Area Sport Fishing Reports
August 30, 2018
King salmon fishing in the Sitka area slowed a little in mid-August but remains fair. Based on preliminary guide logbook data, catch rates are averaging approximately one king salmon per vessel trip. Fishing is expected to be slow for king salmon for the foreseeable future.
Silver salmon fishing in the Sitka area slowed a little in mid-August similar to king salmon. Catch rates dropped some from August 13th to August 23rd but have come back up over the last few days. Catch rates from August 13th to August 23rd averaged approximately three silvers per angler. Since then rates have increased to an average of almost five fish per angler. The average catch per vessel trip is 20 fish with an average of four anglers. Fishing effort has started to move in closer to Sitka Sound, but is still predominantly being done off West Kruzof, Biorka Isl., and The Cape. Catch rates for silvers should continue to remain high until mid-September when catch rates decrease as silvers move into freshwater.
Pink salmon have moved into freshwater streams with the recent rains. Fishing has slowed dramatically in marine waters and is considered over for the year.
Halibut fishing continues to be good with most guided anglers achieving their bag limits. Locals have reported catching larger halibut closer to Sitka as fish move into the Sound following salmon to their natal streams. Good halibut catches have been reported offshore near The Cape and West Kruzof Island. Halibut fishing in most Sitka area waters should be peaking now until late fall.
Fishing has been slow for lingcod in the Sitka area. Try fishing locations near pinnacles or ledges in the ocean floor. Large lead jigs or rubber-tail jigs, baited or not, seem to work well.
Starting Saturday, September 1st, fishing for nonpelagic rockfish will be allowed again in Sitka area waters. Fishing should be good.
Fishing for pelagic rockfish continues to be excellent. Pelagic rockfish are available year-round, and fishing is generally good this time of year. Any type of shiny lure or bait will work. Please see p. 38 of the “Southeast Alaska Sport Fish Regulation Summary” or visit your local ADF&G office to see examples of rockfish groupings (pelagic vs. nonpelagic).
Recent rains will help to move more silvers into freshwater streams. Fishing has been slow for silvers in freshwaters recently. Silvers aren’t expected to enter freshwaters in large numbers until September.
Pink salmon have moved into freshwater in large numbers and are available for sport fishing. The condition of the fish is not ideal as they are preparing for spawning. Recent rains raised water levels pushing fish into the creeks and they will be present until spawning is finished. Fishing is excellent.
Dolly Varden and Trout
Dolly Varden, rainbow trout, and cutthroat trout can be targeted year-round. Fishing is good for these species right now as king and pink salmon prepare to spawn and die and resident species position themselves alongside these spawning fish.
Fishing with beads imitating salmon eggs, or egg or flesh fly patterns are the primary gear when salmon are spawning. Lures tend to catch mostly spawning salmon only during this time. Almost every freshwater system will have spawning salmon in it now in the Sitka area. On the road system the freshwaters of Starrigavin Creek, Indian River and Sawmill Creek should be productive, while lakes such as Thimbleberry, Heart, and Beaver lakes offer unique fishing experiences. Most other stream mouths accessible by boat or plane should be good as well.
For further information, please feel free to contact the Sitka area Sport Fish management staff at (907) 747-5355.