Sunday, June 28, 2009

Week Ending June 28th

No photos this week but we did manage to catch a couple of salmon. They were on the small side but at least they were salmon.

Saturday by far was the best day for action. We caught one and everybody at least had a good bite or two. The heartbreak for the day happened right at quitting time. Ms. Dorothy had a salmon strike so hard that it almost took the rod and reel into the river. She was having problems holding onto the rod so I tried to assist while everyone else was trying to get their lines out of the way. As she was holding on for dear life she accidentally hit the release lever on the reel and the line backlashed into a knot. I grabbed the rod and tried to get the knot out but the king headed down stream and snapped the 30lb leader with no effort. There's no doubt in my mind that was a large fish and if there is an upside I'm sure it would have fallen into the slot limit and we would have had to let it go. Ms. Dorothy said she will be back to get even and to get one of my favorite plugs back!

Overall, the fishing on the Kenai remains very tough. It seems like the sonar counts have been fine but the catch rate does not coincide with the numbers. I would have to say that this has been the slowest fishing that I have seen for the early run of Kenai kings. 2002 was worse but since they closed the river in June for fishing I can't tell you exactly how "slow" the fishing truly was.

So, how is your weather? On Tuesday and Saturday when I walked down to my boat I had frost on the seats. Good luck with the triple digit temperatures down south.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Week Ending June 21st

The run and the catch rate for Kenai king's this past week has been difficult. The Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game has amended its forecast and now says the first run of king salmon will be below the historical average. I will agree. We had a few chances this past week but could not put a king in the boat. Each day we would see about 6-10 kings landed but in spite of that my clients maintained a positive attitude and enjoyed their day on the water. Thank goodness for good weather, moose, eagles, and the occasional boater running aground on a gravel bar to keep us entertained.

The saltwater fishing for halibut continues to be good and the Russian River red salmon run continues to be strong. This year has been more important than ever to be flexible and to spread out your fishing adventures to cover other areas. Luckily my clients this week planned in advance to not only fish the Kenai, but Homer and in Seward as well. Somewhere in their week they'll have one of the best fishing trips of their lives. My fingers are crossed that it will be the Kenai.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Russian River Continues To Be Red Hot

My Thursday group cancelled their king trip so it was time for me to make lemonade out of lemons. I packed my gear early in the morning and headed up to the Russian River.

Once again, the fishing was outstanding.

The second picture is a six fish limit of red salmon. It took me about 1/2 hour hour to catch them all. To get to my six I had at least that many on that I lost and also snagged three more (they were returned to the river). It was great action.

The first picture is of the famed "combat" fishing zone. This picture was taken about 5:30a.m. and the zone only got ighter after the first ferry of the day crossed at 6:00a.m.

I learned two things on this trip. First, when the fish are in, the river never sleeps. Quite a few anglers fished throughout the night. Second, when the fish are in so are the bears. I saw one one black bear and one brown bear working the shoreline for coolers and carcasses. Even though these bears have been around people all of their lives, they are still wild and caution should be exercised. Also, it doesn't hurt to wear tennis shoes when the guy next to you is wearing hip boots.....feel free to finish the punch line to this joke.

Back on the Kenai for kings tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Red Salmon Fishing Is Hot!

The Kenai/Russian River red salmon fishing is fantastic. Today, the Dept. of Fish and Game increased the limit from 3 to 6. Jane and I decided to see if the reports were true and I can tell you that they are. Fishing was very good and the average size salmon was above normal. This run should continue to be strong for the next week or so.

The Kenai king fishing remains slow and a few fish are being caught daily by the fleet. Every tide and every day we are all hoping that the bite will increase. Oh well, at least the weather has been great!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fishing Report Week Ending 6/13

So, if you notice there are no fish pictures posted on this entry. I wish it was because I left my camera in my rod shed but it was because there were no fish to take pictures of. Last week could best be characterized as " was the best of times, it was the worst of times." It was the best because I had great people in my boat and it was the worst because the "catching" was awful. The sonar counts were great, so that wasn't the issue. The problem was the muddy water and when that happens catching fish is difficult. On several days we saw more moose than we saw salmon netted.

I'd like to thank Mike and Amber for sticking it out for several days. I would also like to thank Althea, Duane, Tim, Judy, Ron, Sue, Keith, Bud and Betty for their perseverance as well.

On a positive note, the Kenai has been clearing up everyday and the likelihood of the use of bait is just around the corner. Also, the Russian River opened for red salmon fishing on 6/11 and all reports have been outstanding. I may have to check out for myself.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

June 4th report--2/2 Thursday

Today I fished Kevin and Christopher Dens from the town that Jane and I grew up in, Brainerd, Minnesota. I never met them before but today was a great introduction.

We started out at Airplane Hole and on the first troll Kevin caught a nice 25 lb king. After working our way down the river to Eagle Rock Christopher was next and landed a beautiful 24 1/2 lb king. Dad's fish weighed more but Christopher's was longer so they both have bragging rights. For me, hearing from both of them that "this is the biggest fish I have ever caught" absolutely made my day.

Good luck at the U of M Christopher and "Go Gophers!"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June King

So, here is the first king caught in June. Team Texas consisting of Zach (pictured), Tim, and Dana patiently put a day in to land this fish. Not the largest fish but it certainly was a good fighter. Zach was hoping to bring some fillets back to Texas but instead decided to barbecue this fish for dinner. Hard to beat a fresh salmon right out of the water.

The early run of king salmon is starting to shape up. Yesterday 205 salmon came through the sonar and the cumulative run since May 16th is 2,117. It's a safe bet that the Department of Fish an Game will be able to meet their escapement goal which means the river will open to bait soon. Hard to say exactly when that will happen but when it does the catching should improve considerably.

Stay tuned....

p.s. to Robert Allen, this fish was caught 50 feet from where you caught your fish last year.