The king salmon fishing in Auke Bay and the Point Bishop area was extremely hot over last weekend.
Auke Bay had a derby atmosphere, with one unofficial boat count mid-morning Saturday at more than 60 boats. Some boat anglers were even observed fishing inside the harbor breakwater. Kings landed in these two areas easily surpassed the number harvested from the Picnic Cove/Outer Point area, which had been producing the majority of the fish in each of the previous four weeks. In the most recent survey, the average Juneau area marine boat angler put in 17 hours before landing a king salmon. This is 22 fewer hours than last year. The previous week was 22 hours and the five-year average is 35 hours.
Last week, state Fish and Game Department creel samplers did not sample any halibut. This is not to say a few of the flats are not being harvested, but bottomfish effort continues to be low. The five-year average catch rate for halibut at this time of year is 15 hours. Last year it took the average marine boat angler 17 hours to land a halibut. Fishing effort for bottomfish will continue to increase as the king salmon run wanes. Creel survey personnel have yet to officially sample a pink or chum, but did sample a coho salmon.
Also, the salt-water terminal fishery opened Saturday and fishermen can catch up to four kings a day of any size in the open area. The fishery, which targets hatchery fish, includes Gastineau Channel north and west of the Douglas Bridge and Auke Bay and Fritz Cove east of a line from False Outer Point to Indian Point. The fishery is expected to remain open through Aug. 31 although it could be closed earlier.
For more information on sport fishing opportunities or regulations in the Juneau area, call the Division of Sport Fish at 465-4270.