SILVER SALMON (COHO)
If you could imagine a fish with an attitude it would be an Alaskan Silver Salmon. From its earliest stages in life it is on a never ending journey looking for that next meal. Juveniles are territorial bullies and even eat others of their own kind before heading out to the sea. These bad habits follow Seward, Alaska silver salmon into adulthood and are what makes silver salmon sport fishing legends.
When silver salmon return from the ocean on their migration to their rivers and streams of birth, Alaska silver salmon crank it up a notch and become super aggressive as reproduction now enters the equation. Out of hunger or just for spite they will strike almost anything that moves. Seward, Alaska's silver salmon only behavioral modification is (lucky for us fisherman) that they now like to swim in schools.
Now while congregating in large numbers in the numerous small bays and shallows near Seward, silver salmon wait for perfect conditions before heading up stream to spawn. Silver salmon provide both avid anglers and beginners a fishing experience of a lifetime, with fast, sometimes non-stop action. Fishing for these reel stripping salmonoids begins in earnest around the middle of June. After spending two years in the open ocean, silver salmon first show up at the very southern end of Resurrection Bay. There silver salmon begin a feeding frenzy on massive schools of bait that they corral and force towards the surface. Silver salmon will slowly continue their journey up the bay, swarming around every island in the bay. Feeding at every opportunity, they will strike at a wide variety of bait set ups and lures. If the conditions are optimal they can gain a pound a week.
Although hooking into one is relatively easy landing one does require some skill as silver salmon are very adapt at spitting hooks during their leaping runs for freedom. Fishing for silvers stays hot until the end of August. There is no such thing as a silver salmon that does not battle you for every inch of line on your reel.
We generally use a single hook set up that has a small piece of herring with a squid shaped skirt and drift though schools using a technique called mooching. This style is very is easy to master and lets you feel even the slightest bite. We do have down riggers and occasionally troll using a double hook set up with herring or Vibrexes and Pixies. However mooching is the most productive method until late in the season when down riggers become essential. The strongest bite is almost always early morning followed by a good bite in the afternoon.
The limit for silvers is 6 inside of Resurrection Bay and 3 outside of the bay. The most common fish caught incidentally while fishing for Salmon is the Black Bass and an occasional Halibut. The average weight for silvers is from 6 to 14 pounds. They are very good eating. Silver salmon are truly one of the oceans plentiful delicacies, a lot of people, the captain included find them to be the tastiest of all salmon.
The scenery and wildlife in areas that are prime salmon grounds is beyond description. In fact, if you pause just one minute to take it all in someone else in your party will shatter the silence with a FISH ON! call and has already got a fight on their hands. So “get’em down” before you look around!
The largest fishing derby in the state, The Seward Salmon Derby begins the second Saturday of August and runs through the Third Sunday of August; many people fish the derby every day.
For more information on Silver Salmon.