Saturday, June 30, 2007

Honeymoon Jinx Continues

I don't know what it is but for some reason honeymooners do not catch fish in my boat. Last year we came real close. On one trip the bride did not catch the fish but a gentleman in the boat let her reel his fish in and let her keep it. On another trip the bride fought a fish for about 10 minutes before it was cut off on the prop of another boat.

The streak continued this week.

Rebekah and David were celebrating their honeymoon on the peninsula and worked a king trip in. Nothing. Not even a drive by bite. If you're on a honeymoon you may want to rethink fishing with me.

On the other hand, anniversaries and birthdays are another matter. People celebrating these events seem to do very well. In fact, the day Rebekah and David fished with me one of the guys in the boat turned 21. He caught 3 fish. I'm not sure if this just happens to be a coincidence or if my boat is truly jinxed. Who knows, maybe all left handed people haven't caught a fish in my boat and they're jinxed as well.

Overall this past week was up and down. Some days we caught fish. Some days we didn't.
Right now the average sonar count is under 300 kings a day. This is a big factor in why we haven't been doing better. Hopefully the second run will kick into gear soon and the catch rate should jump up significantly. A side note about the red run. Our guests at the cabin had a tough time catching reds at the Russian River. A couple of limits were caught but overall the run is past it's peak.

One final comment and this goes out to Peter Medchill. I fished Jim Nelson and his family today and I had a great time with them. Jim's son Elliot caught a nice king and it's going on the barbecue grill tonight. Like most people visiting Alaska for the first time, Elliot's king was the biggest fish he has ever caught.

Monday, June 25, 2007

fishing report week ending 6/23

Roller coaster ride. Plain and simple. Fishing was good one day, not so good the next day. To me, that is the difference between May/June fishing and July fishing. We've had some of the best catch days ever in May/June but it's inconsistent. Day in day out July is more consistent for king salmon.

The beginning of the week I fished some friends from Minnesota, Jerry Hoffman, Greg Johnson, Jim Vandeputte, and Randy (sorry, forgot the last name but soon to be Jerry's brother in law?). The first day the fishing was slow. We managed a few trout, a small king, and had a few other hookups but did not get them to the boat. The next day wasn't red hot but Greg managed to boat a nice fish that came under the slot and Jim did as well (Jim also caught a small king). Jim's fish was a classic. We were just about to wrap up the day (they were flying out that night) and Randy missed a nice fish. Instead of putting the poles away we decided to keep trolling. BAM. Almost immediately Jim hooked his fish and had him to the boat in short order. What a great way to end the day. It was too late in the day to process the fish so Jim put his fish in a soft cooler and checked it in as a carry on bag. Anywhere else in the world it would be strange bringing fish as a carry on but not in Alaska. What a great State.

On Thursday I fished Brad, Brian, Bob, and Robert and the day could best be characterized as a few missed opportunities. Everyone had a take down but we just couldn't get a hook to stick. "Should've been here yesterday" definitely applied but as Brian said, "Hey, that's fishing."

Rick Zweig and his group fished on Friday. Great, great group who know how to fish but once again the day was slow. A few trout and a small king was all we could produce. These guys were from Minnesota so quite a few stories were swapped all day long. I sure enjoyed having them in the boat.

Saturday featured "Team Nebraska" with Tod, Benny and Brian and the fourth guy is a good friend of mine/customer who moved up here from Minnesota. We caught a couple of nice kings but the bites were few and far between. We worked hard to get the two. And, after a full day of fishing Tod is now an expert on how to catch Dolly Varden. "Team Nebraska" made it to BJ's to see Hobo Jim and they definitely enjoyed the entertainment.

Once again, a great week of people and camaraderie.

Update on the red fishing on the Russian River. All of our guests that have been up there have been doing extremely well. Limits every day.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

End of the Week Fishing Report

With the opening of the use of bait this week the fishing was pretty good. Prior to bait the Dept. of Fish & Game estimated that it took 37 hours to catch a king salmon. After bait they've estimated it at 17 hours. Overall, in my boat we landed about a dozen fish and missed twice as many. The fishing was never hot but if you grinded it out usually a few fish would be caught each day. That's what bait can do. It gives us a shot at catching a fish all day long instead of just a morning bite.

For those of you who are interested in the red salmon fishing, the Russian River has been very good. In fact, they are opening the Sanctuary one month ahead of schedule due to the strength of the run. Time to fill your freezers.

One last thought, Mike, Tom, and Harv, thanks for hanging in there on Saturday.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Lucky 13....

Anybody that has known me for a long time will know that 13 is a lucky number for me. I wore 13 in every sport I played. This week the fishing has been real good and June 13th was a great day. 5 kings were caught, The Appleby's worked their tails off to get one nice one. Phil and Gary had the hot rods and boated 4 between them.

Today was by far the best day of weather this year and the fishing was pretty good as well. Steve and Kit Lott, along with their kids, managed to boat 3 beautiful fish. They were a lot of fun to be around and it was great to talk about life in Minnesota.

Well, I need to sign off now.....I've got eggs to cure.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

fishing update

My college roommate Bud was in town with his friend Todd and we hit the Kenai a couple of times. The sonar counts have been great this past week but unfortunately the Killey River dumped a load of mud into the Kenai and the catch rate has plummeted. Oh well, it was nice to visit with Bud and Todd. They'll be back a couple of times this summer and I'm sure we'll get even with those salmon!!!!

On the upside, I had a group of three on Saturday and the water conditions improved greatly. We managed to boat one king and had one other opportunity but missed (drive by bite). Rumor on the river has it that the king escapement numbers have reached the minimum and they'll be opening it up to bait on Tuesday. It would be nice. I have a full week ahead and I know that bait will make a difference in our catch rate. Rumors run wild on the river from guide boat to guide boat so I'm cautiously waiting for the official announcement from the Dept. of Fish and Game. I'd hate to be trolling bait on Tuesday and find out it hasn't opened yet.

Tight lines.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

halibut, halibut & Hobo Jim

We spent the day with Capt. Peter and his daughter fishing for halibut out of Homer. Couldn't ask for a nicer day to be out 60 miles chasing halibut. Well, I think the ladies wish it were a bit warmer, but the sea was gentle and the bite was on.

This was the second time that Jane has gone halibut fishing. She's becoming an old pro. She caught the first fish, the most fish, and the only ling cod of the day. Unfortunately ling cod is out of season so we had to let it go. The size of our catch was modest but still managed to bring to the processor nearly 120 pounds of fillets. I may be a guide for salmon but I prefer to eat halibut. Guess what's for dinner tonight?

In addition to the fishing we saw plenty of sealife in Kachemak Bay. Puffins, otters and their babies, sea lions, and one whale. It's not quite the same as a scenic glacier tour in Seward but you can't bring a fishing pole on that trip.

The day was capped off with a great performance by Hobo Jim at BJ's. Andy, Jeremy, Jane and I have seen him many times, but it was a first for Maggie and Joanna. Hobo did not disappoint. I always remember the sage advice that a long time Kenai fishing guide gave me. He said that Hobo Jim saves more bad days on the river than anyone. He truly is the "Official Balladeer" of the State of Alaska.

Friday, June 1, 2007

goodbye May, hello June

I'm glad May is over. In all my years of fishing the Kenai, this was the slowest ever. "Slow" or "slowest" is a fisherman's term for goose egg, nada, zilch, zippo, zero, shut out, etc, etc. This is the first May for me where we didn't land a king salmon. Usually we'll catch half dozen to a dozen every year but this year it was "slow." It wasn't just for me; all my guide friends said the same thing.

Today is June 1st and it's a different month.

Andy & Jeremy were fishing with me this morning. We finally broke out of the slump when Jeremy landed a beautiful 40" hen. I am happy for Jeremy because his perserverance paid off big time. This was his seventh time fishing king salmon (not all with me) and this was his first king ever on the Kenai. He's watched plenty of kings being caught. In fact, he asked Andy how many he caught last July. Andy didn't hesitate and said he caught 6. He can tell you where, when, what color, everything about the 6 kings. Andy knows they're a special fish and after landing one Jeremy now knows it. He's obviously hooked and it will be hard for him not to come back and do it again.

Tomorrow will be our halibut day. They are calling for 2 foot seas in Kachemak Bay. That's not good news, that's great news. Update later.