Baranof Blog & Fishing News

2019 captains report graphic

Overall, it being May and still before the great migration started, Baranof Fishing got it done.  

Halibut -

Sunny days and clear skies were great for getting a Southeast Alaskan tan, but for the guides it was a bit of a tough one; success rates were high, it just took some extra work.  The water temperatures were a few degrees above normal, with readings being in the high 40s – mid 50s.  With a little extra effort fueled by a winter of not fishing and some friendly competition amongst the guides, our clients enjoyed a higher success rate than we normally experience during the month which resulted in most of our clients hooking up to their once-in-a-lifetime halibut (we did have some king salmon success, but until June 1st it was catch and release).  Since the weather was atypical in its sunny brilliance, we were able to run farther out when our normal fishing grounds didn’t prove successful.  As the it got later in the month, more and more halibut started to show up as their migration brought them in from their winter spawning grounds to their summer feeding locales surrounding Ketchikan.  Guests that did get a halibut on the boat may have noticed red marks on their fish’s belly; those “bruises” come from their being on the move as they travel in to start their feeding.  They’re here and they’re getting fattened up for the season; we’re looking forward to continued success throughout the summer.

Salmon -

June 1st brought the anxiously awaited opening of king salmon fishing.  Trolling around and hooking up to a king is the pinnacle of Ketchikan angling for some, and we’ve been doing great.  Despite the concern for the salmon population, the fishing is good.  In a few more weeks we will be seeing the first signs of coho and pink in the area to round out a full day of salmon fishing.  

Whales -

As we’ve navigated through the waters in the area we’ve noticed the “boiling” areas of water that indicate a disturbance on the surface caused by the feed-fish.  With seagulls and eagles dive bombing the water, you know for sure that there is going to be herring or other small fish around.  Herring means salmon, and salmon means whales!  The herring have arrived and so have the humpbacks; we’ve seen the whales chasing herring to the surface and bubble feeding as close as Mountain Point, just on the edge of town.  The king salmon moving through have the orcas hanging out as well.

The fish have arrived, and we expect the excellent fishing to continue as the season progresses.  Tight lines and fish on!!!

- Captain Tony Moucha

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