Charter boats fishing on the Outer Coast of Southeast Alaska have encountered large numbers of king salmon gorging themselves on herring and needlefish, sparking some of the best action in years, according to longtime captains. Many boats venturing to the Deer Harbor area of the Gulf of Alaska from Gustavus, Elfin Cove, and Pelican reported easy limits of kings in June, and expect action to continue to be good in July. “The king fishing has been wide open,” said Capt. Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing, who operates out of Gustavus. “On most days we are getting limits within an hour, and we’ve also been releasing half a dozen or more kings.” The salmon near Deer Harbor have been averaging around 15 pounds, but fish to the mid-20 pound range have been common. “They are feeder kings headed to other parts of Alaska, British Columbia, and the Pacific Northwest,” Martin said. “They look a lot like Columbia River springers. They are fat and have some of the best-looking steaks and fillets I’ve ever seen.” Martin’s customers have been scoring kings trolling plug-cut herring with Big Al’s Fish Flashes, trolled on both divers and downriggers. The herring are hooked with size 3/0 and 4/0 Lazer Sharp octopus hooks and fished with Wright & McGill salmon rods. “I’ve also caught quite a few kings on spinners, both the Bob Toman series spinners and the new Flash-Glo trolling spinners with the squid skirts,” Martin said. “Anything with pink has worked best.” The commercial salmon season opens July 1, but Martin said there are so many kings near Deer Harbor he will continue to make the trip there to pursue kings. “We’ve been getting so many doubles and triples,” Martin said. “The whole Outer Coast is just loaded with kings right now.”
Andy Martin is a famed guide in Alaska, and has always been a dedicated Wright & McGill user, along with Lazer Sharp and Eagle Claw products. Whether it be monster halibut or a boat load of king salmon, Capt. Martin knows how to make it happen in Alaska.
This picture above shows a guide trip from Capt. Andy Martin earlier this summer. David Evans, James Kane, Rebecca Kane, and Joe Purkett, all of Montana, hold limits of king salmon caught June 22 on the Outer Coast of Southeast Alaska aboard the Icy Rose with Capt. Andy Martin. The kings were caught on plug-cut herring trolled with Big Al’s Fish Flashes, size 4/0 Lazer Sharp hooks and Wright & McGill salmon rods. King salmon fishing out of Gustavus, Alaska, has been the best in years so far this season.
King salmon fishing remains wide open on Southeast Alaska’s Outer Coast throughout most of the summer. Capt. Martin feels confident that he will continue to post huge numbers of fish out of Deer Harbor this summer.