Rudy's Fishing Log for 1996
A listing of the pictures for 1996
There are also links in the report below.
January 21, 1996. Sucker Lake
Rode our snowmachines over bare ground to get out to Sucker Lake. Absolutely no snow on the ground until we got to the Big-Su
River. Ice was deep due to the lack of insulation, at least 3 feet. Fishing on Sucker Lake over about 3 to 9 feet under the ice, we had a
great day for Northern Pike. Between 3 fishermen, we pulled out over 40 fish in about 5 hours of fishing. Of course we only kept 30
because the limit was 10 per person. We did our part in eradicating the pike from a major salmon rearing stream and lake! The fish
average about 5 pounds with the biggest pulling down the scale at about 10 pounds. We used tip ups and quick strike rigs for most of
the day. Although the tip ups worked great, the fish seemed to hit the herring much better if you jigged it a bit.
January 22, 1996 Sucker Lake
Well I had to leave to go back to work but my other buddies stuck around. Doug Hegg pulled out a 41 inch 22 pound monster! It
sounds like he had a hard time pulling it through an 8 inch hole. Herring on a quick strike rig fished in about 4 feet of open water did
the trick.
February 23 & 24 1996, Sucker Lake
This once a month fishing is brutal. I got to get out more often! Well we took a TV crew out to show them what you can do in the
winter time. We camped, snowmachined, and of course a lot of fishing. Fishing was pretty slow. We finally got snow so I think a part
of it was the lack of light and the later season contributing to less oxygen in the lakes, but the fishing was definitely slower. We only
caught 8 or 9 fish in about 3 hours with the biggest being about 12 pounds. A bit of advice, always carry extra blades for your auger.
Not only can they get dull, but we actually lost a blade! An extra blade would have solved the problem in about 5 minutes. As it was we
only dug about half of the holes we wanted. Although we used tip ups, only the lines that we held an jigged got any strikes at all.
April 28 & 29, 1996 Homer Spit & Kasilof River
Finally some open water fishing! Went to Homer Alaska with Kurt-san and fished off the spit next to Land's End Hotel. A lot of action!
Unfortunately the species we were catching were mainly pollock and grey cod.
It was fun catching these fish as they weighed in anywhere from 3 pounds up to 15 pounds. Not much of a fight but feeling the strike
and setting the hook was fun. We did see one King caught off the spit and one Dollie. Both species should be showing up a few at a
time here in the next week or two. the hot bait for the weekend was a lujhon jig in chrome. Its a diamond type jig about 5 inches long
and thin maybe 2 oz. It imitated the sandlance and herring the fish were feeding on perfectly. I'm sure if I could put it in front of a
king, it would be the right lure. I took the monster dull trebles off and added a medium size (size 4?) VMC treble hook that I thought I
would test out. Worked perfectly! I used an 8'6" ugly stick with an ambassador 500 loaded up with 20 lbs trilene xl. Cast the lead jig a
mile. The best fishing was off shore although at night the fish moved in much closer. Then I used an 10'6" fenwick legacy ultralight
spinning outfit with 6 pound trilene xl. That made it even more fun.
We also caught our fair share of fish on Cut Herring. Make sure you attach a float of some kind near the hook to float the bait off the made a huge difference. A metallic spin-n-glo worked great! Put the rig behind a « oz to 2 oz weight and heave it out there.
We also caught flounder, baby halibut, & Irish Lords . Saw a bunch of Eagles, got to use all of my rods and practice casting, caught
some good eating fish....a pretty successful weekend. No salmon, but they will be hear pretty soon.
Kasilof River was still partially frozen along the bank. Saw maybe 20 fishermen and no fish over about 3 hours of fishing. Decided that
Homer was a lot more fun and went back for more on Sunday. This fishery will be another week or two as well.
May 11 and 12, 1996 Homer Spit, Deep Creek Marine, Mouth of the Kenai River and Kasilof River
Fishing at the Homer Spit was good. No salmon or Dolly Varden, but the Cod and Pollock up to 20 pounds kept us pretty busy all day
long. We must have caught and released over 200 fish between Kurt-san and I. Certainly not as glamourous as salmon, but the hits
were hard and we got in plenty of casting practice. I hate to admit it since I am a hardcore salmon fishermen, but I had a great time
catching cod! Too bad we couldn't hit a salmon. There were reports that the salmon were moving into the area, but we didn't see any.
We did see a few dollies caught though. We were using cut herring as well as a variety of hardware imitating the sandlances, salmon
smolt, and herring.
The Deep Creek Marine fishery was beginning to pick up. Out of the 30 boats we could see, we saw only two hook ups, but at least
the Kings are starting to show. We mainly fished halibut, but foggy conditions kept us close to shore. We did manage several small
halibut. Action was slow but we did hear a few gun shots...a good indication that large halibut was being brought into a boat. This
fishery should improve as well. Reports are that this fishery should be peaking in the next week or so
A relative unknown fishery in Kenai is the decent Halibut fishing that is available right off the mouth of the Kenai River. We fish in two
places, first is about 3 miles out of the mouth of the river is a buoy. We have caught several nice halibut right off this buoy in the past.
We did hit a small halibut close to shore near the area of the bluffs that is close to the Wildwood correctional facilities. In about 30 feet
of water, 100 yards or so off shore, we routinely catch halibut up to 50 pounds in this area. The action is never hot, but since it is such
a close distance to Kenai with almost no traffic, it is a nice easy fishery. It seems like we always catch something. Last year I caught a
skate that must of topped 50 pounds and the biggest halibut was about 45 pounds. This fishery lasts as long as smelt, herring and
salmon are in the area.
The Kasilof River remains low and slow! Over the past several weeks I have fished there for a total of maybe 4 hours and I have yet to
see a fish. They tell me they have been hitting so maybe I'm just not there at the right time! Last year my first King hooked was May
13, and the first landed was May 20. Get that King gear ready! This fishery will only get better!
May 18 and 19, 1996 Homer Spit, and Kasilof River
Talk about a slow weekend! Starting seeing fish caught at both the lagoon and the Kasilof River but nothing hot. At the Kasilof I saw
maybe 100 people fishing and 5 fish! All of the people I talk to say that the runs are late. The best indication is probably the slow
fishing in the Deep Creek Marine Fishery. We'll have to keep waiting!
May 25, 26, 27, 1996 Homer Spit, Deep Creek Marine, and Kasilof River
I am not having the best luck this year at all! I hope the run is late because this will be the first year in many that I will not have caught
a king during May! Oh well.. Although I haven't had much success, I did have a good time halibut fishing. Kurt-san landed a 100 pound
halibut and Lynelle landed a 35 pounder! Take a look! Caught them about 4 miles offshore directly west of Deep Creek. Caught all of
the fish on circle hook rigs, plastic hoochie, and herring combo. Until the Kings show, I'm hoping the weather will allow me to keep
fishing the Deep Creek Marine fishery.

More Kings showing up in the Rivers although I didn't catch one in the Kasilof. The water level was still low on both the Kenai and
Kasilof Rivers. Hopefully next weekend.....
June 2 Kasilof River
Finally landed my first king of the year. Too bad it was a tiny 15 pounder. I released it to save the tags. Definitely more fish in the river.
Fishing from 2am to 6 am, I rolled at least four fish before I finally landed the one. I was using a chartreuse yarn fly, with roe. Lot of
people seemed to be having a difficult time hooking them after the strike. I saw over a dozen fish hooked but only 2 landed other than
mine. I was using a 3/0 gamakatsu but my light weight rod doesn't have as much backbone to set the hook so I may step down to a
1/0. I think the smaller hooks penetrate much easier than the larger hooks.
June 8 and 9Kasilof River
The kings are definitely moving into the rivers. The fishing was excellent on Saturday. Landed two kings and hooked up with 4 or 5
more in about 4 hours of fishing. Fish were jumping everywhere! Here's one of the fish we landed on Saturday.
Of course with the good days come the bad days. Sunday was dead quiet! Couldn't believe the difference! My dad managed to catch
an release a steelhead ( a bit late in the season) and a bunch of Dolly Varden trout but no Kings on Sunday! Well I suppose it can only
get better!
June 15 and 16 Kasilof River (plus report on the rivers north of Anchorage)
I fished the Kasilof a bit differently this weekend. Instead of "flipping" a yarn fly, we used a large spin-n-glo with the wings cut off. We
reversed it to make it less resistant to the water flow and then placed about 6 inches in front of the hook that was baited with roe. We
used a toothpick to hold the spin-n-glo in place. Then we lobbed the rig out only 20 feet or so from shore with a 2 ounce bank sinker
rigged on a slider. The idea was to allow the Kings to take the bait without feeling the hard spin-n-glo or corky body so they would hold
the bait longer. The wingless spin-glo was used to float the bait a couple inches off the bottom.
Here's one of the fish we landed on Saturday.
Here's one of the fish we landed on Sunday.
Kurt-san headed up North of Anchorage to try his luck. He found the creeks pretty low and said that Montana Creek and Sheep Creek
were pretty dead. He mentioned how the Susitna River had changed dramatically since last year due to the lack of water flow. He did
manage to land a 30 pounder out of Willow Creek.
June 22 and 23 Kasilof River
We tried our luck out of Deep Creek for Halibut but big waves forced off the water after only 20 minutes of fishing! Bummer!
The Kasilof River was pretty slow given the time of year. I managed to land 3 kings and a few reds during the two days. I went with
some friends and one managed to land a red and that was all.
Here's a red we landed. There are definitely a few fish in the river but it
seems really hard to get them to hit. I spoke with my father today and he mentioned that he had heard that a lot of fish were caught on
Tuesday at the Kasilof. It may be that with the low water conditions the salmon are waiting for the water level to rise a bit before they
streaked up the river. If that's the case, as the water rises, it will be some fast and furious action for a short while. I hope it lasts till the
June 29 and 30 Kasilof River
A super slow weekend. I don't understand what's up with the lack of fish in the Kasilof. I should probably say that lack of me catching
them! There always seems to be a few fish in the river, but it sure is hard work hooking them. Between four people we had two hook
ups and landed one fish. Of course the one Mrs. K. lost was at least 35 maybe 40 plus. Oh well...I haven't figured out if its me or the
conditions. I'll keep trying.
July 4, Sheep and Montana Creek
At midnight I was siting at Sheep Creek but the action was slow. Saw two fish with one weighed on shore at 66 pounds. Pulled stakes
and moved to Montana Creek. Fishing was better but it was more crowded. As the day got lighter you could see pods of 5 to 30 fish
moving by every few minutes. I managed to get at least 8 fish landing half. Although most of the fish were y darkly colored, I was
surprised at how many semi-bright fish were in the river.
July 6 and 7, Montana Creek
Somehow I ended up at Montana Creek instead of down in Kenai. Went camping at Montana Creek, encouraged by the results on the
fourth of July. As always, the fishing was not as good as you remembered, but we had a great time. I landed five fish over the
weekend hooking twice as many. My buddy Doug hooked up to a four or five nice fish but managed to land only one. Sometimes these
kings just refuse to be landed no matter how hard you try. There were plenty of fish as you could see the milling in the clear creek. We
caught most of our fish on small red or green corkies and/or spin-n-glo's with some yarn.
July 11 Fish Creek
Got an e-mail from Brian Fay who reported that dipnetting at Fish Creek was rather slow. It was the second day of the opening and he
saw 8 fish landed in the first 5 mintues of the opening but not much else after that. Maybe soon! If anyone else has fishing info about
southcentral Alaska, I'd b happy to try and include it in my logs!
July 13 and 14 Kasilof River
My bad luck continues with fishing. Friday and Saturday some friends and I spent some long hours flailing on the Kasilof for second
run King and reds. The sonar counts for Friday and Saturday was low (found out Monday) and we didn't catch a thing. Of course, we
opted to trout fish on a lake to enjoy the good weather on Sunday. Then it happened! The Kenai and Kasilof received a flood of Reds
and Kings. the sonar count on Saturday for Kenai and Kasilof was about 2000 fish per day, on Sunday the figure had jumped to more
than 25000 per River ! AUGHHHHHHHH! I can't believe I wasn't fishing on the Kenai or Kasilof when the run hit! It just goes to show
that when you are salmon fishing you must have patience. We didn't catch anything but a few dollies and rainbows. We had a good
time but missing the big day really bummed me out. We'll have to keep checking the sonar counts. By the way, if you are interested the
number for the sonar counts on the Kenai and Kasilof river is (907) 262 9097. It's a recording and its really the best indicator of reds
and king fishing on the Kenai and Kasilof..
July 19 & 20 Kenai River
Took off early on Friday and fished the Kenai on both Firday and Saturday as promised. Although 2000 to 3000 kings are making their
way upstream per day according to the sonar counts, the fish just are not hitting. BUT we got lucky!!!
Friday I got skunked with my grandmother on a short 3 hour trip. We saw a lot of boats and maybe 5 fish. On Saturday, the morning
shift, I took kurt out and we saw maybe 10 fish out of a couple hundred people. Unfortunately none were on our line.
In the afternoon, I picked up Martin and Doug and seeing how slow the King fishing was, we decided to dipnet reds to fill the freezers
first, then we'll play with the Kings. We only had two nets but it didn't matter. In the first 20 minutes we had 30 nice bright sockeyes
flopping inside the boat. The next hour and a half prodiced only 8 fish. With 38 reds, we felt like that was plenty for smoking and
canning for the time being so we headed up river to fish near Eagle Rock.
Boy it was slow and it didn't look good. Nobody was hooking up! But then Doug hooked a small 15 pounder that got off the line while
we contemplated what to do with it. No matter, too small to keep anyways! Next drift, Martin's pole dips down into the water and
FISH ON!! After about 20 minutes we got it into the boat. A nice 55 pound buck. First decent size king off of my boat this year. Two
fish on that days was pretty dang good. The fact that we landed the big one was amazing!
The water was still a bit murky. We used several spin and glos stack on top of two 6/0 gamakatsu octopus style hooks. I think Martin
was using a clown pattern (Chart. w/ red dots), on 50 pound Maxima leader. His equipment was a Daiwa Millionaire Baitcaster with 40
pound Berkley Big game and a 8'6" medium/heavy Uglystick
Here's a series of pictures from video of the catch!
The Days Catch! I know a few people are looking at all of the Red Salmon and thinking what about catch and release? You have to
keep in mind that the red runs are in the millions of fish in Cook Inlet, and the State of Alaska sees fit to allow local residents a chance
to stock their freezer for the year. I perfer the "selective harvest theory" over the pure catch and release. These salmon taste way to
good to throw all of them back!
July 25 through 31 Kenai Peninsula streams
Well took a week off to do some fishing! Unfortunately the fishing ,was pretty poor for Kings, my main target. I could only manage a
pair of fish well under 25 pounds. TINY for the Kenai River. My 80 year old grandmother latched on to a 55 pounder and after a 20
minute struggle, we managed to net her first 50 pound King! Its not for a lack of effort, she's been fishing for years but could never
land a fish bigger than 50 pounds! She hooked a big fish the next day, but it got off after a very brief struggle. She definitely had the
hot hands! She used a clown pattern spin-n-glo on 6/0 gamakatsu tied on 50 pound Maxima leader. She used a 6 foot uglystick with an
ambassador 7000 reel loaded with 30 pund Berkley Big game.
When we were fishing we got lucky, I saw very few other boats hooked up. the lower Kenai River has been pretty pathetic. I have to
give credit to the guides, some of the guides appeared to have fish in the boat, but very few fish for the time of year. My worries were
confirmed by the sonar counts. While approximately 2500 to 3000 Kings have ben passing the counter, lately that number has fallen
below 1000. They extended the season o August 4th. Maybe the run will arrive. Fish and Game had predicted a run in excess of 90,000
fish. So far the counter has recorded something on the order of 50,000. There should be a few more fish arriving before the season
The good news of the vacation is that the SILVERS are IN!!! Had a great day on Monday landing over 20 silvers in 3 hour stretch. The
action slowed on Tuesday and Wednesday but the run has started. I tend to concentrate on the smaller clear water streams but the
Kenai after this weekend should be good as well. The silvers were being caught on all sorts of harderware. Flor. red and orange
appeared to be the color of choice where I was at. I used a bobber and roe rig. A thill float with 12 pound trilene xl an a 1/0 gamakatsu
octopus style hook. Worked great. Didn;t have too much problems with fish swallowing the bait.
August 3 Kenai River
Well the silvers are in the Kenai. Didn't have a very productive day but we managed a single silver on the Kenai. There were boats
around us landing a few fish but it was hard to tell if they were silvers. The pinks are also into the Kenai. The pinks were still very
fresh and in fact we had one in the boat and subdued before we realized it was a pink and not a silver . Big, bright and feisty. If you are
ever going to try pinks for the table, now is the time to get them while they are bright... they aren't so bad.

Well the King season came and went without a Kenai king. What a pathetic year this was for me for Kings. I bet I landed no more than
25 Kings. I usually average 75 to 100 Kings per year. I'm not sure if I was unlucky, or the strange seasonal weather created harder
fishing. I hope the silver fishing is better.
August 10 Montana Creek and Sheep Creek
Spent all day fishing in the rain. Doug, Kurt and I went down to Montana Creek first. Second cast, had a silver on and landed. Not big,
but still bright. Using a float and 1/0 gamakatsu with roe at the mouth of Montana Creek. The second one didn't come for another 3
hours! People around us were landing a lot of pinks with a few silvers mixed in. Nothing awesome, but the actions was consistent. The
fishing was definitely the best in the early morning hours. For better or worse, I was the only that got anything at Montana.
Feeling pretty lucky, we moved onto Sheep Creek. I couldn't hook anything, but Doug had maybe 6 fish on in about a 20 minute span.
Most were pinks but he did manage to land a nice silver. His hot lure was a gold plated 7/8 oz pixie with a red insert. the action was
pretty slow but people were hitting silvers fairly consistently. Once again the pinks kept things interesting until the silvers showed up.
August 17 and 18 Kenai River and another river...
Spent Saturday on a small stream on the Kenai Peninsula. I worked way too hard for the couple of silvers I caught. It was pretty
frustrating since we could see a whole lot more than we were catching. I caught mine on a bobber and eggs set up using 1/0
gamakatsu hooks. A buddy of mine caught a couple as well.
On Sunday, I took two shifts. The morning shift, I took out some friends for a bit of silver fishing. About 7:00 am we had at least a
dozen good strikes but only one fish to show it. I couldn't believe it! Well I guess you have to have your bad days to have your good
days...its just happening way too often this year!
The afternoon wasn't much better. I took out a few folks that I actually met through the Internet. I felt bad because here I was, taking
them out on the world famous Kenai River, and I couldn't get a silver to hit to save my life! I guess that's why they call it fishing and
not catching. Well I finally gave up and tried for the pink salmon. Thank God for Pinks! They are always willing to hit, and at 5 to 6
pounds on average, they fight a whole lot better than any bass or sunfish! The lure we used was the old stand by red insert Pixie spoon
in 7/8 oz size. I hope they weren't too disappointed. At least the weather was just awesome!
August 24 and 27 Sheep Creek and Delong Lake
Too dang tired to go anywhere! Actually I had a bit of the flu and some work so I didn't fish much. I did stop by Sheep Creek and
caught and released a few pinks...nothing exciting. Not much action that I could see.
On Tuesday I spent a half hour fishing one of the stocked ponds in the middle of Anchorage, Delong Lake. I felt kind of silly fishing in
the middle of Anchorage for 8 inch fish, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. I had to quit due to darkness. Using single eggs, there
were constant hits from the dinky fish with two monster fish pushing 10 inches, yes, ten inches!! They were bright fat rainbows.
Since they are stocked I didn't feel guilty about keeping them. Looked perfect for the frying pan. If you are all "salmoned" out , try
spending a bit of time during the nice weather to catch a few of the stockers. On 2 lbs line and an ultralight was actually fun!
August 31 to Sept. 2 Stream #2 and the Kenai River Flats (Duck Hunting)
Saturday I went to one of my favorite small streams for silvers. Using the stand by float and roe rig, I managed to limit out (3 fish) in
an hour. I also caught several small "jack" silvers that were about 12 inches long. On Sunday we gave it another try. It was pretty
slow fishing all day. In fact, we didn't hook anything until the last hour we were fishing. Then everybody had one on for about a
period of 15 minutes. I landed 1 of 2 fish I hooked. Obviously a school of fish were passing through and they left as soon as they
came. the fishing is definitely slowing down. Hope the second run of silvers show in the Kenai.
Sunday was the duck opener in southcentral Alaska. Lots of ducks and lots of people. I have seen pellets falling into the ponds next to
me in the past, but these pellets were traveling much more horizontal than vertically down if you know what I mean. Even though there
were a lot of ducks, I left after one hour of shooting. I love to hunt, but I prefer not to be hit by pellets either, my eyesight is bad
enough without losing an eye! I did manage to bag two nice green wing teal. Monday was better people wise but the weather was
terrible if you are a duck hunter. Blue skies, no breeze, and hot! The ducks were about but the were on the move flying pretty high in
the air. Most of them didn't even take a look at the decoys. I was shooting a Remington 870, 12 gauge 3inch magnums with Federal
Shells loaded with 3 shot.
September 21, Swanson River , Sterling Alaska
Went fishing for rainbows on the swanson river and a few tributaries in the sterling area. With all of the salmon heading up river and
spawning, the rainbows were on a feeding binge. We didn't land any huge fish, but all of the fish were respectable. I would say the fish
averaged 12 inches. They were nice and fat as they were preparing for the winter. On 2 and 4 pound test, they put up a good fight,
jumping out of the water on a number of occasions. My grandmother also landed a huge silver that could have gone 15 pounds on the
ultralight gear. She always seems to catch the big one (like the 50 pound plus King this year) Of course the salmon was really dark so
we let it go. Still it was a pretty amazing fight with my grandmother finally winning in about 15 minutes.
Although we were also looking for grouse, we didn't see any near the road. We did manage to collect a few oyster mushrooms from
the area. It actually snowed/slushed for a period in the evening.
November 2 &3. Tok, Alaska near the Canadian Border
Well, I drove 7 hours with one of my friends all the way to the Canadian Border. Our find a Caribou. Well since it was our
first real trip to the area, most of the time was spent scouting and looking. There was enough snow to pull out the snowmobiles. We
scouted near paradise trail north of the Alaska Highway. We saw a few tracks but nothing to write home about. We did meet up with a
local fellow who said he had seen several thousands caribou pushed up on the south side of the highway against the Black Hills. After a
quick check of the map, we decided that it was too far too risky with the water we had to cross tomake an attempt.
Although we came home empty, we were pretty happy with the trip since we got to ride the snowmobiles and the counrty was
beautiful! The local fella also said that the Caribou were just getting into full rut and the meat would almost certainly have to be sausage
fodder. Still, we'll have to plan a good trip next year.
November 10 Sucker Lake
Finally got out to our usual ice fishing area via snowmobiles. Martin, Doug, and I hauled 3 snowmobiles with trailers out to Sucker
Lake. We set up camp on Saturday and we fished for several hours on Sunday. Not really as hot as we have seen before, but we had
constant action for the morning we fished. We probably landed over 20 fish between the three of us, releasing all but a couple for the
table. The largest fish came in at around 12 pounds. Here's a picture. Not huge for the lake, but good sized fish that put up a great fight.
One noticeable thing was that the jigged lines outfished non-jigged lines at a rate of at least 5 to one. Often we would get lazy and stare
at our tip ups for 15 to 20 minutes with no hits. One of us would go to check the bait and jiggle th line and a pike would be on almost
immediatly. Once we hooked a fish, we got more hits as we were lowering the bait back down then when the baits were motionless
under the tip up.
We used a combination of herring sizes and sardines. No real preference and pattern emerged from the baits. The two largest fish over
10 pounds, one took a half of our smallest bait, and the other took the largest herring we had. The most popular bait for convenience
(not price) were the smaller troll herring.
Ice was about a 2 feet thick although we hit a few thin spots. The good news about this trip is its almost a month earlier than we
normally can cross the Big-Su River. It was frozen fairly solid. Snow conditions were excellent although we could always use a few
more feet.
November 29 & 31 Flathorn and Sucker Lake
Friday made a quick trip to Flathorn lake with some poepl at the office. The riding was fun, but the fishing was slow. We saw maybe
20 people total and only 5 fish over 2 hours. We didn't catch anything! BUMMER. Oh well. On Saturday, Martin and I went camping
out to Sucker Lake. The fishing was slower than we are used to but in a couple of hours we managed to land a dozen fish. Not very
big fish though.
Here's martin with a fish.
It was pretty cold at 10 below so I wonder if the fish were turned off. I would think this early in the season, the fish would be more
active. Hmmm. This time I think part of slowness came from the fact that we ran out of the 4 inch baits and switched to massive
herring. We cut the bait in half sometimes but they didn't seem to be producing as many fish. We cut holes in a wide area but we
couldn't determine any sort of pattern. For quantity, I think the smaller whole baits are the best producers. I still think the bigger baits
are better for the bigger fish although I don't really have any proof of that. I know the hammer handle pikes leave the big bait alone
Sucker Lake Dec 27 & 28
Went out with Martin-san to try and land a few pike. It was cold at 20 below F. We had some nice clear weather and fishing on
Saturday was pretty good. Between the two of us, we landed well over 20 pike keeping a few for some friends. Sunday was slower
but with bigger fish. We released all but the ones that wouldn't make it if released. In about half a day, we landed maybe 10 fish with
the biggest pulling the scale down at around 12 pounds.
Here's martin pulling up a good fish.
There was a clear differencve in the size of the bait we used. With 4.5 inch herring, we caught a lot more fish but a lot were
small..maybe 3 pounds. The 6 inch and bigger herring seemed to get fewer fish but they were larger. There were two planes that
landed near us and they were pulling out fish on a regular basis but they were small fish. We still haven't hit the 20 pounder like last
year but the fish seem to be in the area. Considereing how one small cove gets pounded on the most at sucker, it's still the most
reliable spot. If you are going for quantity, use smaller baits, if you don't want to freeze your hands off taking off small pike and
rebaiting a bunch of times, then use the larger herring. This weekend unlike the others, the tip ups did almost as well as when we
jigged the lines. Most of the big ones though came on the jigged lines.
Where to go
If you have a snowmachine or airplane, I would suggest Alexander or Sucker Lake. State fish and game tagged and released a 40 plus
pound state record from Alexander lake. For a quick trip for pike, Flathorn may be an option although I can't ever say the fishing there
has been hot. I always see fish but they are smaller and fewer than the more remote lakes. Flathorn is tough to fish because it is more
murky and there is more ice than water. Rarely will you find more than a foot or two of water under the ice. In a few places we
actually had under 1 foot of water under the ice.

Good luck & good fishing!
For simple easy fishing, any of the local lakes can be fun in town. Just use really light gear and you'll have a great time. The stocked
king salmon and ranbow trout in local lakes make great table fare. Its also an awesome place to take the family.

Back to my home page!
Although the fishing is getting better, the action was not as good as I have come to expect from the Kasilof. Saturday was a good day.
I managed to land 5 Kings and my father landed 3. We kept one hen of about 25 pounds. Sunday was brutally slow, I fished about 6
hours to catch 3 kings, dad got skunked (pretty rare). 11 kings between two folks over the weekend may sound good, but in the past,
it was not uncommon for one person to land 10 kings a day! I'm not sure if the lower water levels and the increased turbidity of the
water is affecting the fishing or what. I have noticed that the fish this year are much smaller and the ones we are catching seem to
already have a pink tint to them. very few bright fish seem to be coming out of the Kasilof. Maybe they are holding downriver and
waiting for the water to rise before they move up. You can often see a lot of fish breaking the surface, but they don't seem to be hitting.
After one month of inactivity from the outdoor scene, I finally got too antsy waiting for lakes and rivers to freeze. We almost have
enough snow to snowmachine withour major damaged to the snowmobiles. Things are looking up!