Coho Salmon provided a nice addition to the King catch in June and were a consistent catch in Icy Strait in July. Pleasant Reef was red hot for Coho Salmon in late July and August. Shoals of herring and warm water kept Coho Salmon around and added a good number of King Salmon to the daily catch in the Gustavus area. Large numbers of Coho moved into the local streams throughout September.
2011 was a great halibut season despite the thirty-seven inch size restriction imposed on charter boat guests in Southeast Alaska by NOAA. The May 2011 ruling placed a maximum size for retention (37 inch halibut = 20 pounds) and provoked a lot of anger from fishermen and guides throughout the region. Despite dire population projections by NOAA the halibut fishing has remained strong and productive in our region. The past five years have produced the best halibut fishing I have witnessed in my twenty-seven years fishing this area. The most difficult aspect of the current halibut fishery is finding areas with fish small enough to legally keep. The larger halibut you have been accustomed to catching in past years still dominate the catch and are difficult to release.
Changes in the 2012 Halibut Regulations? Everyone wants to know if the thirty-seven inch ruling is going to remain in effect next summer. I have monitored this situation vigilantly and see no clear indication from governing bodies (International Pacific Halibut Commission & North Pacific Fisheries Council) that the current ruling will be altered or favorably changed next summer. If your expectation is catching some nice halibut this next summer you won’t be disappointed. I just hope you will be satisfied returning home with smaller halibut.
There is still time to book a reservation for your Alaska fishing trip to take advantage of the recent fishing trends. Book your fishing trip vacation.