As we approach the end of June and into early July our sea cliffs and meadows are fully painted in color, seabirds, whales, otters and seals become our frequent companions during our excursions. The halibut have generally moved shallow. Angler’s can experience fast and exciting fishing action when these denizens of the deep move into the shallows to feast on the bounty of baitfish, crabs, octopus and salmon that make up their diets. Tide rips swell with salmon schools feasting on capelin and sand lance. No other fish here in the great State of Alaska has the wits to compare with Kings, making it easy to understand why they are such a popular fish to catch. Early morning or late in the evenings are favorite times, out on the big ocean capes, drifting along with the kittiwakes, sooty shearwaters and puffins, chasing these awesome fish. Halibut are easy to hook and bring to the rail. Silver salmon are eager to snap at any moving shining object, Lingcod are prehistoric in their appearance, but Kings are big shiny elusive creatures, which so many times just out of reach of a net, know just which way to roll and slip the hook, pausing for an instant, then slowly, with barely a flick of their tail slip from view.
Moving into early August we begin a transition in our routines. Our offshore focus slows and our attention turns to Silvers. We generally take a couple of days to catch our breath, load our 14ft skiffs and get ready for one of the particularly special times of the year. Heading north we’ll generally spend five weeks fishing the bays and lagoons of Afognak Island. For those wanting offshore fishing we usually start these trips offshore or do our offshore fishing on the way home. Mostly the weather dictates. These trips, five days in length find the “Ten Bears” mostly anchored at the heads of the bays where the silver salmon “Coho” congregate off the river mouths. Each day our clients fish from our 14 foot skiffs. Clear tidal lagoons, sight casting to the schools of silvers. Pick your method, fly, spin, bait casting. You are face to face with the fish.
Weather permitting, beach cookouts, relaxation, calm water, saturating yourself in the solitude of the surroundings. Weather permitting it is not unusual to completely circle Afognak Island on one of these trips. Changing scenery, fishing different types of lagoons, interspersed with halibut and lingcod fishing.
Our trips in September are generally for the most hard core of silver salmon fisherman. The lagoons are full of cruising silvers. Mother nature signals fall with stronger winds and our days of offshore opportunities begin to dwindle. Then an intermission.