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.
Halibut Fishing is one of my favorite activites. Growing up in Florida we used to head out deep sea fishing for Grouper. Targeting Halibut is done in much the same way. The Captain parks the boat over some structure and you drop your lines straight down to the bottom.
The waves that day were about 5′-6′ once we got out of the harbor. It was hard to keep the boat anchored over any type of bottom, but our captain gave it his best. Finally a short time after my bait had gone down, while were were anchored in a small cove in about 100′ of water near mud bay, I felt that classic twitch at the end of the line. I waited just a second and slowly reeled until I could feel something on the end of the line and then i set the hook hard.
Whereas before I just had a big chunck of dead pink salmon on my hook, now I had a beastly Halibut, that I would later find was just over 100 lbs, on the end of the line. It pulled hard against me, but I let the rod do alot of the work, as I slowly hoisted my catch from the deep blue water.
Finally we got the fish to the surface and quickly put a harpoon in its side. Then we took out the rifle. See you dont just fish for big halibut, you hunt them too. After dispatching the halibut, we cut a gill to bleed him and pulled him up on the boat.
Another great day on the Lynn Canal, Another great fish in the boat.
I love Halibut Fishing. Visit this Halibut Fishing site to learn more for yourself.
So I still remember the first time I ever went Salmon Fishing on the Chilkoot River just outside Haines Alaska. It was a beautiful day and the Coho were in the river.
I had gone to the local bait shop/grocery store/clothing store/gun shop (Real Alaska one stop shopping) at a place known in town as Oleruds. I asked the guy behind the counter what people were using on the river, and he told me that everyone was fishing pixies. I grabbed about 5 in three different color combinations and headed out.
Unlike fishing for salmon in southcentral alaska, where it is known as combat fishing, here in Haines there were only a couple other people on the river. I tossed in my Pixie and let it almost bounce along the bottom with the current as I brought it in. Within a few casts I had a hit.
The fast and acrobatic Silver Salmon charged up river taking line while making huge leaps out of the water. After a good fight he was on shore and I was able to pop a gill to bleed him out, put him on a stringer and go for more food.
By the end of the silver run that year my freezer was stocked with beautiful fresh fish. Because I was fishng only a mile or so from salt water the silvers I got still looked pretty much like ocean fish and had not turned to dark or gotten spawned out.
After a day of Great Salmon Fishing fishing it was nice to head back to the little town I lived in to relax and enjoy the fresh air. I was glad I had moved to Haines, what a beautiful place, and what a perfect lifestyle.