Area Sport Fishing Reports
Archived Sport Fishing Report
May 19, 2023
An excellent resource for planning a trip is the gofishak interactive map for Sitka, which provides information on popular fishing locations, species run timing, fishing gear selections and boat and angler access.
King season has started off well, with anglers reporting success at Vitskari rocks and Biorka Island. Try trolling with whole herring or brightly colored hoochies. You can also try mooching with cut plug herring and a mooching sinker and leader. The vanguard of the chum salmon have made their return as well, with small numbers showing up in the marine fishery.
Fishing has begun to pick up and will only get better as the season continues. Try anchoring up and getting as much scent in the water as you can.
The fishing season is open as of May 16 and will run through November. Try fishing around structure and using a leadheaded jig to thump the bottom.
Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR)
In 2022, Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR) has opened to provide opportunity for residents. Resident anglers are allowed one DSR rockfish daily, one in possession, EXCLUDING YELLOWEYE. DSR are a subset of nonpelagic rockfish including: Yelloweye, Quillback, China, Tiger, Rosethorn, Copper, and Canary.
All anglers are allowed one daily, one in possession. The most common slope rockfish include: Redbanded, Rougheye, Silvergray, Shortraker, and Vermilion.
Fishing for rockfish is good year-round. Try fishing around underwater structure off of kelp beds with a dart or jig. These rockfish make for excellent table fare in the winter when salmon are harder to come by.
Anglers are allowed 5 daily, 10 in possession, with the exception of CSEO (Sitka Area), where residents are allowed four a day, eight in possession, and nonresidents are allowed two daily, four in possession. See the Sitka Area Special Exceptions for a map of CSEO on page 23 of the Southeast regulation summary.
Be sure to check your local fishing regulations to be aware of harvest limits, size requirements, and necessary permits for shellfish. Also, be aware that certain types of shellfish in Southeast Alaska have been known to cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP), which can be fatal.
For Dungeness crab, try placing pots in bays and around the mouths of river where crabs congregate to feed. If fishing with friends, be sure to keep each angler’s catch separate to avoid pooling bag limits.
Dolly Varden and Rainbow/Cutthroat trout
Right now, Dolly fishing is good, especially around the mouths of streams. These fish congregate at these outlets to take advantage of emigrating juvenile salmon.
These fish can be targeted year-round in freshwaters. Try fishing around structures in the stream but be careful not to lose your lure. These fish make for a fun fight and don’t require a boat to get good access.
There are several lakes on the Sitka Road System that contain rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout, as well as grayling and Dolly Varden.
For further information, please feel free to contact the Sitka area sportfish management staff at (907) 747-5355.