Trip Planning

This is a great example of a fishery that I have never done in March off a powerboat let alone a kayak.  So this is a great example of how I plan my trips.

In this example all of the who, what, where, & when questions are answered for you.  So that's the starting point.

So basically its feeder king fishery out of Homer.  Ok, have I done that before?  Yes.  After researching the fishery on sites such as Alaska Outdoor Journal, I see that the fishing in March is the same as fishing in October when I have experience with a few minor twists.  

Now this is a derby.  Fishing mentality is I am fishing for one strike, one fish.  That means heavier line, premium everything.

So now I need to make sure I have all the required gear for the fishery.  So for tackle and gear my list would look like:

  1. Bait: This is one thing that my research tells me might be different about my experience in May & October versus March.  In May the favored prey of the Kings appears to be Herring, hooligan, and some sandlance.  In October, I found the kings filled with a smelt like fish.  About red label herring size or smaller.  My understanding is that the fish currently being caught are filled with sandlances.  These fish are small and skinny compared to a herring.  So my two bait choices will be green label herring and the smallest bait I can find, red label or anchovies.  
  2. Flashers: I'll carry three.  Two bechholds and one fish flash.  The bechholds are big, flashy and move lots of water...meaning they are effective but have a lot of drag.  The fish flash in line flashers work fine with less drag but the "attraction" power via sight and vibration seems less.  
  3. Back up spoons & hoochies.
  4. Sinkers: 6 to 10oz in case of downrigger failure.  Maybe one double deep six diver.  
  5. 6/0 and 4/0 gamakatsu hooks:
  6. 30 and 40 pound flourocarbon leader
I guess location is not determined as to where to fish.  It's a one day fishery.  If I was super serious I might consider arranging for a powerboat transportation to the Islands.  But that's going to take some money and cut down on my fishing time.  I am going to choose maximum time on water rather than being transported to another location.  I will be fishing unsupported by the green can.  

So as we get closer to the date, you need to look at the weather.  About 10 days out, you can start to get a feel for the weather.

I look at: 

Here's the tides on that day for Halibut Cove across the Bay.  Looks good.  Being able to fish the incoming and outgoing tides maximizes the chance that baitfish and the salmon will move into the area.

Finally on the day before, you need to check the road conditions.

Here's what you need to catch to be "in the money"!  2012, only half the normal boats fished.  Big fish in the past have been in the $18K range plus all sorts of side bets that can raise the total to more than $30K in the past.  

1st$9,954Emmitt Trimble34.8#SerenityAnchor Point
2nd$6,636Patrick J Marre26.3#Thunder BayWasilla
3rd$5,214Art York25.2#Miss ParkerHomer
4th$3,792Kathy Bird24.6#CasperHomer
5th$2,844Thomas Huff24.2#B.B.Fritz Creek
6th$2,370Ron Anderson23.6#IndependenceAnchorage
7th$1,896Richard A DiCarlo22.9#Nevaeh BayHomer
8th$1,422Tim Dillon22.5#Edna FrancisSeldovia
9th$948Chris Moss22.4#Sand DollarHomer
10th$474Jim Hansen22.3#Daze OffHomer
11MerchandiseDennis Bird22.2#CasperHomer
12MerchandiseIan Sinclair22.0#BonitaNinilchik
13MerchandiseJim St. Peter21.9#Big ButNinilchik
14MerchandiseBill Bixby21.9#Retta KSoldotna
15MerchandiseTom Harmer21.7#Kitchen Pass IIAnchorage
16MerchandiseGary Stonaker21.5#Tillie JaneSoldotna
17MerchandiseSheri Carr21.1#Willo WahHomer
18MerchandiseSteven Myers20.9#Kachemak KingWasilla
19MerchandisePete Robbinson20.7#SkookumAnchorage
20MerchandiseRobert E Hall20.1#EqussKenai

More planning as I go.....stay tuned.