halibut. If you’re into halibut check out these great halibut fishing vids, “Al Sloka’s Halibut” & “Pipe Jig Hammers Halibut”

Those big halibut aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Deb Adams lifts this great-eating chicken halibut for a quick photo off St. Johns Island. We catch plenty of these halibut throughout the summer!

The Marshall gang shows us how to have some fun back at the pier. Chris Miles, owner of Cookin’ on Wood in Phoenix, Arizona (and a POW Sportfishing pro-staffer) whips up a mean mess of grub every night on the dock.

Just another day in paradise! Robert Aguilera lands another fat coho while a humpback whale breaches in the background.

“Quck, everybody grab a fish for a picture before the rain hits!” The Hine gang from Bakersfield with a very quick dock shot before heading for cover. Yes, it rains in Southeast Alaska!

Pete Rathwell with our biggest silver of the summer on the last trip of the summer. A 17 pound brute from Black Rock near Warren Island.

Rick shows some variety with a yelloweye rockfish from an offshore ocean pinnacle.

Ling cod numbers continue to build off the coast providing some pretty wide-open action in 2009. Here’s Robert with a keeper-sized ling caught on a pipe jig. A couple of ling cod videos worth checking out, “No Mas!” & “Ling bites it’s own tail”

A massive school of baitfish slides under the Polar Bear with a wide open coho bite following shortly thereafter.

Capt. Troy hauls a nice halibut aboard the Makai for the Preddy gang from Texas.

A little silver chaos for the Beaudry gang over on Capt. Kims boat. These guys brought 30 pounds of Kobe beef for our evening barbecues on the pier!

One bite of burrito, one chug of salsa! Nothing like a little hair of the dog in the morning.

It wouldn’t be a Southeast Alaskan experience without the humpback whales. A few photos from Rob Endsley’s collection.

From Capt. Rob Endsley, Nicole Huggins, and the great people we work with in Craig, Alaska we sincerely hope you’ll join Prince of Wales Sportfishing for another great summer of fishing and adventure in 2010!

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* Great fishing continues in SE Alaska!

Posted on August 10th, 2009 by . Filed under Uncategorized .


We just came off another great week of fishing here in Craig, Alaska with daily coho limits and wide open action on both halibut and ling cod.  King salmon fishing is starting to fizzle, but there are still a few kings around here and there.  Yesterday we got into a completely stupid coho bite on the Polar Bear…one of those scenes you just never forget.  Every pass we made past a particular kelp patty was producing one to three hookups and then a massive school moved in with silver salmon finning all over the surface and crashing bait in every direction. The guys were dropping their baits over the side and watching the silvers zip in and grab them right next to the boat. On the last circus bite one big coho was twisting around in the kicker motor, two more were literally ripping monofilament across the surface as they slashed and jumped wildly around the boat, and the fourth fish (a king) was screaming line off the Tekota until it finally stopped around 200 feet.  As I quickly tried to uncoil a 14 pound coho from the kicker motor propellor Stu exclaims, “Mikes got a king!” Mikes 26 pound king jumped from the water and landed with a Ka-Wooosh!  I quickly gaffed the fish next the prop, cut the line, grabbed the two other ‘hos and off we went to get Mikes king.  Three big ‘hos on the deck and a king in the bag. That would be the definition of coho chaos!

Halibut action has been absolutely wide open right now for chicken halibut from 15 to 35 pounds right now and there are bigger flatties around if guests want to put in the time. The ling cod fishing has also been very, very good and we’ve limited the last two groups on keeper ling cod, releasing plenty of bigger ones.  Both the lings and the halibut are stacked in the areas the trollers are working and the action on heavy scampi tail jigs is fast, very fast.

Mike Hammes and his 26 pound king salmon 

Stu Heatons 82 pound halibut, winner of the Ram group halibut jackpot

Stu also took the Ram king salmon jackpot with this 29 pounder.  The jackpot money all went to our fish cutter Tim “Slice and Dice” Koentop, who’s wife Nan is fighting cancer right now. Our prayers are with them!  

Rod Tople with a big ocean fresh 14 pound silver salmon

Always a good time with the Marshall group. They also were kind enough to donate their group jackpot to Tim’s family.  Thank you so much guys and we look forward to seeing you again next summer!

Fishing in SE Alaska is about more than filling up the freezer. The wildlife and scenery our guests enjoy here is second to none and whale shows like this one occur almost daily.  This big humpback was slapping it’s tail repeatedly on the surface on the way in a few days ago and we were able to grab some great pics.

Look closely and you’ll see the bubble ring around this feeding humpback whale. This whale was bubble feeding along the same kelp line we were hammering the coho on yesterday and on several occasions we had to move because the bubbles were getting a little too close for comfort. 

Capt. Rob Endsley

www.princeofwalessportfishing.com

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* Craig, Alaska Fishing Report

Posted on July 24th, 2009 by . Filed under Uncategorized .


 

I’ve been sitting here for the last ten minutes trying to come up with something snappy for a title and it just isn’t coming to me.  All I could come up with is “Craig, Alaska Report”, which will work just fine.  Two months of sleep deprivation and long days on the ocean have pretty much eliminated all the fluff.  Fish, eat, sleep…in that order!

In this business people always ask “how’s the fishing?”  My response lately has been “pretty good”, which translates to not slow, not white hot, but somewhere in the middle.  “Somewhere in the middle” is darned good by many people standards.  Our guests have been in some white hot coho bites this past week and there have been days where we’ve had to scratch around to find them, getting limits on most days and close to it on the other days.  There continues to be some enormous king salmon around and if guests want to sacrifice a few silvers to target these fish I’m all for it!  Most of the action lately has been occurring on the north end of Noyes Island at places like the “Tree Hole”, Cape Ulitka, St. Joseph Island, and down the outside coast of Noyes.  The inside fishery is starting to pick up, as well, and with an afternoon charter today we plan on scoping many of the areas close to town.

Halibut fishing has remained solid and we’ve had halibut to 135 pounds this past week and several more in the 90 pound range.  And the “Semi” drift kicks out chicken halibut in short order whenever the need arises.  Dad just hand delivered another case of 16 oz. pipe jigs that will be put to good use here shortly now that we’re coming down off these huge tides.  

Jim Murphy joined the Bakersfield gang this year for the first time and walked away with their group halibut jackpot with this 92 pounder.  After buying drinks for the group with the prize money, however, I’m pretty sure he ended up in the red : )

Frank Reed, Mr. Perma-Grin, with his 135 pound halibut.

Joe, Frank, “Tuna”, and dad with a limit of fat silver salmon, chicken halibut, and a nice king salmon.  “Tuna” will be sending us some interesting downloads for our Icom radios.  You all thought our scramblers were annoying : )

I’m sure TSA had a field day with this box of pipe jigs

Humpback whales have been in our waters in big numbers and the killer whales have also been making an almost daily appearance. 

Capt. Rob Endsley

www.princeofwalessportfishing.com

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* July 16th Fishing Report

Posted on July 16th, 2009 by . Filed under Uncategorized .


Nothing like a total computer crash in the middle of summer to keep things interesting.  Luckily I was able to send the toasted computer and a brand new one to a friend, Michael Parker, in Seattle who transferred everything over for us and got it shipped right back.  Thank you for the help Mike!

Fishing has been a far sight better than last season and the weather here in Craig has also been darned pleasent.  We’re hitting anywhere from 10 silvers per boat a day to full limits and every day and every tide seems to be different.  The king salmon fishing has also yo-yo’d up and down quite a bit, but there have been some huge king salmon hitting the docks here in Craig lately and when you hook up you just never know how big a king it will be.  Our boats have had quite a few in the mid 30’s, one in the low 40’s, and we’ve heard of at least half a dozen over 50 pounds and a few more over 60 pounds.  That’s right…60 pounds!  The leader in the Craig Derby right now is a 60 pounder. 

While there’s no shortage of chicken halibut around we really haven’t had many big halibut this summer.  Calm seas the last two days allowed all three boats to roam offshore and we found plentiful ling cod and yelloweye but very few halibut of any size.  The nice thing about the chicken halibut, however, is that we can target salmon all morning and then grab a quick limit of these great eating fish on the way home. 

Tim Linderman with one of the two king salmon he caught over 30 pounds

Tim Linderman with one of the two king salmon he caught over 30 pounds

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* King Salmon Showing in Craig!

Posted on May 18th, 2009 by . Filed under Uncategorized .


2009 Cancellations:

August 22-26, 8 Seats-Polar Bear/Capt. Rob Endsley, Sea Hunt/Capt. Kim McCarthy  

July 4-8, 4 Seats-Sea Hunt/Capt. Kim McCarthy

Call Rob Endsley at 888-943-4746 or email rendsley@earthlink.net for info on these great fishing dates and package specials.

After two years of below-average king salmon fishing in the Craig area it’s hard not to get excited about the upcoming season.  Reports like “it’s wide open” and “quite a few king salmon around” have been few and far between during the pre-season for, well, too long.  With a Chinook Abundance Index of 1.33 and a relaxing of regulations to allow the harvest of 3 kings by non-resident anglers it appears as though we’re headed into a great summer for salmon fishing!

Bon with a 46 pound Craig, Alaska king salmon from 2008!  We're hoping to see more king salmon like this in 2009.

Bon with a 46 pound Craig, Alaska king salmon from 2008! We're hoping to see more king salmon like this in 2009.

Improved ocean conditions don’t just help the king salmon, silver and pink salmon numbers are also benefitting from a cooler ocean and more plentiful bait, with those runs expected to be up considerably this summer in Southeast Alaska.  It’ll be bid-ness as usual for silver salmon this summer, with a 6 fish per day limit.  It sounds like a good time to be dropping a herring over the side in Craig!

Sunny skies and silver salmon!

Sunny skies and silver salmon!

No more tears!

Other good news is the addition of a trophy ling cod to the non-resident bag limit.  The 30″ to 35″ slot limit will be retained, but now if you happen to catch a gator over 55″ you can keep it as part of your one ling limit.  No more tears as that giant ling swims back into the depths!

The only bit of somewhat bad news is the reduction in the halibut limit from two per day to one per day.  What this amounts to is the elimination of a halibut under 32″ from the bag limit and about 6 pounds of halibut fillets, or even less if you keep a small chicken halibut.  The bummer about this deal is that is doesn’t put more fish in the ocean, it simply re-allocates them over to the commercial sector.  For more information on this log onto www.charterhalibuttaskforce.com and snoop around the website.  A lawsuit is pending on this issue.

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