The word on the street in Sitka is there are lots of kings out there – right now – in the winter. There’s also a lot of weather out there, but when the commercial trollers are able to make it to Cape Edgecumbe, they’re finding kings in numbers that are off the charts. There are also good reports of kings coming from the inside waters near to Sitka and as far away as Hoonah Sound.
From the opening date of the winter troll season on October 11 through mid-January, the troll harvest of kings was 24,000 fish. Over 80%, roughly 19,000 were caught out of Sitka. Biologists from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game say it’s the highest winter catch since 1993/1994, thus the best in over 20 years. Big numbers of kings are stacked up on the outside of Kruzof Island in January points an excellent early start for our season in May. We get underway with our Hook It and Cook It event in mid-May. Last season at that time we found big schools of kings at the Cape.
Additionally, the preliminary information on Columbia River stocks points to another record year – on par with 2013 and 2014. These kings, particularly the upriver brights, are caught in Southeast Alaska and are good indicators of overall king abundance in our area. Although we get little information out of Canada until May on their 2015 forecast, the vague unofficial word is “similar to last year”.
That pretty much sums up what we’re able to learn about king season. We won’t have official word on daily and annual limits, but we’ll go out on a limb. Bear in mind – this is our guess and not a guarantee.
Worst case scenario – one per day all season, annual limit of 4.
Best case scenario – two per day in May in June, annual limit of 6.
Safe bet – 2 per day in May, one per day the remainder of the season, annual limit of 4 or 5.
If you’re handicapping the regulations like you would a horse race and wanted to gamble on the best odds for a two king per day bag limit – May is the best bet with June placing second.
Keep your fingers crossed and make plans to come up for another great king run in 2015.
Hook It & Cook It
The Freshest Fish You’ll Ever Eat!
Come join us in Sitka, Alaska for Angling Unlimited’s annual Hook It & Cook It. It’s 4 days of catching world-class Alaskan Salmon & Halibut, followed each evening by a dinner at our lodge where the daily catch is cooked right in front of you by our private Chef Ludger of Szmania’s restaurant in Seattle.
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You can fish salmon & halibut in the same day, allowing you to maximize both your time on the water and your catch! Our crew is experienced and we pride ourselves in delivering the fun, excitement, and adventure that attracts people to Alaska. A great team of captains, deckhands, hostesses, processor, and management is guaranteed.
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