Wild Rivers Fishing guide Andy Martin is currently fishing the summer season out of Gustavus, Alaska, targeting halibut, salmon and lingcod. The 2011 season has been busy and fishing has been productive. He fishes 15 weeks in Alaska before returning to Brookings, OR to guide on the Southern Oregon and Northern California coastal rivers. The Alaska fishery has been impacted by the 37-inch maximum size restriction, but he is still fully booked. The above-average king salmon run has helped make up for the halibut restriction.
Andy is using the Alaskan Medium Drifter casting rods for trolling and mooching for kings, and the 5-foot-6 S-Curve jigging rods and 5-foot-3 Performance Glass Rods for halibut fishing. The Alaskan Medium Drifters have proven to be a nice downrigger rod and have plenty of power for kings in saltwater. The halibut rods are top-of-the-class with unmatched power and performance. He had previously used Lamiglas and Ugly Stik halibut rods, and the Wright & McGill are more durable and last longer in the rigorous conditions of Alaska charter boat halibut fishing. There have been no problems with the Performance Glass Rods. The rod butts and guides/eyes have held up great – areas that he had problems with previously with other brands.
He uses 16/0 and 20/0 circle hooks. Eagle Claw’s circle hooks have a slightly wider gap than most other brands, which makes a huge difference in hooking larger fish. They are ready to fish out of the box. “Other captains have to offset the point on their circle hooks to get them to perform like the Eagle Claw hooks,” said Martin.
For salmon, he is using Lazer Sharp octopus and Trokar hooks, sizes 3/0 and 4/0. He still has some of the stainless steel hooks, which remain his favorite, but the newer Lazer Sharp octopus and Trokar hooks are sharp and strong. The hookup ratio with the Trokar is impressive. Usually when a plug-cut herring is tripped from the downrigger, the fish is on.
Captain Martin continues to be an excellent guide and user of Eagle Claw and Wright & McGill products. He is well known in the area, and we keep getting positive reports of big halibut and lots of salmon from his guides. Keep it up Capt. Martin!