anchor point lodge, shelter island, alaska - june 2018
some friends from fresno put together a trip to juneau to fish for black cod. *it's popular among hawaiians, in part because the families that own the two more popular lodges on shelter island are from hawaii. *well, one of the guys couldn't make it, so i got to sneak in. *the short version of this report is pretty slow fishing, a great lodge, great food, great skippers and a bunch of wonderful guys to fish with. *
tuesday, june 12, 2018
i've never gotten over the novelty of flying. *this time everything went perfectly. *no shredded reel bags because i had only carry on for the trip up to the lodge. *
from the juneau airport, it's a short van ride to auke bay. *from here, we'll hop on our fishing boats for a 20 minute ride to shelter island.
ken fukada is our boat taxi driver today and our skipper for tomorrow. *
this is what the water looked like running from auke bay to shelter island.
once on the boat, we switched over to barge and put on rubber boots because it was low tide. *we would be sloshing through a little mud to get up to dry land. *
from the landing zone, it's a short walk to our cabins.
the rooms are simple, but very clean. *
here's the view from the deck of the lodge. *we will be fishing for dolly varden about 100-200 yards to the left.
there is definitely an advantage to a fishing trip where you're not on a boat for 24 hours.
here's toni with a rundown on tonight's dinner!
that evening we went out on the beach to fish for dolly varden. *one of the locals is an eagle named talon. *
wednesday, june 13th, 2018
here's our catch for the day! *we fished with ken today. *the blackcod are anywhere from 1000 to 2000 feet deep. *yes, that is thousands. *we had electric reels, 130 pound braid, big circle hooks and 4 pound weights. *keeping the line straight up and down was a reel challenge, but these guys are pretty good at boat handling.
it won't stay this way during the rest of the week, but we enjoyed the nice weather while we had it!
tony caught what looked like a dragon!
we started out at 400 meters.
then it was out to 500 meters!
dinner was spectacular!
here's rachel with tonight's dinner!
thursday - june 14th, 2018
morgan was our skipper today. *he's the new guy, but he still put us on fish!
on the way out, morgan gave us a rundown on what to expect.
and tony caught another one of these rock cods.
another fantastic dinner!
friday - june 15th, 2018
here's wayne, our skipper for the day.
the king salmon season actually opened up today, so we all decided to take a crack at them. *tony got a chum salmon, then ernie stuck our first king.
randy got our second king! *and i got the third. *
when we get back to the lodge, the fishing boats all tie off the buoys. *a barge meets us and takes us from the boats to the landing zone. *they spend ALOT of time clearing out the rocks so that it would be safe to run the barge in. *
here's what the cleaning station looks like. *they clean and vacuum pack the catch each day. *
we actually did the best out of the four boats, with three kings and a chum.
had a little time before dinner, so i went out on the beach to fish for dolly varden again. *talon and i have gotten to be great buddies!
friday night's dinner!
when i was fishing for dollies after dinner, i heard what sounded like a sonic boom coming in over the water, then saw a big splash, so i got out my cell phone and took a little video. *watch as he pops back up one more time!
saturday, june 16th, 2018
got up early to see about trying to stick a few dollies for bait. *you can use the carcass, but not the whole fish. *it's just something about local fishing regulations. *the girls were all up early preparing our lunches for the day. *every day we've gotten japanese style bento lunches, coffee, hot water for tea and cookies or other sweet snacks. *it's really easy to gain weight here.
got 45 minutes before breakfast, so i'm going to try to stick a few fish. *
it's loco moco for breakfast!
we were out to 800 meters on one drop.
one thing that was fun was a pod of killer whales. *
we finished out our limit of black cod (8 fish for the year) and got three more halibut. *with the halibut caught on the first day, we each got one. *overall, very slow fishing. *
yup, randy stuck a fish with that nasty looking plastic bait!
it's a few minutes extra, but here's a walking tour of the grounds between the cabin and the lodge.
looks like the low man on the totem pole got bbq duty!
sunday, june 17th, 2018
last day, headed for home! *the staff all got up early to divvy up the fish. *everything is beautifully vacuumed packed and frozen.
one last group photo!
darryl got to shuttle us back from the lodge to auke bay.
guess who met me at the dock at auke bay? *it's bill brown, taku reel repair, juneau alaska!!!!!!
got a window seat on the way back! *you can see the glaciers! *very cool!
dean and nora maruyama run anchor point lodge. *everything is very well thought out and very well planned, down to the smallest detail. *it was cold for sure on the last day, but boots and foul weather gear are provided so you really don't run the risk of getting that wet. *heated cabins on the boats help as well. *i retreated to the cabin multiple times when it was not my turn. * the blackcod (aka sable fish or butter fish) are just amazing. *we pan seared some an it was fabulous, as was the halibut and the salmon. *i ended up with a little more than one box (50 pounds) worth, so one of the other guys took the extra and dropped it off at mom and dad's place. *
i actually had the most fun fishing for the dolly varden. *they're really feisty. *i landed a dozen, fed half of those to talon, hooked and lost two dozen. *randy's power minnow's were the ticket! i bought a bunch at my local shop and mailed them to the lodge last week, along with a bearing packer set and a wrench.
it was really too bad that the fishing was so slow. *we had hoped to limit out on black cod quickly, then go for rockfish or halibut, but we struggled the first two days with the black cod and spent most of the fourth day to finish out our limit of 8 black cod each. *there is a slot limit for halibut, anything under 38 inches or over 80 inches, and one per day. *and kings were three per day. *we all ended up with 8 black cod, one halibut and one salmon each. *a couple of the guys got some of those big red rockfish, but not me. *still, i went up for a boat ride, a walk on the beach, beautiful scenery and great food. *i was not disappointed in the least. *it's a fabulous place!
oh, and all three girls, rachael, toni and jules, are single. *dean and nora will entertain marriage proposals. *with wives like them, you will never go hungry!