A Week in Alaska, 2016, Part 2

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After a quick breakfast we were off to the salt for our first day of fishing.  The rest of the days we were on our own but for the first day out Frank showed us the ropes.  May is early for prime time fishing, most of the other folks visiting were hunting bear, but there was rumor that there were a few kings in the Cove.  We started out trolling and it wasn’t long before the first takedown.  By the time I had the rod out of the holder is was definitely Fish On! and that thing was peeling line.  After a bit of a fight and some nice runs we chased it down with the boat in reverse, and the first fish of the trip was in the well.  In a few minutes we’re set up and trolling again and within a few more minutes we have two more quick kings to the boat.  We needed one more for a limit but the bite seemed to turn off with the tide change so it was off to Tide Island to look for halibut.  It’s about a 45 minute cruise north past some spectacular scenery, islands, snow-covered mountains and blue water in every direction.

Sea Otters
Sea Otters

Jigging for halibut in 150 feet of water is an arm workout for sure.  Two pounds of lead, some squid and herring and it’s down to the bottom.  It took a bit to find a biter, but after a couple of locations we were into them.  Not having reeled in a halibut before it was an adventure even though the one I hooked is considered a baby, in the 20 pound range.  It’s like reeling in a piece of plywood sideways, except unlike the plywood, if you get it riled it can peel some serious line.  Luckily 100 pound dacron doesn’t break too easy.  You just hope the cramp in your arm and back will hold out long enough to get the thing over the side.   It wasn’t long after that before we had our limit of halibut and headed back towards Coffman Cove in search of the last salmon.

It’s really something to be jigging for halibut  while whales are breaching in the distance and you can actually hear them breathe.  Being out there waving around in the current with the chance of hooking into a 300 pound fish, more whales and eagles in sight than people…I think I got what I came for and it’s only day one on the water.

Alaska Kings
Alaska Kings

 

Tide Island Trophies
Tide Island Trophies

 

Catch of the day
Catch of the day

 

More in part three …

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