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Hook It & Cook It

AU’s season got off to a running start with Hook It and Cook It on May 14. The fishing for the first two days was solid with limits or near limits of kings, halibut, and rockfish. On day three the chinook (king) fishing broke wide open with limits for all by 8 AM. The chinook fishing changed location on Friday the 17th but the action remained excellent. Halibut limits were the rule all four days of Hook It and Cook It with the action spiced with three GAF halibut (see below). The rockfish obliged as always and the fishing for lingcod was as good as it gets. On May 16, opening day for ling, most of our guests managed to find a “slot cod” (between 30 and 35 inches).

As always, the fishing days of “Hook It and Cook It” were followed by evenings of gourmet meal preparation and cooking instructions courtesy of Ludger Szmania and son Lucas. Ludger’s resume includes a stint as executive chef at the Seattle Four Seasons Hotel and operating his own restaurant, Szmania’s, in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle. He and his wife Julie now operate Warm Springs Inn and Winery in Wenatchee, Washington. Ludger and Lucas will return in 2025 with the Hook It and Cook It fishing dates of May 17-20.

First GAF Halibut Landings

The major surprise of Thursday, May 16 came aboard Albatross with Captain Jack McNamee with the Fischer party. Following limit catches of halibut, kings, and rockfish, they decided to pursue lingcod in 30 feet of water. Curt Fischer hooked something big that took off and ran 300 feet of line. Captain Jack fired up the engine and went in hot pursuit. They caught up to the line to find it pointing straight down 30 feet down with 250 feet still off the spool. They managed to free the line from the kelp and the pursuit renewed. It all ended with the landing of the first GAF (guide angler fish) halibut of the season – a 66-inch halibut (estimated live weight of 148 pounds). Fishing doesn’t get much more exciting.

The GAF halibut action continued the last day of Hook It and Cook It with a 51-incher caught by John Conti and a 61-incher caught by John Bassolino aboard Skute with Captain Ryan. On May 19, a 51-inch GAF was landed by Andy Moen fishing with Captain Spencer on Discovery.

AU is excited to offer the option of retention of a bigger halibut under the GAF program (we should have a hot link to GAF on the website that explains the program). It does come with a cost to the angler that some will go for and others will forgo, but it adds an exciting new dimension.

The Whales of May

May is an excellent month for those who appreciate whale sightings, with an abundance of humpbacks around most years. The big northern resident pod of orcas often shows up during the early season as they pursue migrating kings. This May our guests have been enjoying a remarkable show in Promisla Bay, a mere three miles from our dock, where dozens of grey whales have been feeding for well over a week. Once in the general area, we shut down the engine and watch 360 degrees of spouting, surfacing, and occasionally breaching grey whales. Even for those of us who have spent over 30 years here, this grey whale show has been both rare and captivating.

Openings This Season (First Come, First Served):

  • July 3–7, 2024, fish July 4-5-6: 2 boats available
  • July 20–24, 2024, fish July 21-22-23: party of 2 available
  • Sept 5–9, 2024, fish Sept. 6-7-8: 4 boats available
  • Sept 8–12, 2024 fish Sept. 9-10-11: 1 boat available

Questions? Give us a call! You can reach Kim at 218-732-4744.

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