Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report

Posted by: parker

Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/12/10 05:12 PM

For about the past 10 years or so, I've been wanting to head up to S.E. Alaska and fish with Robbo and his operation out of Craig. I vividly remember when photos surfaced of summerruns father's 70+ king and I was hooked. I *had* to get up there someday. It was really only a matter of time. On the other hand, I've been fishing with Bob on the Kasilof since 2000 and that's a hard operation to leave. It just so happened that I'm not scheduled to fish The Ditch with Bob until 2011 so that left this summer open. As fate would have it, I got the call from Robbo asking me if I'd like to come up for some pre-client exploratory fishing in Craig. You already know what I said.

This is a trip report of what one can expect if they book a 3 or 4 day fishing package with Rob Endsley's Prince of Wales Sportfishing. Stories might be a big embellished, as my traveling companion was CanyonMan, Bucket, and Stam. That story alone is probably worthy of a separate post, but not today.

CanyonMan stopped by my house at 4:35 for the scheduled 5:00 am pick up to the airport. Why 4:35? Well, all I can say is that he showed up having not gone to sleep yet and had a grin on his face that, you get the idea. We meet Bucket and Maris at the gate and the four of us promptly get upgrades to 1st class for the flight up. We are all 3-4 doubles in the bag by the time we land in Ketchikan. A quick walk down the hall and we're all set to fly out on the Pacific Airways flight to Craig. The plane ride was entertaining, but a bit loud (bring ear plugs) and a bit wobbly, but we made it to Craig only to see The Gringo Grande waiting for us at the dock with his new stretch-limo van. Robbo has this operation down to a science and you don't not feel used and abused by travel when you get to Craig. A quick 3-minute van ride and we're checked in to a couple of rooms at Ruth Ann's.

Not a bad view from the Honeymoon Suite:

The dock leading out to Man Town is just across the street from the hotel. Man Town was to be our home away from home for the next few days. The only time we were at the hotel was to sleep.

Robbo had just put the Polar Bear in to the water, so there was some work to be done in Man Town. First order of business was to rig up the rods, reels, and pipe jigs for the season's clients.

Man Town might not win any interior decorating awards, but Man Town was freakin' cool with it being upgraded every day. Bucket wasn't happy unless he had 6-8 projects going on at once, and he quickly took over Man Town and went to work.

While Bucket was busy pulling new circuits, making new fish signs, tables, and working on the Polar Bear, the rest of us went over to Tim's garage and started putting together the 400+ Prince of Wales Sportfishing fish boxes. The paper cuts were brutal.

The day wasn't going to be entirely wasted on work, as we had to pick up some beer and head out to Brother Bill, AKgirl, and Uncle Dave's remote mansion for a BBQ. These are the same people that hang out with BigStick over on that "other" board. I didn't meet a single person at the BBQ that wasn't cool as all hell. Unfortunately, BigStick was not at the event, so I can't say that I've met him in person. In the meantime, Maris and CanyonMan work the MonsterGrill and cook up some killer ka-bobs and ribs.

Damn good food and beer. The entertainment of the evening was when the 13 year old stold AKGals car and crashed it in a ditch. A BIG thanks to Katie and Dave for the evening! Sure hop you get hurt really bad in Africa, Dave!

Well, that wrapped out our first day in Las Craigas. We were to have breakfast at the Cafe and be on the boat by 6:00 am for a run to the Chicken Hole to see what was in the water.

Good thing we left the BBQ somewhat early, as we were a man down as soon as we left. Casanova had a long day.

The 5:00 am alarm came way too quickly, but after a good breakfast, we were on the Polar Bear zooming our way towards the Chicken Hole and the first drops of the season.

Robbo decked out the Polar Bear in new state-of-the-art hidef Lowarance electronics and was right at home in his "office".

Maris has done this before and it didn't take him too long to find his favorite seat on the boat.

Mooching! Mooching! and more Mooching!

Once at the Chicken Hole, rods were grabbed, herring were slapped on the hooks, and away our baits went to the bottom. Didn't take too long before I hooked up on one of the many mid-20's slab of the day. These fish bit like champions and fought like hell. Robbo uses top of the line new 8'6" Salmon Mooching Lamiglass rods and line counting Shimano reels that result in a fun time with a king salmon!

Maris was not to be denied as well.

I was on a roll. Another slab for me as Maris silently flips me off behind my back.

Don't ever count out CanyonMan. The guy is a salmon-catching machine!

Maris with a smile on his face!

It wasn't even noon yet and it was time for us to head to deep water for some halibut and bottom fish. Not a bad haul for this crew.

We left the Chicken Hole in search of other fishing grounds to see what was there and what wasn't there. On the way, we passed some of Maris's buddies.

At this point, we started fishing for halibut and other bottom fish. Plenty of paddle and chicken halibut were caught, but nothing worth of a photo or two. Eventually, we'd come across some fish that we really didn't want to harm, but once caught, they were dead.

I'm going straight to hell for killing this awesome yelloweye. frown

The rule of thumb down on the ocean floor is if you can fit it in your mouth, you'd better eat it. Poor little fishy.....

We found a few lings to play with during our time on the water.....

Wildlife was aplenty. I ended up seeing sea otthers, stellar sealions, killer wales, bald eagles, and even Harry the Humpback Whale stopped by to raise a flipper at us.

Back at the dock after a hard day of fishing, CanyonMan poses with some salmon on Bucket's newly crafted Prince of Wales Sportfishing sign and meat hooks. Looks like he needs to turn the hooks 90 degrees to get the fish to show up better.

After a hard day on the water, what else is there to do? Why, throw out some crab pots, of course!

Prince of Wales Deadliest Catch!

Because without crab pots, how else would anyone be able to sit down at Man Town and eat fresh dungeness crab?

End of Part 1.........
Posted by: stlhdr1

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/12/10 06:45 PM

Some real slabs there... Look a lot like them Sitka kings....

Keith thumbs
Posted by: Direct-Drive

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/12/10 06:58 PM

Looks like fun !
Great job on the pics and vids !
Posted by: RowVsWade

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/12/10 08:01 PM

Looks like a great time. Looking forward to this fall up there.
Posted by: sykofish

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/12/10 08:15 PM


Doesnt get any better than that.
Posted by: SmellslikeTuna

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/12/10 09:17 PM

Posted by: TJN

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/12/10 10:02 PM

Looks like you guys had a ball and Robbo is off to a great start!
Now if the weather up there will cooperate... it should be hammertime!!!
Posted by: Dogfish

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/12/10 10:50 PM


I'll be up in Craig the 29th of June through August 1st this year. Glad you guys had some good weather.

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/12/10 11:02 PM

Dude, what a trip. Nice boat Robbo looks like you had a good time Parker. Did you beat up big stick while you were there if not that sucks he is a fag.
Posted by: Robbo

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/12/10 11:49 PM

Good times with you DSMF'ers last week. You guys got outa here just in time...the weather just hit terminal suck-ocity. 22 foot seas tonight and not many places to hide tomorrow. Check out this wave height animation that shows the big seas slamming right into SE Alaska. I love my job beathead
Posted by: Captain Q

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/12/10 11:49 PM

Excellent trip and crew! Thanks for sharing.
Posted by: Moravec

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/13/10 12:02 AM

Nice work boys! That pick of Canyonman taking a snooze is priceless.
Posted by: RognSue

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/13/10 12:16 AM

Parker, Your life sucks!!! NOT!!!!
Thanks for the report...looks like a new yearly trip is in order...
Posted by: Leopardbow

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/13/10 01:30 AM

Wicked photos. Glad you had a fantastic time with Robbo!
Posted by: stam

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/13/10 02:09 AM

Right on Parker Dude!

Nice shots.....a huge thank you to Robbo for the invite up again, the guy is money thumbs And another big thank you to the Craig crew for the BBQ invite as well, hospitality that us DSMF'ers rarely see in the big city will be remembered and returned when the opportunity presents itself. smile

And..... wait, there's more...That was the best early King fishing I have experienced in three or four trips up there and I enjoyed every second of it, yeah ...crabs and lings and ancient yella'eye, chicken'buts and seabass are all cool too, but the mushy munch of a feeding king on a mooched herring with light tackle is what Craig AK is to me, there may be some out there as good at it as Robbo, ( Prince of Wales Sportfishing ) but I doubt you'll find one better, throw in the sights and sounds of the whales, otters, eagles and ocean and it gets addicting, was tough to leave town this morning...literally, wind and rain nearly grounded our flight, but.....we made it out in a bumpy lumpy ride in the beav' to the Ketch' AP, ran into SalmonHawk Tobeck as he traded seats with us on his way into town, his and his partners enthusiasm made me want to turn around and do it all again....hope that the seas anger dies down a bit and they get the chance to have the kind of trip we did....Good Luck boys, I think you might need it.. eek
Posted by: Neal M

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/13/10 10:10 AM

Wow! Looks like you guys had an epic trip. Too bad about the weather.... dang!
Definately on my list of things to do.
Posted by: SBD

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/13/10 12:16 PM

Sure nice to see there's still places where there's more fish and open space than people, fantastic shots!
Posted by: Mingo

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/13/10 12:37 PM

Cool report, great shots, nice chit boyz!
Posted by: Driftin'

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/13/10 01:40 PM

Sounds like Robbo got some work out of your worthless selves, and you done good in representing the DSMF crowd to your northern hosts as well....

Great post Parker!
Posted by: Twitch

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/13/10 01:59 PM

I hate you.... all.

Note to self, if title contains anything other than "lame a$$ Oregon Salmon" don't even open it.

Posted by: schoenweiss

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/13/10 04:00 PM



Posted by: cobble cruiser

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/13/10 05:32 PM

So that's what heaven looks like!!! Good times.
Posted by: Eric

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/13/10 06:23 PM

Before I die, I'm going to do a trip or 3 to SE Alaska......your report confirms the need to do so. I'm as jazzed by the scenery as much as the fishing. All those pristine, tree-covered inlets and islands, flat water (compared to the ocean anyways) ; it would be crime not to experience it.
Posted by: Streamer

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/13/10 07:08 PM

Simply awesome...
Posted by: Sky-Guy

Re: Prince of Wales Sportfishing - Epic Report - 06/19/10 01:39 PM

Way to put those crackers on some fish jimmy !
Thanks for sharing the pics and stories, looks like a killer place up there....