Fishing continues to be excellent in Sitka. King salmon fishing has been as good as it has been in the last few decades. Clients are bringing back lots of quality king salmon, with the occasional larger one hitting the dock. With good bait present in the area, primarily sand lance and small herring, salmon numbers remain strong.
Coho salmon have begun to arrive, pretty early by our estimations. A dozen or so were brought in by our boats yesterday. Trolling herring and lures like Silver Horde Coho Killers, both pulled behind flashers, are yielding strong results for our fishermen. Chum salmon and pink salmon numbers are climbing, so anglers that are fishing Sitka in the upcoming weeks have a good chance to catch four of the five Pacific salmon species.
Halibut stocks remain strong, and anglers are catching quality halibut everyday. Both bait and jig anglers are crushing it. Halibut are opportunistic predators and will attack a jig that gets near them. It pays to have a variety of jig styles with you so that you can find the one that the halibut react most favorably to; highliner halibut anglers typically carry a range of metal jigs with different actions, as well as lead head jigs with grub tails.
Slot limit ling cod fishing has been excellent, with some anglers reporting that they are catching slot limit fish within a few drifts. Lings respond favorably to shiny things danced in front of their faces, so pounding reefs with metal is usually a winning strategy.
Black rockfish are abundant, and very much worth targeting. Yelloweye rockfish, as well as all non pelagic rockfish species, are closed to retention, so if you land one while prospecting for lings, or when halibut fishing, then be prepared to release it with a fish descender. It’s state regulation that you do this, so become acquainted with the gear and techniques to descend a non pelagic rockfish properly. (ADF&G regulations)
The fishing outlook for Sitka is extremely positive. Halibut, salmon, lingcod and rockfish are all being caught on our boats, and happy anglers are returning home with piles of fish and smiles for days. Stay tuned for another fishing report update later this season.
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