Sunday, April 17, 2016

Lower Cook Inlet Halibut. April 16, 2016

Halibut fishing in April…hard to believe.  But in reality, I know of folks off of kayaks who caught halibut in January this year though they had to release them.

Still it’s not something I would have thought to be productive despite fishing these waters since I was a kid.  I have seen the occasional halibut catches during the winter king season posted and this year those numbers have increased for sure.  Warmer water?  Something else going on like with the common murre die offs?  I don’t know.  

It’s still hit and miss, but if you wanted to keep a limit of 10 pounders, it wouldn’t be much of a problem.  But we are also catching fish from 30 to 60 pounds enough to make it interesting.

On Saturday, I head out with my son around 3:30pm a few hours before low tide.  Fishing was relatively slow.  My first two fish came in the span of less than 20 minutes.  I guess the fish went 25 and 45 ish…In fact I was dealing with the first fish when the second fish strikes.

My son manages a small chicken at the end, and I release several more ping pong paddles.

Sunday, my son releases two oversized ping pong paddles…maybe tennis racket head size.  I manage something on the order of a dozen sculpins.  So its still slow, but enough fish to make it interesting with a decent chance at a 30 plus pound fish.

I struggled with my fishing and near disastrous mistakes were made.  It’s amazing what was so easy last season was so difficult after a half year layoff from halibut fishing.  

I heard of at least two kings caught by the kayak crew.  We tried for about 3 hours on Sunday and my son had one really good takedown where the fish didn’t stick.  

One oddity to note was that both large halibut had what looked like a pollock.  Other kayakers reported running into schools of pollock.  Odd to see a halibut without crab in it.  Other anglers reported seeing sand lances but no more hooligan and no herring.

It only gets better from here!!!!