RIP Harvey "King Killer" Bryan. We are born to die, it's all the memories we make in the meantime. 2017 is going to be my 15th year charter fishing in Ketchikan. The Bishop boys and their friends have fished with me since 2008. These guys have become very close friends, seen my daughter grow up, and like my family more than they like me, but that is typical. Late summer is coho season and we catch lots, but the occassional king hits from time to time. Harvey had all the luck when it came to bringing in nice kings like this purple back feeder. The uproar and ship mutany that came from Harvey's king catch was amazing. I have many stories with these guys. I am sure we will drink many beer by the firepit at the cabin and tell Gene how Harvey was just a better man, deal with it!
It has been a very busy couple days. March Madness is coming to an end. I have done 4 charters in the month of March which means we are starting 2016 off with a bang. I have caught 6 nice King Salmon so far and plan on catching many more. As we all know Winter Kings can be kind of tricky and I have always thought "Not even worth your time." After catching these Kings lately I have changed my mind. I explained in detail to all 4 charters that it could be a complete waste of time fishing this time of year but I will do my best, and we can always resort to rockfish and maybe set the crab pots. We all left with low expectations and coming back with these awesome King Salmon was definitely a treat. The days are getting longer and the weather getting better. It is definitely time to start working on the boat, Paris and I installed a new windshield on a beautiful Easter Sunday and it was the first step in the right direction. Any one who wants to go find a King Salmon just know Captain Tony K. is ready. By the way one of those bad Kings was WHITE, how cool.
Been awhile since it was deer hunting season. That was a lot of fun, and shot a couple awesome bucks in 2015. However it is fishing time now. The days are getting longer, the herring are showing up and so are the hungry King Salmon that are chasing them. 2016 will be my 14th year of charter fishing. In those years I have never done a charter in March. Had a successful charter March 3. Went out 2 days later with Captain Larry, who owns Avid Angler Charters, and had a lot of fun releasing small kings and caught one barely legal King. That 28" King tasted amazing. The only thing left was the guts, gills, and a pile of bones. My dad devoured the head, including the eyeballs, and we made sure every last piece of meat was gone. Then last Saturday Captain Ross with Black Flag Charters and I trolled for a short time and ended up with 2 very nice King Salmon. We have been walking tall the last few days after catching those tasty Kings. Tomorrow I will do my second charter of 2016 and plan on catching a couple more of those amazing Ketchikan Kings!
Making time to go hunting in the Fall. As the charter fishing season comes to a close, we start commercial diving for sea cucumbers. Now that the sea cucumber season is completely over come the big boat projects, household projects, and deer hunting. I find it hard to make time for deer hunting though I know it is a good time once I finally break away and get in the woods. I hunted 3 times unsuccessfully and on my 4th hunt, very close to town at that, I finally got a buck. Gravina Island is the island Ketchikan's airport is located on. The "Road to nowhere" is on Gravina as well. I haven't given Gravina much of a chance in the last few years because I thought it was hunted out. However these pictures prove that there are some awesome deer on the island. The first one I shot was the biggest deer I have ever killed. The second one was even bigger. I got very lucky and made all my hunting buddies very jealous. Good Times!! Also a picture of my new bad boy ex USCG boat. Most of my personal fishing trip and having fun stuff is done in the small boat. Livin the life.
The busy 2015 summer season is over!! Even though the season has been over since mid September, I have been too busy commercial fishing for sea cucumber to post anything. We have been getting our 2000 pounds of sea cucumber for the last 3 openings so that means we are still fishing. The weather has been cooperating with us so far this season. Fall weather can be pretty nasty and fighting that can be pretty tricky. Last Sunday however was a wild ride as we followed about 60 feet behind the IFA ferry Stikine to cross Clarence Strait in about 10-15 foot seas. NOT FUN! Tomorrow we will be heading northbound to Snow Pass which is North Prince of Wales. This means hunting for Sitka Blacktail and diving for cucmbers. Thankful that my fishing season doesn't end in mid September like the rest of the Ketchikan charter fishing fleet.
Been very busy with allday groups and there are many to come. The Chong's fished for 2 days and went home with 119 pounds of filets and the Woodward's left today after 3 days of fishing with I think around 350 pounds of filets. Those numbers should show how the fishing has improved big time in the last 1 week or so. The phytoplankton bloom destroyed fishing close to town. Ketchikan charter boats should be catching 36 pink salmon and going home early on cruise ship trips and some good fisherman were getting 0 fish on 4 hour charter. I fished close to town yesterday for about 5 hours and ended up with 18 pink salmon. The Woodward's trip was an amazing trip first day we ran 35 miles out ended up with 16 coho 11 pink 4 halibut 6 snapper 6 rockfish. Second day was about 20 miles out 31 pink 16 coho 6 halibut, and due to horrible weather yesterday only 18 pink salmon. The busy season for me starts now, probably wont have much of a daily page for a little while, too busy fishing. Here are a few good fishing pictures of killing Ketchikan Alaska fish. Paris Knuteson has been on a strict training program this summer also.
A good bottomfishing trip! Typically no halibut in the box would be a bad thing. However 18 bottomfish in the box and releasing a nice 80 pound halibut with good weather and good crew was a lot of fun! Ran to Dall head for some good bottomfishing was a great idea given the fact that salmon fishing is horrible right now. In my 35 years in Ketchikan Alaska I have never seen phytoplankton bloom and turn the water a very light silty green color. The salmon I have caught have been kind of a pale color, it is weird. I heard they are like that due to lack of oxygen, I don't know. All fisherman on salmon trips are struggling. I have caught a few every trip but we should be catching lots. I have mentioned my pink salmon record of 36 pinks 42 minutes many times, and those times are normally mid July. Scratching for 5 or 6 fish is not normal. I hope my all day groups that are starting to arrive do well like years past, don't want this to be the record worst year. Here are couple pics of the Minnesota crew. Halibut pic doesn't do justice as we were trying to be easy and release her fast. We let a lot of dinners swim away because of halibut regulations.
I am very sorry! I haven't had time to play on the computer. Summertime is in full swing and Ketchikan is hopping. Finally launched the Never Enough after 4 years. The boat cruises at 20 knots and even though it isn't quite finished we are catching fish and having fun. The weather has been absolutely amazing. I cannot remember a summer that compares to the amount of sun Ketchikan has experienced lately. Did a couple charters out of my little boat prior to launching Never Enough. Largest King Salmon for me this year was 38 pounds, way to go Chad. I know I am forgetting a lot, here are a few pictures to show how awesome it has been. Feels like winter time in the Florida Keys.
Been under the gun to finish the Never Enough. This big retrofit of this boat has been a 4 year project and it is getting very close. As I have previously mentioned new deck, new roof, new paint, new engine, new transmission, etc. New everything! Had to pass a few charters to my fellow fisherman lately. After selling the Valhalla I currently don't have a charter boat in the water. ETA for Never Enough to be launched is about 2 weeks out right now. I do have a 21 ft. fun boat in the water and have been dying to just go fishing even though I have lots of work to be done, no time for playing around. Today is the last day of the 2015 Ketchikan King Salmon Derby, and the winner so far is 14 year old kid with 40 pounder. I Wonder what he will spend his $11,000 on?? Here are a couple pictures of the engine bed and stringers and setting the engine in place. Ketchikan charter fisherman and their clients are going to be very jealous when they see the Never Enough looking pretty and catching all the fish. Those old plastic and Plexiglas trashy windows are also getting replaced.
A bitter sweet. The Valhalla has been an awesome boat. I bought it in June of 2012 and have fished it since. We have used it for charter fishing, commercial crabbing, sea cucumber dive fisheries, and also a tug boat. 35' Vikings are well built and very comfortable to fish on. Captain Randy Skan is finally doing his own thing. Randy ran boats for other people a total of 6 years and now took the step towards owning his own boat, and being his own man. No one breathing down his neck telling him "That is wrong." I was the one telling him that 3 of those 6 years. Never Enough is coming to completion need about 2 weeks. Here is a picture of Captain Ross doing one of the best shakedown trips ever, 4 Ketchikan King Salmon, WHAT! Wait until Ketchikan sees Captain Tony on the Never Enough again, watch out.
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