The weather turned sunny overnight and Thursday morning was beautiful. Wait, it’s Thursday already? Where did the time go? Anyhow, we were ready to get back out on the salt and see what we could do now that we could cover some water. We trolled our way out of the Cove with only a few fish marked on the finder and headed north.
We tried a few other areas on the way north looking for kings but we couldn’t find any takers except for one colorful rockfish. We ended up at tide island mid morning and got rigged for halibut. By the time Ole found the bottom he had a halibut on. After that quick one we moved around a lot and it wound up being afternoon before I hooked up into something a bit more meatier. This thing did not want to come up off the bottom. And bottom happened to be about 175 feet down, so there was some reeling to do. Bit by bit I drug that thing up until we could get a look at it and it was the nicest one yet (and the biggest fish of my life). We were starting to wonder whether we could fit it in the net, or if we should gaff it. The gaff left a lot to be desired with a short reach and no handle on it so we chose to net it. As soon as the net touched its tail it headed straight down to the bottom again. It peeled line like there wasn’t even any resistance, I just tried to hold on for the ride. Once it settled down I started the long slow reel with an already tired arm and back, but it never felt so good. Finally it came back up and we got it in the net and heaved it over the side as a team effort. The best guess we had on the weight was 55 pounds, we couldn’t find a scale to get an actual weight but knew it crested 50 no problem. Don’t they make scales the size of their fish in Alaska? By halibut standards this thing is still a baby, we didn’t even have to shoot it with a shotgun before bringing it aboard!
Once I somewhat recovered I got a line in the water again and it wasn’t long until I hooked into another, 29 pounds. Still a nice fish but it seemed small after the last one. We were hoping for one more for the limit but we couldn’t seem to scrape it up so we started heading back to Coffman. We couldn’t find any kings either so we had to settle for the halibut, which ended up filleting out to 47 pounds of fish. We also swung by the crab pots for another limit. Not a bad day for a bunch of amateurs.
Friday wasn’t quite a repeat of the last. We mainly gave up hope we would find the kings and headed straight to tide island. It was glassy water and a great ride out.
Fishing, just when you think you have things figured out, the fish teach you that you don’t. We hoped for a quick limit of halibut and then on to some exploring and maybe a couple of kings to end the trip. Well, it was a bit slower than that. I suppose if you are going to have a slow day, southeast Alaska on a sunny calm day is the place to do it. We tried all our spots where we had success earlier in the week, all the efforts amounted to one fish. Ah well, we came home with two bulging 50 pound boxes each, so I’m happy.
We made our way back a bit early so we could do a bit of looking around and be back in time for the fish to freeze for the trip home. The tide happened to be going out and it was almost like running a mile wide 300 foot deep river going through Snow Pass with all the crazy currents. Almost nobody was out on the water either of the last two days. We had all that great blue and green all to ourselves…well, and a whale or two.
Along with the occasional sea otter…
And the eagles having fun harassing the gulls…..
Then it was back to Coffman to pack a bag, shell some crabs and get some rest for the trip home.
We signed up for an adventure, I think we got one.
Thanks to Mike and Sarah for being such great hosts!
Alaska, I hope to see you again soon!