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!
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.
Yesterday was my first cruise ship fishing charter of 2015. The trip went great with my Minnesota folks. These early May fishing trips are tricky. A captain is fully aware that the possibility of no King Salmon and resorting to rockfish is a reality. However when you "Forget the rest, and fish with the best!" Luckily our trip was a success with 2 nice King Salmon. Possibly Captain Tonys last charter on the Valhalla. The Valhalla is a beautiful boat that is currently about to be sold, wont know until the MONEY is in my hands though. I have owned the Valhalla for 3 years. I have charter fished, commercial crabbed, and commercial dove for sea cucumber off of the Valhalla. It has been an awesome, comfortable, stable boat to fish from. Also got the little glasply up and running for some of that economic bombing around in the little boat business.
Trying to sell Valhalla to another Ketchikan Charter Captain. Valhalla is a great boat as many of my groups have fished on it and know how comfortable it is. As many of you know I own several boats and consolidating a little cannot be a bad idea. Here is a picture of me sanding and grinding 15 years of bottom paint off of the All Star. Have been working hard on All Star because I will need atleast 1 boat ready for May charters. Yesterday was opening day for Ketchikan Little League. Ketchikan has 522 players this year, lots of fun. Here is also a picture of my 2 ball players, 1 of which just doesn't know how to smile. 1 week until first Ketchikan Cruise Ships start showing up. We have been waiting since September for them to be back. Will be taking people fishing soon showing them how to catch Ketchikan King Salmon.
I keep on bragging about the king salmon we caught a few days ago. It is time to get ready for the season, that means cleaning the green slime off everything. With Ketchikan getting almost 200 inches annual rainfall, that slime just appears. Pressure washing is about the only way to clean things, but with hot water pressure washing it becomes very effective. In December I installed on demand propane fired hot water heater in my house. With a hose nozzle on the side of my house and a plastic pressure washer that hot water does wonders. Keeping these boats running and maintained is a year round job. We work hard in the summertime actually fishing but making sure we make it through the summer without problems is crucial. Looking forward to having a productive summer and having clean maintained equipment sure feels good.
Check back for updated fishing reports in Ketchikan.