Ocean and Bottom Fishing

Netting a salmon

My favorite fishing in Alaska is ocean fishing. To me, it provides the most variety and the most options to have a great trip.

Salmon are caught while trolling. Trolling is when the boat is kept moving at an idle speed and the lines are trailed out the back of the boat. Herring or artificial lures are commonly used as bait.

When the salmon are found on the fish finder or by catching one, the spot is marked and then the boat is repeatedly driven through the location perhaps making a loop of ¼ to ½ mile before circling around and returning through the school of fish.

Halibut and rockfish are caught by locating a hump on the ocean floor using the sonar or a pre-known location and a gps unit. You are looking for a spot where the ocean floor rises above the surrounding area by 50 to 150 feet, a hill or peak under water. These hills or peaks are called humps and are where you will commonly find the halibut waiting for you.

Once the hump is located, the anchor is dropped and down goes the lines. Halibut will play with or ‘mouth’ the bait for a few minutes before deciding to swallow. At this point, get ready for a workout.

Rockfish and other bottom fish are commonly caught while fishing for halibut although they don’t seem to be as particular to the humps.