Bottomfish angling remains good; halibut fishing has been phenomenal. The hot bait for us this year for halibut is really big, black-label herring. The oil content of these big baits rings the dinner bell for Sitka-area halibut.
Pelagic rockfish angling remains especially strong. Residents are allowed 4 per day, while nonresidents are allowed 2 per day. Common pelagic rockfish include black, blue, dark, dusky, widow and yellowtail.
Nonpelagic rockfish include canary, China, copper, quillback, rosethorn, tiger, and lastly, yelloweye. Yelloweye are closed to retention for all anglers. Resident anglers can keep 1 per day of the other available nonpelagic rockfish and nonresidents are not allowed to retain nonpelagic rockfish.
For any rockfish that you release, you’ll need to use a deepwater release mechanism to release fish at the depth they were caught or 100 feet, whichever is shallower. We’d recommend going to the depth they were caught.
Last month of 2023 Season
In recent weeks, anglers have caught both blue sharks and salmon sharks. Salmon sharks are particularly impressive, reaching huge sizes and looking like baby great white sharks. Unless an angler comes prepared to battle one, there’s little chance to land one. It takes heavy gear, big hooks and steel cable for leader. Nonetheless, just seeing one is worth the price of admission.
With one month left on our season, we can certainly say that it has been a really good year. Generally speaking, salmon fishing has been terrific, and bottomfish (halibut, lingcod and rockfish) angling has been as good as ever. All things considered, there’s a great chance you will catch a mixed bag of healthy fish when you rent a boat from Fish Baranof and fish the productive waters around Sitka. Check Sitka weather