Last Friday in Sitka the temperature pushed into the mid-50’s under cloudless skies. With the forecast the same for Saturday, Captain David Gross and I decided to give winter king fishing a shot. David knew someone who caught a 31-pounder that week just five miles from our dock. So, we waited unitl 9 a.m. with the sun up and took a shot first at Vitskari Rocks. The wind was down, but a big swell pushed in from the southwest and strong current was running toward the southwest. Some trollers were working the area and we found abundant diving birds.
We anchored up, fished for an hour and saw nothing on the sounder and hooked nothing. Undaunted we headed for Inner Point, located some bait near the bottom in 170 feet of water and fished it hard. Nothing. Next we went into Hayward Strait and motor mooched for an hour. Nothing. Still, the sun felt good and the scenery was spectacular with the most striking feature the lack of snow on the mountains. Despite the deep-freeze hitting much of the midwest and east, Sitka has had an unusually warm winter. We finished the day catching some rockfish for dinner and releasing about a 25-pound lingcod. Conclusion: It was really nice to get out on the water in mid-winter but we aren’t about to start chartering at this time of year.