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The Buzz Begins

Sitka gains nearly 5 minutes of daylight every 24 hours at this time of the year. Increasing daylight generates a buzz in all of us at AU after the dark months of winter. The longer days also set the natural world in motion, moving the mass of fishing in the Gulf of Alaska toward shore for spring and summer. The action at AU begins with fine-tuning the fishing gear, tying leaders, getting the fleet out of mothballs, and making sure we’re ready to seamlessly kick off another season. We’re feeling a bit of added anticipation for the 2024 season with the news of a record winter catch of king salmon by the Sitka commercial fleet this January – 7200 kings landed to best the old record of 4800. This is a great leading indicator for our early-season king fishing in May and June. If you’re booked already, you’ve got plenty of cause for excitement. If not, you’ve still got time to join in the fun and excitement for 2024.

King salmon fishing with Angling Unlimited

Dates Available

If you feel the buzz but haven’t booked, we still have prime king salmon dates in the second half of May and the beginning of June. The record commercial harvest of kings this winter bodes well for a strong early season. We also have an excellent selection of dates in early September, the most prime of times for big hooknose silvers. If you’re in search of the holy grail of a 20-pound silver, early September in Sitka is a wonderful place to look. Give us a call with questions or to reserve space.

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New Boat

AU works hard to stay ahead of the curve, which includes updating our fleet. This year we’re retiring the ever faithful but aging Storyteller with a brand-new North River. The new boat iscurrently making its way through production and has a delivery date of early May. We’re sticking with our tried-and-true walkaround cabin design from North River Boats and powering her with a Volvo D6 diesel duoprop power package. The new boat will be slightly longer and wider (32×10) than Storyteller and it will feature an opening side door that makes getting on and off the boat super easy for people of all ages and abilities. A roomy cabin with a diesel heater will add to passenger comfort. The latest electronics from Garmin provide Captain James Baumann an edge in finding fish.

The new boat is not officially named yet, but given Captain James near fanatical love of the Minnesota Vikings, the odds-on bet is “Purple Reign.”


Our regulations depend on three major inputs – abundance, allocation, estimated effort. Abundance is the estimated population size of the species in question. Allocation refers to the percentage of allowable harvest given by regulators to the sport fishery. Effort is an estimation of the number of anglers which will be targeting a given species and how effective they will be in catching that species. For our target species the abundance appears stable and harvest rates are sustainable. The allocations are pretty much fixed. The effort in the sport fishery is increasing, thus some of the regulations are tightening up – in particular halibut, lingcod, and rockfish.

Below are the regulations for 2024:

Chinook (King) Salmon

  • Daily limit: one king salmon per person, 28 inches or greater in length.
  • January 1 through June 30: Nonresident annual limit is three king salmon
  • July 1 through July 15: Nonresident annual harvest limit is two king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length
  • July 16 through December 31: Nonresident annual harvest limit is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length

Note: Any king harvested applies toward the annual limit at the time you are fishing. For instance, if a non-resident harvests a king in June and returns in August – that person has already reached their annual limit.


  • Daily bag limit, February 1 – July 14, 2024: 1 per person per day either under 40″ or over 80″
  • Daily bag limit, July 15 – December 31, 2024: 1 per person per day either under 36″ or over 80″
  • Annual limit: None
  • Day of Week Closure: Retention of halibut is prohibited on Fridays beginning on July 19 through September 13, 2024.
  • Timing: Expect fast halibut action all season. We have great success catching halibut up to the 40/36-inch maximum from May thru September. We do catch the very occasional halibut over the 80-inch mark – especially in May and June.
  • Size: 10-450 pounds. We see halibut of all sizes in Sitka. The best fishing is on the ocean, so if the weather permits, we’ll get them!

Coho (Silver) Salmon

  • Daily limit: 6 per person
  • Annual limit: none
  • Timing: Late June/early July – mid September
  • Size: Average size 6-10 pounds in June through late July, 8-12 pounds August and September. Silvers gain weight rapidly throughout the summer. By mid-August silvers of 12- 15 pounds are common and the elusive 20-pound hooknose is possible.

Ling Cod

  • Daily limit: 1 per day, 1 in possession between 30-35 inches or over 55 inches in length.
  • Annual limit: 2 fish, 1 of which is 30-35 inches in length, and 1 that is 55 inches or greater in length, harvest record is required. Nonresident anglers shall immediately record the date and location (body of water fished), in ink, of all lingcod harvested either on their sport fishing license or on their nontransferable harvest record.
  • Timing: May 16–June 14 and August 1–November 30.
  • Size: 30-35 inches or 55 inches and longer.

Chum (Dog) Salmon

  • Daily limit: 6 per person
  • Annual limit: none
  • Timing: Mid-July – mid-August
  • Size: Average size 6-10 pounds with some reaching mid to high teens. Not an every year target, but very abundant some years. Hard fighting, aggressive feeders, and highly underrated table fare when they are bright and in the ocean.

Pelagic Rockfish (Sea Bass)

  • Daily limit: 2 per day, no size limit
  • Annual limit: None
  • Timing: All season
  • Size: 3-8 pounds
  • Species: Pelagic rockfish include black, dusky, blue, yellowtail, widow, and dark

Slope Non-Pelagic Rockfish

  • Slope rockfish include: Blackgill, Blackspotted, Bocaccio, Brown, Chilipepper, Darkblotched, Greenstriped, Harlequin, Northern, Pacific Ocean Perch, Puget Sound, Pygmy, Redstripe, Redbanded, Rougheye, Sharpchin, Shortbelly, Shortraker, Silvergray, Splitnose, Stripetail, Vermilion, and Yellowmouth.
  • No size limit: 1 per day, no size limit

Non-Pelagic Rockfish

  • Non-pelagic rockfish include: Yelloweye, quillback, copper, silvergray, tiger, and china.
  • Daily limit: Zero retention of all non-pelagic rockfish.

Black Cod

  • Daily limit: 4 per person
  • Annual limit: 8 per person
  • Timing: Available in deep water – more than 600 feet all season long.
  • Size: Most are 5-10 pounds, occasionally up to 25 pounds.

Salmon Shark

  • Daily limit: 1 per person
  • Annual limit: 2 per person
  • Timing: Tend to show up mostly in July through September.
  • Size: Range from 60 – 300 pounds.

We seldom target Salmon Sharks and their presence in our waters seems highly variable, ranging from seeing them occasionally to not seeing them at all.

Pacific Cod

  • Daily limit: Unlimited
  • Annual limit: None
  • Timing: All season
  • Size: Range from 3 – 15 pounds.

We don’t specifically target Pacific cod. They are a bonus fish when we target halibut. Very willing to take a bait or jig, Pacific cod produce a delicious mild white-meat filet.

Alaska Fishing Seasons & Regulations

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