1. Hook It & Cook It – Angling Unlimited teams up with Ludger Szmania to bring you four days of great fishing along with 4 nights of instructive cooking with Chef Ludger. Fish with the pros all day, learn to cook like a pro by night.
2. Big White Kings – Many of the big chinook caught in May are white kings. For the uninitiated, the meat on these fish isn’t bright pink – it’s white. The reason why has to do with genetics. White kings tend to have slightly higher oil content than their pink fleshed relatives and some people claim they taste better. We did a blind taste test during Hook and Cook a few years back and Chef Ludger could distinguish between the pink and white kings. Can you?
3. Peak harvest rates for kings. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) collects extensive data on harvest rates of all sport caught species. A look at their tables tells two stories: 1. The five year running average for sport king harvest rates reaches a near peak by the third week in May in Sitka. 2. Sitka’s harvest rates in mid May are well beyond the highest seasonal rates in any other port in Southeast Alaska. In short, May provides excellent king opportunity and Sitka remains the stand out king destination in the North Pacific.
4. Fast halibut action – Both inshore and out, the halibut haven’t had much fishing pressure over the winter. Good sized halibut are ready and willing in May. We do best in the deep-deep water, but inshore grounds can also be very productive. Again, the ADFG data shows a harvest rate in May that is very close to peak for the season.
5. Alpine beauty – With the coastal range still covered in snow down to the lower elevations, the area has a high mountain beauty that slowly melts away over the course of the summer. This high mountain glow has prompted the question, “What’s our altitude here?” more than once. The answer is, “I’ll have to check the tide book.”
6. It Costs Less – For lack of a better term, May is a “shoulder season”. The kids or grandkids are still in school and people aren’t thinking summer vacation yet. The simple rules of supply and demand apply to Angling Unlimited and Alaska Airlines. Check the rates for fishing and air – May is a bargain.
7. Because You Can – Look outside. It’s November and fishing the saltwater wilderness of Alaska isn’t an option. The weather is cold, the days short, and the main body of kings is offshore. The first place I know of on the North Pacific that offers a shot at big maturing kings is Sitka. Sitka kings in May are to sport fishing what Copper River kings are to salmon dining. We’re the first of the season, the fish are robust, strong, and dripping with the good Omega-3 oils that make these fish so good to eat and so healthful. Besides, if you’re like me, the long winter of waiting to go king fishing again might drive you slightly bonkers. If can’t wait to get back chasing big kings – join us in May. You won’t regret it.