Sitka ranks the highest in several Alaska Department of Fish and Game categories like King salmon and Halibut Landed, and near the top in all saltwater categories. Most of our fishing grounds are within one hour of the harbor allowing anglers to successfully limit on two or more species a day. It's what we call combination fishing. For example, in the months of May and June our anglers typically catch their limit of Kings and Halibut everyday. Our proximity to the nutrient rich ocean currents brings us a steady supply of migratory fish, and a multitude of islands and inland passageways offer us protected waters when necessary. Alaska airlines offers direct jet service to Sitka; we are located just 2.5 hours via Boeing 737 from Seattle. Once you land, that's it ... no hopper flights on smaller aircraft.
Below you will find species specific information about our fishery and how we fish.
King Salmon are the largest and most prized of all salmon. Our King Salmon fishery is the largest and most prolific in the state of Alaska. Sitka Sound and surrounding water contains an enormous supply of bait (herring, needle fish, and krill). This brings salmon here in large numbers and keeps them here throughout the summer. Although we do catch kings here in the winter months things don't really began to heat up until mid April. Our captains and staff, during their annul preseason shake down trips, commonly limit on kings. Our fishery contains huge schools of flawlessly bright ravenous kings averaging 25-35 lbs. The persistent angler, using catch and release, can catch larger kings (40+ lbs). Daily limits of Kings in May and June are almost a foregone conclusion. King Salmon opens to commercial trolling on July 1. This can put a real damper on the king salmon fishing for the rest of the summer. The King salmon fishing in the early part of July will be good and taper off throughout the month. For Kings our captains utilize the techniques of mooching, jigging, and trolling. We prefer to mooch and jig because they are hands-on techniques, where anglers create and feel the bite; however, we are not too proud to troll if necessary or at the bequest of our anglers.
ADF&G rates Sitka as the largest halibut fishery in our region. Daily limits of halibut in the 25-50 lb range are the rule. Trophy fish (over 100 lbs) are a real probability especially for patient anglers. We are close to the continental shelf and the halibut spawning grounds. Our coastline is bathed in a nutrient rich ocean current with little or no tidal effect so we rarely use more then 1 lb of weight to fish, and we have the option of fishing anytime of the day or all day if desired. Anticipate strong runs May - November. We usually anchor and fish bait for halibut. The halibut are attracted to the scent and come to us. At times (usually September) we will jig for them using a 6oz Point Wilson Dart.
Silver Salmon (6-10 lbs in the early season) will be slow in early July and get better as the month progresses, then remain excellent through August and mid-September (14-20 lbs at season end). The generous limit of six Silvers a day is commonly reached in the last three weeks of August and first three weeks of September. We almost always mooch for silvers; it's more fun and generally more productive. When the conditions are right we may choose to jig especially in big schools of late season coho's. The last week of September and the month of October will provide our best freshwater fishing as the salmon enter our local streams.
Sitka's volcanic history has created miles and miles of jagged reefs and thousands of treacherous underwater pinnacles ideally suited for Ling Cod. This fishery is fast and furious. We catch Lings incidentally while fishing for salmon and halibut; however, when we are targeting Lings we will almost always use the jigging technique. Lings are aggressive and visual predators. This tends to be the very definition of hooking up as fast as you can hit the bottom. Retention of Ling Cod is somewhat restrictive the first season is May 15 through June 15 and the second season is August 16 through November 31.
Yellow eye and assorted other rockfish are abundant. Although we generally do not spend time targeting these fish they are commonly caught incidentally while pursuing Salmon, Halibut, and Ling Cod. Great eating mild white flaky flesh makes this fish worth keeping and the colorful appearance makes an excellent photo.
Sitka offers outstanding opportunities for both crabbing and shrimping. With little or no pressure in the winter, the stocks of crab are booming up to the commercial opening June 15. The limit of 5 crabs each is realistic during this period. Shrimping can be good the entire summer but will require a substantial portion of your day to run to the appropriate spots, set, and retrieve gear. An average days haul will yield 10-20 lbs of shrimp tails. We usually recommend this activity for guests fishing 5 or 6 days.