Area Sport Fishing Reports
August 22, 2019
An excellent resource for planning a trip to Sitka is the gofishak interactive map which provides information on fishing locations, species run timing, fishing gear and angler access.
For further information, please feel free to contact the Sitka Area sportfish management staff at (907) 747-5355.
Effective Friday, August 16th, retention of King Salmon is allowed for non-resident anglers in Southeast Alaska marine waters. An emergency order accompanied with a news release was issued on August 14th, 2019.
Catch rates for king salmon increased slightly since last week, but were slightly below the ten-year mean. During the marine catch sampling period of August 14th through August 18th, king salmon were harvested primarily from West Kruzof and Cape Edgecumbe. Kings are being caught trolling or mooching herring, or trolling hoochies and spoons. King salmon fishing in Sitka area waters should continue to decline through late-August.
Effective Thursday, July 25th, retention of non-pelagic rockfish is prohibited in the Sitka area and in all outside waters of Southeast Alaska, through August 31st. An emergency order was issued in April 2019 that prohibits retention of non-pelagic rockfish in outside waters, and it was referenced in the Southeast Alaska sportfishing regulation summary on page 12.
All vessels are required to have at least one functional deep-water release device (regardless of species targeted) and anglers are REQUIRED to use a rockfish release device to release nonpelagic rockfish during this time. Please see the Southeast Alaska Sport Fish Regulation Summary or visit your local ADF&G office to see examples of rockfish release devices and learn about their use.
Fishing for pelagic rockfish is open and has been excellent.
Catch rates for silver salmon decreased some over the past week. Silver fishing was good near Cape Edgecumbe and West Kruzof. Catch rates remain above the recent ten-year average for the sample period of August 14th through August 18th. Fishing for silvers in marine waters should be peaking in the next couple weeks.
Pink fishing in marine waters is slowing down in the Sitka area. Catch rates were below the recent ten-year average for the sample period of August 14th through August 18th. With cooler weather and some possible precipitation, the bulk of the pink salmon should begin moving closer to shore and into freshwaters in greater numbers.
Halibut fishing has been consistent in Sitka. Catch rates are near the recent ten-year average. During the marine catch sampling period of August 14th through August 18th, halibut were harvested primarily from outer Kruzof Island/Sitka Sound to offshore waters from Salisbury Sound to Sitka Sound. Fishing has improved also in Sitka Sound, and closer to town. Halibut fishing in Sitka Sound area waters should begin to peak through August with more bait (herring, salmon, crab, etc.) moving inside the Sound.
Sport fishing for lingcod has been good recently. Try fishing near pinnacles and structure with large whole herring, or large lead/rubber or metal jigs.
Pink and chum salmon have moved into freshwaters but have very little room to move with extremely low water levels. Creeks and streams are low, and most fish are still holding outside of the mouths. Any appreciable amount of rain will most likely allow more fish to enter streams. Sport fishing for pinks and chums in freshwater should peak over the next few weeks. Be aware of special regulations for certain freshwater streams with regards to fishing for salmon. Try casting spinners or spoons or using brightly colored flies.
Dolly Varden and Rainbow/Cutthroat Trout
Dolly Varden and trout can be targeted year-round. Sitka has a few streams and lakes that have resident species available such as Indian River, Thimbleberry lake and Heart Lake. Fishing is good right now with spawning salmon moving into freshwaters. Try using spinners, spoons, or flies mimicking juvenile salmon, leeches, or eggs/flesh.