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Captain Tom’s Fishing Report

We’ve got three weeks of the Angling Unlimited season under our belts and so far 2024 looks solid on all fronts. In a nutshell – very solid kings, lings, and halibut. The kings this season seem highly school-oriented. A single king here and there hasn’t been the game. It’s more feast or famine – a school swims under the boat we hook two, three, or four. If your captain makes the right first guess and you connect with your bites, the king limit could be hit by 7 AM. A few wrong guesses, a few zigs when we should have zagged, or too many missed bites can all lead to a long search. To illustrate – day one aboard Albatross in late May we had 4 in the boat before 7 AM. On day two we had none in the boat at 1:55 PM, but by 2:10 PM four nice kings lay on the deck; courtesy of a hungry school and a four fish hook up. The king abundance appears to be higher than the preseason forecasts.

Weather-wise the pattern has been colder, wetter, and unsettled. Thankfully, the winds have often come from the east which blows the ocean flat and doesn’t generate a big swell. We’ve been able to take our guests out on the ocean all but one day. The water temperatures are also lower than normal – in the mid 40’s making any wind blowing over the ocean feel chilly.

GAF Landings

AU took the plunge with guided angler fish (GAF) in 2024. This program provides the opportunity for people fishing on charter boats to keep an additional halibut of any size. For the first time in years, our guests can retain a large halibut. It does come with a cost of $400 per fish to said angler. Our experience so far has been positive. People like the opportunity. So far, the biggest GAF halibut was 75 inches – 250 pounds. Three of the biggest GAF halibut were landed with guests using salmon rods while guests fished in water of 90 feet or less including the 250-pounder. GAF strategies for guests range from taking an incident big one landed while fishing halibut, rockfish, or salmon. If time allows, you can ask your captain to target them. There’s no guarantee you will get one, but you can retain it if you do.

Four Generations of Fishing: The Petersen Party set a new record this year! Four generations of anglers on one boat.

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