Silver Salmon

Ketchikan Fishing Minute 07/20/2017

Welcome back to another Ketchikan Fishing Minute.

Oscar and I were at it again this week. On Tuesday, we fished from a 14′ Livingston out of Clover Pass Resort, mostly around Survey Point. We got a little bit of a late start that day, but were still in the water ahead of the tide change. I stayed with my Coho Killer while Oscar mostly fished cut-plug herring. There was a little magic left in the Coho Killer, as I brought in three pinks and a chum. Unfortunately, Oscar’s luck ran out and he got skunked for the day.

We had heard a lot of good reports about the fishing around Skin Island and Caamano Point recently, so on Wednesday, Oscar and I took one of Clover Pass Resort’s yellow boats To investigate. We started by crossing Clarence Strait to give Skin Island a shot. Oscar utilized the downrigger while I continued with my banana weight set up. On our first pass, Oscar hooked in to a fourteen pound king salmon, while I lost a couple pinks near the boat. We had a few more bites, and Oscar landed a pink while we were there, but we weren’t getting the action we had hoped for.

About an hour before the tide change, we decided to run back across and see what Caamano Point had to offer. We were marking fish regularly, but not getting a ton of strikes. Oscar pulled in a good sized chum salmon, leaving him with just a silver to go for his second grand Slam in as many weeks. I was the one that landed the coho however, insuring a reward for my efforts that day.

A report from Alaska’s Fish and Game Department on Tuesday said catch rates for silvers, pinks and chum were picking up and that they should continue to improve through August.

I’ll hit the water again over the next few days, and give you the report on Thursday, in another Ketchikan Fishing Minute.

Ketchikan Fishing Minute 07/13/2017

Welcome back to another Ketchikan Fishing Minute.

So far this year, we have focused primarily on fishing king salmon, since that run peaks in June. Around the first of July, we tend to see pinks and silvers move into our waters as the kings move out, and that has been the case this year. I often recommend mid-July as a great time to visit, because you have an opportunity at all the Pacific salmon species during that time.

I hit the water Monday morning in a Clover Pass Resort “Yellow Boat” with my friend Erik. We trolled the area out by Tatoosh rocks, and right away, I brought in my first pink salmon of the year. Usually pinks in early July are bright chrome and not showing any signs of their upcoming spawn cycle, but this one was already developing a decent hump. Over the course of the morning, we brought five more pinks in, along with one coho and one chum. Erik was utilizing a downrigger while I fished with a six ounce banana weight. Of the eight fish we brought in, six were caught on the banana weight set up.

On Wednesday, Oscar and I left Clover Pass Resort in one of the Livingston skiffs and headed to Survey Point. The Livingstons do not have downriggers, so I was again using a banana weight while Oscar dropped his line using a diving weight, in this case a Deep Six. Typically, the diving weights are better at getting your line down deeper than a banana weight can, so my line was probably closer to the surface than Oscar’s. The wide variety of salmon species was on display that morning, as I brought in three silvers, three pinks and two chum, while Oscar hit the grand slam by bringing in a king salmon to go along with his two pinks, two coho and a chum salmon!

The ability to catch numerous salmon species, and to do it easily in our fourteen foot skiffs, is another great reason to visit Silverking Lodge and Clover Pass Resort in July and early August. Our reasonably priced, self-guided packages will allow you to create memories that last a lifetime – and fill your freezer!

In addition to the weekly fishing reports, I will be developing some supplemental videos that describe a few of the techniques we use while fishing for salmon and halibut. Be sure to check back for those, and check back next Thursday for another Ketchikan Fishing Minute.

Ketchikan Fishing Minute 6/29/2017

Welcome back to another Ketchikan Fishing Minute. I hit the water on Tuesday this week, fishing from about 7:00 AM through the morning tide at 9:50 AM. My friend Erik and I trolled near Tatoosh Rocks, hoping to get into something other than jack kings.

With July quickly approaching, we were hoping to see some pinks or silvers moving into the waters around Clover Pss Resort. Erik started out with a black and white hoochie, while I fished with a black and white coho killer. I have been using that almost exclusively since the beginning of the season and been having pretty good luck with it.

Right away we got into a school of shakers. They were hitting almost as fast as I could get my line in the water. While I assumed most of these fish to be little kings, I was checking them a little more closely this week to be sure they were not another species.

I finally got a strike that was pulling some line off my spool, hopeful that a chinook with some size was on the other end. As it approached the boat, I was disappointed because it was clearly smaller than the 28 inches necessary to keep king salmon. We still netted it just to be sure, and to my surprise, we had landed a nice little silver salmon. Silvers, also known as coho salmon, have white gums and spots only on the upper lobe of the tail, while kings have black gums and spots on both the upper and lower lobes of the tail.

It was encouraging to see silvers this early in the season. Hopefully we’ll see quite a few of those in July, along with the pink salmon we always get during the month.

I will be catching a ride with Captain Shane Klinger out of The Cedars Lodge this week, in addition to doing some more self-guided fishing around Clover Pass Resort. I will give you the report next week on another Ketchikan Fishing Minute.