Tuesday, June 20, 2017

2017-05 Fish On in Sitka

Thursday-Friday, June 15-16, 2017: Craig to Sitka

This summer the Wild Blue is cruising San Francisco Bay and the California Delta, but when asked to crew in Alaska, how can we say no?  The past several days Alex has been on Miss Micky, a new North River 33. Crewing with owner Captain Jay Field, Alex helped route Miss Micky from Craig-Alaska through El Capitan Pass, Rocky Pass and Peril Strait to Sitka.

All went well even with an engine shutdown in Rocky Pass.  At low tides, portions of the Pass get congested with bull kelp, so much so an engine raw water strainer filled with kelp.  After a quick clean out, the engines were back online and again cruising at high speed.  This fast aluminum sport fisher cruises at 24 knots, three times Wild Blue's cruise speed.  A 3-day cruise on Wild Blue became a 11-hour motor on Miss Micky.  It was a fast and fun ride into Sitka Sound.

Miss Micky:  Looks fast even when tied to the dock!
Saturday-Monday, June 17-19, 2017:  Fishing Sitka

Once in town, we spent the next three days mapping out the nearby fishing spots identified by Wild Blue on previous fishing exploits.  Here is the complete list of Wild Blue's Southeast Alaska Fishing Spots. On Saturday, a normal 5-hour trip on Wild Blue to Whale Bay was shortened to 90 minutes.  The new boat's chirp sonar, with an experienced operator, can mark salmon at depth, a huge assist when adjusting trolling gear.  We checked out the Bay, then moved back up north to Biorka Island.  In three hours trolling, we "sore-mouthed" nine king salmon, keeping one for Alex's license.

On Sunday, the Sitka sun shined in cloudless, bright skies.  The Sound was near flat and winds light so Jay steered Miss Micky just outside Cape Edgecomb.  There the guided sports-fishers were clustered close together.  We again hooked several keeper kings, and kept a 33-inch, 15 pound fish for Alex.  We ended the day on a double-hookup, sore-mouthing both for a future angler.

On Monday the forecast was for 25 knot southerlies with 8-foot seas.  We headed North to Salisbury Sound.  There we fished the Shark Hole and the waters off Point Kruzof.  Discounting the rockfish, it was a "no bite" day up until we trolled the Shark Hole's inner wall.  Up close with the kelp in 70 feet, a King finally bit in 44 feet.  It was a good 19-lb keeper king which Alex again recorded.  That ended our King fishing as Alex's ticket was fully punched.  This year we non-residents are allowed just one fish a day, three for the season.

Jay's boat is configured nicely for trolling:  easy access all around, new Cannon downriggers with digital controls, continuous drag adjusting reels, carbon fiber rods, half-tote ice container, Chirp sonar, and a quiet 4-stroke kicker.  Jay's been fishing for years and Alex learned some new techniques for gear handling, fish de-hooking, and landing that maximizes trolling time.  Miss Micky with Jay in control fishes extremely efficient and professional.

Mis Micky's efficient layout allows easy access to gear.
Captain Jay Field displays a 19-lb King Salmon
caught in Salisbury Sound, Southeast, Alaska.
Sitka once again served up a pleasant stay.  Next week the college fish boys join Alex on Wild Blue in San Francisco for some California salmon fishing.   See you out there.