This year was not a great year for Salmon Returns in Haines Alaska. Haines Alaska Fishing was hampered by a closer of the Chilkat River to King Salmon Fishing. Just when you thought it wasn’t going to get worse, the Chilkat River was extra high this year, the high water and high silt content made fishing even more difficult.
So what does it mean when the fishing is hard? Should you take your rod and lock it in the shed? Should all the Yukon fishermen stay in Canada? Of course not.
There are always places that the fish will be. Salmon are predictable, and even in the silty Chilkat there are areas where streams feed into the river and the water clears up. There are places where the current changes and the salmon will stack up, and most of all, there are places that you will catch fish.
With low salmon counts a personal moral question comes up: if don’t need to go meat fishing, should you take fish out of an already reduced spawning pool? Personally I don’t. When I know that I am not going to be keeping the fish I catch I use barbless hooks, and never fish with baits that will be taken deeply. Handling the fish properly also helps to ensure their survival. I always say, do NOT pull fish out of the water if you do not need to, and if you intend to release them.
Good luck next fishing season, whether you are fishing in the Chilkat River for Silver Salmon, or somewhere else, remember to conserve our resources and enjoy the time you spend on the water.
I like to call it the Alaskan Double, King Salmon and Halibut on one trip out on the water. Fishing In Petersburg Alaska earlier this year I made it happen, although it was on accident.
While Trolling for King Salmon we had a few baits at different depths. One bait was running pretty deep and, as sometimes happens, a halibut came up off the bottom and took the herring. After finding the depth the fish were sitting at we were able to get a few nice Kings in the boat as well. We even ended up with one suprise Coho Salmon, they are usually not in the area at this time of year.
Petersburg Alaska is a very nice place to visit. It has a unique Scandinavian feel and is one of the most “Alaskan” small towns in Alaska.
City of Petersburg Alaska
September is a good time to target Silver Salmon / Coho Salmon in saltwater in the protected waters of Southeast Alaska near Sitka. Recently we were out trolling around in a secret honey hole when we came into a school.
We were trolling herring, and as is typical when you get into a feeding school, there were times when we had multiple fish on at the same time. A good trick to targeting Coho Salmon is to change up the depth by having baits at different depths until you find the fish. Then quickly adjust your other rigs to match the depths of the ones that were on the fish.
On our first double hookup we got one of the fish in the boat and lost the other. We re-rigged and went back to troll through the school again. On the 3rd pass we had hit the right speed and depth and we got another double hookup. This time we landed both fish.
It was a really fun day on the water. Take some time off and get out fishing before its winter and all you can do is sit in an ice hut.