Sitka -- Great Fishing Great Place -- weird size limits (slots) suck

fishkilr

on the water
Aug 27, 2012
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long beach,ca.u.s.a.
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alby
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Yea. Your guide will hate you but yea.
To me Fishing and food are 2 completely separate things...
Maybe fishing commercial rod and reel and getting off the boat taking nothing home over and over created this attitude ...
If all fish were no take I still would want to fish 10 to 12 hours a day if I was up there considering the price of admission...
Will gladly fish barbless which I do a lot down here anyways if it's required up there....
I know in many places targeting certain species and unlimited catch and release is not allowed ....
I'm glad to hear it's ok up there...
 

Chugachjed

Newbie
May 28, 2018
11
7
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39
Seward, AK
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Jed
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C-Hawk
To me Fishing and food are 2 completely separate things...
Maybe fishing commercial rod and reel and getting off the boat taking nothing home over and over created this attitude ...
If all fish were no take I still would want to fish 10 to 12 hours a day if I was up there considering the price of admission...
Will gladly fish barbless which I do a lot down here anyways if it's required up there....
I know in many places targeting certain species and unlimited catch and release is not allowed ....
I'm glad to hear it's ok up there...
It’s not a commercial vs sport thing. We as guides are doing a job. We don’t get paid by the hour. The longer you want to abuse fish by catching and releasing them the longer we have to work. Also when you have retained a limit you’re done. You must stop fishing legally.
 

Chugachjed

Newbie
May 28, 2018
11
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39
Seward, AK
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Jed
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C-Hawk
salmon halibut and rockfish are our primary species. None of them have great survival when released. 50% of released halibut are counted as dead and come off our quota for the next year. You’re screwing up the regs and killing fish when you catch and release. It’s not ethical.
 
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fishkilr

on the water
Aug 27, 2012
3,205
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113
long beach,ca.u.s.a.
Name
alby
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So it's strictly about the food source ....
Not fishing...
No thanks...
I was under the impression that fishing was still a sport in alaska...
Didn't know that halibut release was an issue... depth prob a huge factor..
Also thought that shallow water rockfishin was epic and shallow enough to release lings and such...
Would gladly fish barbless but the salmon I've caught don't pull very hard (comparatively)and I'm not surprised they don't do well on release...
Well I guess if catch and release is frowned upon and limits are minimal at best that makes it a no brainer for me.....
Thanks for the heads up.....
 
May 17, 2019
25
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31
Eagle River
Name
Joe
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Salmonella
It’s not a commercial vs sport thing. We as guides are doing a job. We don’t get paid by the hour. The longer you want to abuse fish by catching and releasing them the longer we have to work. Also when you have retained a limit you’re done. You must stop fishing legally.
who do you run a boat for?
 
May 17, 2019
25
13
3
31
Eagle River
Name
Joe
Boat
Salmonella
Didn't know that halibut release was an issue... depth prob a huge factor...
I dont think depth is the issue for halibut unlike rockfish. And as we all know the rock fish have a much better survival rate if a deep water release is use. Say a guide goes out he has 6 people fishing rock fish. He says he doesnt want to catch and release because there is no way he could run a deep water release with people bringing in a fish every 2 minutes, so instead he says its a if you catch it you keep it and it requires less work for him in the long run. I have a hard time believing that halibut is 50 percent mortality on catch and release. The only time i could see this is if the person fights the fish for ever and until complete exhaustion.
 

Chugachjed

Newbie
May 28, 2018
11
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39
Seward, AK
Name
Jed
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C-Hawk
I’m not saying halibut have 50% mortality. I’m saying that NOAA Fisheries counts as dead 50% of all released halibut. We have to record retained and released in the logbook.
The rockfish thing is different. If you’re fishing shallow for black rockfish I’ll release them and not feel bad. Although in some areas I fish regs say you must retain the first nonpelagic rockfish you catch.
 
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Chugachjed

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May 28, 2018
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Seward, AK
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Jed
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C-Hawk
The catch and release thing really is a non issue. Where I’m fishing you end up spending 2-3 hours traveling each way and when you’re soaking for big fish it’s a waiting game a lot of the time. You catch non pelagics and lings while you’re waiting on the soakers to show up but it’s not like lines are in the water and you’re catching fish right out of the harbor. On a combo trip we’ll soak for halibut first usually and then try salmon on the way back in. I can take you to a chicken spot and you could catch and release all day but it’s just beating up the fish, and I’m not in the business of little fish, for the most part.
 
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May 17, 2019
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Eagle River
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Joe
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ya i realize how the charters work i have been on a few and then we finally just got our own boat. Your right big fish is a waiting game we dont fish as deep as most charters (normally 60') or less and it takes a while for things to happen but when it does its alot of fun. I understand not wanting to catch and release 50 pounders and above because there is alot of time and resources that goes into catching that fish. I dont see much of a issue with catching and releasing chickens. I didnt know that NOAA counted released fish against you. I was more thinking along the lines of a guy catches and 27" halibut he keeps it for his small then the next fish he gets is a 30", i wouldnt think he would be expected to keep that 30" just so the guide can get back to the harbor faster.
 

makairaa

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 1, 2005
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Tustin CA
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ya i realize how the charters work i have been on a few and then we finally just got our own boat. Your right big fish is a waiting game we dont fish as deep as most charters (normally 60') or less and it takes a while for things to happen but when it does its alot of fun. I understand not wanting to catch and release 50 pounders and above because there is alot of time and resources that goes into catching that fish. I dont see much of a issue with catching and releasing chickens. I didnt know that NOAA counted released fish against you. I was more thinking along the lines of a guy catches and 27" halibut he keeps it for his small then the next fish he gets is a 30", i wouldnt think he would be expected to keep that 30" just so the guide can get back to the harbor faster.
ADFG thinks differently than most. I spent 9 days in coffman cove on prince of wales island a couple of weeks ago. It was specifically in the regs that you must keep the first non-pelagic rockfish you catch no matter of size and release the rest. If I remember rightly halibut caught with a guide had to be under 35 inches or over 80. So a little chicken or a fish pushing 300 lbs. Do not get confused ADFG cares 95% about the commercials and 5% the sport guys. And even less the non-residents.
 

Chugachjed

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May 28, 2018
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Seward, AK
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Jed
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Yea I’m definitely not trying to make anyone keep a 30” halibut. Most days we don’t catch or even try to catch under 28” fish. In Southcentral 3a there’s a 4 fish annual halibut limit on charters so if people might come back and fish another day or two they’re screwed if they keep an under.
 
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May 17, 2019
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Eagle River
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Joe
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Salmonella
Right. I do all my fishing out of homer mostly, might try whittier next summer. Thats where the 28" fish came from. I have talked to other charter operators and they said that NOAA views all halibut the same weather its 15 pounds or 200 pounds. So they will go try to get everyone a ~40 pound or bigger fish and then they target other fish so they dont use up all the charter fish on chickens. Seems like a big game that charter operators have to play.
 

ksong

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 7, 2005
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KIL SONG
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I like to catch big halibut on jigs. To do it, you got to catch and release small halibut. I don't really concerned to bring fish home. I saw many charters in Alaska not to release halibut and go to the dock early. That is not my type of fishing.
I don't fish with them anymore.
You don't kill any halibut if you release them carefully.
 

ksong

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 7, 2005
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Why do you fight halibut to complete exhaution ?
I've never seen halibut float or sink after releasing them. They usually shoot down very quickly.
 
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Chugachjed

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May 28, 2018
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Seward, AK
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Jed
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I’ve seen the big girls sink. Rarely. But it happens. I didn’t say 50% of released halibut die, I said 50% of released halibut are counted as dead by NOAA and NMFS for quota allocation.

You’re fine to jig and release smaller fish if you catch them. But if you snag it in the belly or through the gills and it’s going to die, that’s your fish. Hazards of jigging.
 

cchris

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Oct 2, 2014
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friends :)
Sitka is a great place!! Incredible scenery and friendly people!!

I will go back to visit Alaska ..... but probably not for a saltwater fishing trip .... until they rationalize the size /take limits imposed on tourists.

Currently all Halibut over 38 inches long are banned for tourists and tourists get to keep only one 38 inch or less Halibut per day....all others are to be released.

The Ling Cod have even weirder tourist rules -- a limited middle slot. It was like porridge and the three bears ..... some fish were too small, some fish were too big, but only a few fish were "just right" and within the 'slot'.

The 3 king salmon per year limit is strict, but I want the runs to flourish and that is at least not weird.

I wonder if Alaska is reducing the value (cost/benefit) for tourist fishermen such that there will be fewer and fewer second timers??? ((I believe that Alaska trips now cost about as much as prime 10-day or longer Long Range trip (or two short off-season trips). ))

Is Alaska's probable historic over-fishing now being replaced by over-regulating, that will discourage repeat tourist fishermen ???
Any thoughts?
You do t know where to fish brother. SE Alaska has been fished hard commercially for many years and have stricter regulations because fish are not abundant as they were. I fished there in the early 2000s both commercially ( long liner and power trolling for Kings and silvers) and recreationally ( elfin cove, pelican- you could catch halibut off the dock sometimes, I remember huge herring balls under the lights of the d).
I generally fish the kenay peninsula and do very good every year ( I try to stay 3-4 weeks in July) and I do it for under 2k for the whole time ( sleep at my buddy’s house and use my friends car). I have a bunch of connections and we go halibut fishing in homer and rockfish/ silver salmon in Seward). I fish the upper kenay river/ferry/ Soldotna area for red salmon). This year was off the charts fishing wise, they tripled the limit to 9 fish a day/18 fish in possession. I don’t have the back to carry 18 big salmon from the fishing area to the car (about 1-1.5 miles) but I kept 9 most days and released a bunch. Just make some friends in Alaska and your fishing success will go up and save some money. I go back every July no matter where I’m the world or where the army takes me ( unless I’m on deployment)

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ksong

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 7, 2005
1,577
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NJ
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KIL SONG
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NONE
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I am at Icy Bay Lodge off Yakutat. I am fishing coho, not halibut. Maybe we might try halibut one day. Of course all jigging. :)
 
May 17, 2019
25
13
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31
Eagle River
Name
Joe
Boat
Salmonella
They get fought to complete exhaustion from in experienced anglers, to light of gear. It can happen from a number or reasons. And just because a fish swims away doesnt mean its going to survive.
 

ksong

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 7, 2005
1,577
1,220
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72
NJ
Name
KIL SONG
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halibut.jpg
I like to use light tackle for big halibut or tuna, I but always use heavy drag for big fish.
 
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