Fishing in the Golden North Salmon Derby was extremely popular with anglers last week. The weather was great for fishing, and a nice 33.9-pound king won the derby. Approximately 97 percent of sport fishing rod hours were concentrated on salmon fishing. Derby fishing was average to above average, with more coho salmon caught than last year, and roughly the same number of kings.
The number of rod hours it took to land a king salmon increased to 136 last week. This was nearly double the five-year average of 78 hours, while last year it took 111 hours of effort to put a king in the boat. The winning derby fish was turned in at Douglas, and several kings were also caught behind Douglas Island and around Shelter Island. These are feeder kings, which are smaller than the spring spawners, and most anglers fish deep for them, 50 to 100-plus feet.
Coho fishing in the Juneau area slowed last week. It took an average of 10 hours to land a silver, compared to seven hours the week before. The five-year average for coho fishing is seven hours per fish, and last year it took 16 hours. Coho catch rates are running about the same as the five-year average.
While most anglers were salmon fishing in the derby, those that pursued halibut spent an average of eight hours to land a fish, one more hour than the five-year average of seven hours, but less than last year's 10 hours. Most of the halibut are being brought in from Icy Strait, around Pt. Couverden, and Vanderbilt Reef.
Roadside anglers can find chums, pinks and early coho in Montana Creek and near the DIPAC salmon hatchery. Coho salmon fishing can also be good along the shoreline of Point Louisa, as schools of fish migrate past on their way to freshwater streams.
People fishing for personal use king crab in the Juneau area continue to see good catches. A permit has to be in your possession while pulling pots. The daily bag and possession limit is two legal-sized male king crab per person. The season limit is 10 crab per person and 20 per household.
For more call 465-4270.