Things this time of year in Petersburg are just starting to get busy for the upcoming fishing seasons. The sleepy town of Petersburg is starting to awaken and pretty soon the area will be teaming with recreational and commercial sports fisherman alike.
The waters around Petersburg are some of the most abundant fishing grounds anywhere in the world. All 5 of the species of Alaskan salmon are found in our waters, halibut populations are amazing and the rock fish seem to be everywhere.
The first species of salmon that with show up are the Kings. If you are from the lower 48 you might know them as Chinook, Tyee or even blackmouth. These are the largest of the salmon species with fish in the 40-50 pound range are fairly common. They show up in May and hang around through June. You can still catch a few after that (feeder Kings) but they tend to be smaller than average.
Most people don’t realize that King Salmon can have either pink meat or white meat. The white meat kings are considered by some as the most delicious but they are rare to catch. You really can’t tell the difference between a pink meat salmon and a white meat salmon until you start cleaning it.
Trolling for Kings seems to be the most productive way to catch them. Using a downrigger with a flasher with either a hoochie or herring can be very productive. Many first time fishermen are amazed at how close to the boat you can troll and still catch kings. Adjusting your depth, trolling speed, length of line and colors will help you find out what they are biting on.
There is not many “tap taps” when fishing this way. I guarantee you that there will be no doubt that you have a fish on the line. If you are lucky enough to hook a 40lb fish be prepared for a lengthy fight.