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Got the Cutt Whale Pass Fishing Report

Capt. John Kumiski
July 12, 2015
Whale Pass - Saltwater Fishing Report

Got the Cutt Whale Pass Fishing Report

In the fishing story of the week, we got the cutt today, explanation below. Because that was the best fish story of an excellent week, we have the got the cutt whale pass fishing report.

Even though I had a glacier trip this week, lots of fishing happened, double shifts on some days. First, the glacier. Nat Cook and I took six folks to the glacier on Monday. It's kind of a long ride, two hours plus each way, with at least one stop in Petersburg. This week we stopped there twice, once each way.
Once we negotiate through the fiord and the ice and get as close to the face of the glacier as we deem safe, we shut off the boat. While the guests put on more clothes (it's COLD there) and ooh and ahh, we pull out a fruit and cheese tray and uncork a bottle of fine wine. Wine and cheese at one of the most spectacular spots on the planet! How can you top that?
Oh- that's right! The glacier calves! Big honking pieces fall off the glacier's face all the time and go crashing into the water. What a visual and auditory display that is!
When we are done at the glacier the guests frequently get transfered to a float plane and take a flight-seeing tour over the glacier and mountains, then fly back to the lodge.
This week Nat and I stopped again in Petersburg to fuel the Blashke. There were some magnificent boats there. One of them was an old tugboat that had been converted into a dive charter boat. What a vessel! It's a fairly safe bet that they ain't building boats like this one any more. The Blashke is awesome in its own right but it felt like a tin can next to this one.

We caught some big halibut this week. The Federal regulation for halibut in our section of southeast Alaska is that any halibut between 42 and 78 inches must be released alive. Needless to say measuring a fish in that 42 inch range is not an easy task. This week Auguste Hanna fought a 'but up to the boat that was probably too big. Lucas lip-gaffed it and dragged it up onto the swim platform so we could measure it. We took the opportunity to get a photo. The fish was in fact several inches over the 42 inch slot, so somewhat reluctantly we pushed it back into the water and watched it motor back into the depths. The fish was taken in Snow Pass in about 200 feet of water.

In the same area on a different day Cheryl Schoolfield hooked a nice halibut that proceeded to try and kick her butt. I told her there was no shame in passing the rod off to someone else. She ignored that idea. She got the fish to the surface three seperate times before we could tape it. Forty-one and one-half inches! She told me afterwards she would never under any circumstance surrender her fishing rod to a man. Good for you, miss!

Several other personal fishing firsts were recorded this week. Staff members Jonathan and Jessica joined me for some after-dinner fishing out in the bay. Almost immediately Jessica caught her first salmon on a hootchie squid. Then Jonathan got one on a Pixie spoon. I think anyone who comes to Alaska ought at least to catch a salmon as part of their Alaska experience. Kudos to both of them!

Eleven year old Robert Horowitz also got his first Pacific salmon, a silver, also on a hootchie squid. Those hootchies are a hot tip, very effective.

The fish story of the week goes to Robert's grandfather, Dave, 73 years young. Dave told me he had caught brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout, but he had never caught a cutthroat trout. He wanted one badly. So I took him, his son Alex, and his grandson Robert up into Barnes Lake to try to get one.
At first it did not go well. I got the boat stuck. After we freed it Alex caught three respectable cutts in a row. Apparently Alex had a history of being outfished by Dave, and he was slightly less than gracious, in a good-natured way, about the fish count!
There is a rapid at the entrance to the creek into Barnes Lake which is impassible at lower tide phases. The tide was going out and I was worried that we might get stuck if we didn't get out of there. But I wanted Dave to get his fish. Talk about conflict! I stopped at the last spot on the way out to try to get him that fish.
He hooked one and lost it! Oh, the humanity! We have to get out or we'll be trapped here for hours. Please get one.
Boom! He's on! Play it well! Get the net! We netted the fish, the best cutthroat so far this year. They are such lovely creatures, cuttroat trout. I didn't try to get a picture, being concerned about the welfare of the fish, but Alex snapped a couple. Dave got the cutt!
We turned the fish loose, then hopped into the boat and high-tailed it out of there. The rapid was still passable, even easy. A very happy Dave said, "I've been waiting for that fish for 73 years." Great story, happy ending. Kudos to you too, Dave.

And that is the Got the Cutt Whale Pass Fishing Report from Spotted Tail.

Life is great and I love my work!
Life is short- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
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All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2015. All rights are reserved.

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