Fish Report

Whitney Driscoll with a nice 28 pounder caught in Sunrise. Victim of a Grand Slam Bucktail Fly.

Whitney Driscoll with a nice 28 pounder caught in Sunrise. Victim of a Grand Slam Bucktail Fly.

Trokar Octopus hooks are devistating!

Trokar Octopus hooks are devistating!

trokar1Wrangell, Alaska
October 22, 2013

The fishing season has been over here for almost a month now, but as I look out my window, it’s so calm and inviting, I feel stupid for not being out there drowning a herring! But, it doesn’t take me very long to realize that all the paperwork that comes with owning a charter business is still on my desk waiting for me. Bummer…

The King Salmon run this year was somewhat mediocre in size, actually about 29,000 fish under the prediction made by ADF&G in early spring. So, with lowered daily bag limits, tapered annual limits and less than impressive run size, I prepared for the difficulties I could face trying to put my clients on some quality fish, but I was ready for the challenge!

The fish started to show up in spurts in mid May at a couple of my favorite spots. I started out right away with my favorite rig, the 6” magnum Grand Slam Bucktail fly in blue & white glow. Rigged on a 30 inch leader of 50# mono and two 5/0 Trokar Octopus hooks, all that was left to fly this rig was the blue and chrome Hot Spot flasher. Add a smear of Pro-Cure herring oil on the flasher and it’s in the water. This setup was my standard all summer and it produced close to 100 Kings in the boat. I can say without a doubt that a big part of the success my clients had this year came from the Trokar Octopus hooks I started using. I have never seen a hook penetrate both the upper and lower jaw of a big King better than those hooks! Some of the hook ups were so impressive that I had to cut the Trokar’s out of the fish! The pictures speak for themselves. Incredible hook ups, happy clients.

Overall, the Kings continued to get better as we approached June and beyond, but continued to show up in smaller concentrations. But, when you found them, the fishing was really good! Several times I would have the client’s limits in very short order! I was very happy at how the Kings were holding and that I could go back to the same spot the next day and be just as successful as the day before. The Kings averaged 22 to 26 pounds with quite a few pushing 30 pounds. The biggest King of the season was landed at the Bend and weighed in at 39 pounds! Beautiful fish… Trolling at 2.5 knots and downrigger spreads from 25 to 50 feet consistently produced amazing, bright, fight to end Kings!

Have a great week!

December 18, 2012

Well, it’s getting colder and the wind is going to blow harder later this week, so fishing will most likely be out of the question. That’s ok because I still have plenty of fishing gear to go thru. Right now, I am working on this cool cut plug rig I used on Silvers this summer. I am working on yet another version that I think will work great on Kings.

As you can see from my photo, the basic set up consists of a banana weight, chain swivel, Short Bus “pole dancer” flasher, a couple McMahon snaps and a Gamakatsu solid tie mooching rig. I used this set up as a shallow line straight out the back of the boat in a rod holder. I caught quite a few Silvers real shallow with this, which turned out to be a lot of fun for my clients! Another thing that is nice about this set up is that you can hold the rod and feel the strike! With the roll of the herring and the flasher working properly, it’s a great combo.

Another method you can use with this is anchor mooching. We have a spot here at the mouth of the Stikine River where you anchor the boat on the flood and drop and let the current work your gear. We catch a lot of Kings this way and again, you can hold the rod, feel the strike and fight the fish all the way. This set up, cut plug herring and Short Bus flasher work great in the current and continue as the current speeds up. You get the attraction of the flasher while the herring has a roll all its own, but yet they work together.

You can experiment with leader lengths if you like, but the standard mooching rig length works just fine. I recommend even adding a swivel in the middle of the leader just to make sure the leader doesn’t tangle. Don’t be afraid to add another chain bead swivel below the flasher as well. I see a lot of triangle shaped flashers on the market these days and I like the flexibility they give me with rigging for salmon. I have had the best results with the Short Bus flashers in their stock colors combinations however, you can request custom color combinations if you are feeling creative!

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

John Yeager.




November 26, 2012
If you have been following my posts on the Wrangell Alaska Fishing Facebook page, you will see that I have had halibut fishing on my mind. For some reason I am very anxious to get out there and jig for some flatties! I have some new halibut rigs tied up and ready to fish as soon as the season starts. They sure look like they’ll catch! There could be some changes to the sport fish/charter halibut regulations on the horizon for 2013. There is a recommendation that was presented to change the “reverse slot” size to allow anglers to keep halibut 50″ and under, up from the 45″ we fished this year or anything 68″ and over. In addition to this size increase, there is a request to add a “trophy” fish which would be in addition to the daily bag limit. This “trophy” fish could be of any size. I hope to hear sometime in January if this proposal will go thru or not. From what I am hearing, if this does not go thru, we most likely will see the same bag limits we had this year. I’ll keep you posted!

Nothing on the radar regarding King salmon return size or District 8 bag limits. Again, when I start to hear some indications of what we “could” expect, I will get the word out the best I can. Those of you on the hunt for Kings, remember May and June are the target months you will want to be here. The Wrangell King Salmon Derby dates are May 11, 2013 thru June 9, 2013. This is a great time to be here fishing and a chance to win some big cash and cool prizes! There are still some dates available for the Derby so don’t wait too long!

Hope to see you on the “Timber Wolf”!!


Rob “Bull Dog” Snyder with a nice Wrangell halibut.

Carl Williford with a nice Wrangell King.

November 12, 2012
Right now in Wrangell there’s not much in the way of fishing going on. Our weather hasn’t been too favorable for spending the day on the water. There have been a few guys out trolling for winter kings, but I am not sure if they have been successful or not. For me, I am spending a good portion of my time going thru my fishing tackle and gearing up for next year. Going thru hooks, leaders and hoochies is making me very anxious to wet a line. I’m tying up new rigs for next year, putting new line on reels and getting organized in every way possible. My goal as always is to have several rigs all tied up and ready to go at the drop,of a hat, razor sharp hooks that bury themselves in the jaw of any salmon and rods and reels so good that my clients won’t want to put them down. I think I am close to being there. Yeah, doing all this in November might seem a bit eager, but I believe in thinking ahead and being prepared even more than I was last season.

At the time of this report, there aren’t any fishing regs or bag limits for 2013. I hope to hear some news around the first of the year. There has been a few meetings in the State regarding sport halibut and management concerns, which usually means there could be a possible change coming down the pike. As soon as I hear any news at all, I will post it on this page.

Bookings are coming in pretty regularly for this time of year. I am starting to see the weeks fill up and I hope the pace doesn’t slow down. I just hope that our fish show up a little stronger than this year, but I have a bad habit of always wanting more! If you are considering Wrangell for your Alaska fishing adventure, you should give me call and talk about the best times for fishing, best tides for halibut and even fishing dates for our King Salmon Derby! What a great time to be here for Kings and also a chance at $6000 bucks!

Have a great week!!

Hello from Wrangell,

Well fall is certainly here and with it, brought all the extras. Heavy rains, high winds and cooler temperatures. Yes, we have had some very nice days, but for the most part, not many that I would have wanted to be in a boat fishing anywhere. Fishing has definately slowed way down here, but just like anywhere fishing is prevalent, there are always the die hards. The King salmon have spawned and those that did not, have made their way towards the Gulf of Alaska to spend the winter growing up. What we do have hanging around are Silvers, but not in the real numbers we had hoped for. The Silvers were late showing up here and after talking to people up and down the coast, they were late everywhere. I know for me, this was a frustrating situation to deal with and I wasn’t the only one.

Sport fishing for Kings and Silvers right now is weather driven and when we get a “favorable” day to go, you better go and give it a try. There are a few spots around Wrangell that will produce Kings in the fall and winter, and thankfully, they are fairly close to town. Those die hard fishermen that like fall and winter King fishing surely have their eye on these spots. Typically when fishing during the fall and winter here, herring can’t be beat for the choice of bait, but sometimes a hoochie will turn them on too. So, for me during this time of the year, I get to reflect on my fishing season and anxiously prepare for the next.

June was a great month for Kings here and I was very pleased with the number of fish we were landing in a short amount of time. Fishing a Grand Slam Bucktail Fly behind a blue Hot Spot seemed to be the trick. I was able to find the fish in depths ranging from 20 to 52 feet consistently. Trolling speed was anywhere from 2 to 2.5 knots. I can’t wait to try it next year.

That’s all from Wrangell for now. Have a good week.

John Yeager
Alaska Charters & Adventures

When it comes to salmon fishing, king salmon is my absolute favorite hands down. You may think this is strange, but I get the most out of fishing for kings when they are being finicky. This makes me become a more technical fisherman and the challenge of finding a rig or technique that kings will hit is the ultimate rush for me however, I do enjoy coming across a rig or bait that the kings just take from day one. This was the case for me this season when I started running the Grand Slam Bucktail Fly.

Some friends of mine from Ketchikan and Juneau told me about the GSB’s and how the kings were just tearing them up, so I had to give them a try. I ordered some of each type a size, but found the 6″ Magnum Blue Glow worked the best for kings. Taking my friends advice on how to rig them, I tied up my leaders with 50 pound mono and two 5/0 Gamakatsu octopus hooks snelled as a solid tie. The leader length I used was 30″ tied to a blue Hot Spot. I never would have thought that short of a leader was gong to be productive for kings, but it was unstoppable! I added a herring strip on the top hook and some Pro-Cure herring oil onto the flasher before splashing the gear. The best trolling speed I found was 2.2 to 2.5 knots. Now, after a while I had some kings get off after good hook ups so, I changed the bottom hook of the leader to a 6/0 Gamakatsu siwash and had better results.

Now, this is the first time I ever considered using a fly even though my friend, who was a fishing guide in Sitka, said flies were very effective on kings there. When my season was over August 30th, I had over 160 kings landed on my boat and only one caught on herring! I was completely blown away! Because this rig worked so well, I decided to do my own test with other rigs I had used before on kings just to see if this was just a coincidence. It wasn’t at all. Still not totally convinced, I continued to switch up this fly with my other proven rigs, Ace Hi Fly, spoons, hoochies, and my old tail-less herring rig. I even switched sides of the boat, depth, stacked it over and under proven rigs and even ran it with the same size GSB, but in a different color. Still, the Blue Glow out fished all them. Now, I am not naive enough to think that this rig would fish the same next year,but I am sure anxious to see! I will never discount the effectiveness of the Ace Hi Fly which has always been my go to rig. In my line of work, you have to have several options at your fingertips.

Wrapping up here, I will say that the GSB’s worked just as good on Silvers. Once again, out fishing spoons, which I typically combine with Ace Hi Flies on a regular basis.

Have a good week!

John Yeager
Wrangell, AK

Silvers should be the name of the game right now, but unfortunately they are not. We should be seeing a good number of Silvers in both Clarence and Sumner Straits right now. These fish are definately late to the Wrangell area which makes for some frustrating fishing at times. The fish we are finding seem to be “pocket” fish or just a few in different locations. We drop in on a spot and within minutes we have a fish on and then troll for two hours for the next fish however, the ones we are hooking up are very nice!

We have been running several different combinations over the last week trying to figure out what would work the best. We were consistently getting fish on a shallow flat line out the middle rigged with a lead banana weight followed by a Short Bus “Pole Dancer” flasher and a plug cut herring on a 48″ Gamakatsu mooching rig. We ran other flasher and hoochie combos, spoons, and buck tail and ace hi flies with sort of hit and miss results off the downriggers. We played with different depths and found most of the fish hitting in 25 feet or less, which is most likely the case for this time of year.

Bill Boyce of Fetha-Styx and his wife Kim, were her fishing with me last week and we really worked our gear hard looking for these late Silvers. The rigs were working perfectly and after three days of hard fishing we concluded that the fish just aren’t here yet. That happens sometimes.

So with my season officially a wrap and photos coming in from my clients, I can start to recap my season in fish report fashion.

Have a great week!

Wrangell, Alaska

The King Salmon are heading this way in very strong numbers. Yesterday, ADF&G released the liberalized King Salmon bag limits for the Wrangell area. I am very excited to see these! They are better than last year and provide plenty of opportunity to take home some high quality salmon!

*Non-resident anglers can keep 2 King Salmon 28” or larger per day with an annual limit of 6 fish.

These regulations are good from May 1 to July 15 in District 8 (Wrangell/Petersburg) only. Starting in June, non-resident anglers fishing outside of District 8 will only be allowed 1 King Salmon per day with an annual limit of 4. So, if you are interested in taking home a few more Kings then, Wrangell is the place to be.

I still have a few openings left for Kings, so if you are thinking about it, book now! Remember our Annual King Salmon Derby May 12 thru June 10!! Great time to fish for the big one and take home some big bucks!!


May 16 – 6 pax
May 17 – 4 pax
May 23 – 6 pax
May 24 – 2 pax
May 25 – 6 pax

June 8 – 4 pax
June 10 – 4 pax



January 22, 2012
Wrangell, Alaska

King Salmon

Well, if you can find a decent day in between winter gales and below zero temps, you will probably find a nice winter king close by. A few dedicated sport anglers have been doing quite well on winter kings over the past few weeks. Two guys landed 17 king salmon over a three day period using herring and that’s not including the multiple strikes they had and missed hookups. The majority of the kings were in the mid to high 20’s with a few nicer kings in the mid 30’s. Very nice fish for this time of year. Depths vary on these fish ranging from 25 to 60 feet.

ADF&G has released its pre-season forecast for Stikine River King Salmon and it looks real good at an expected return of 41,000 fish to the Wrangell area. This will most likely mean liberalized limits again for non-resident anglers, who fish the Wrangell area however, until it’s officially in writing please consider this only speculative. They should release the “official” daily bag and annual limits for the 2012 season by April. The return is marginally larger than the 2011 return, so I am hopeful that non-resident anglers will be afforded another fish or two.


Coming off a miserable 2011 bag limit for non-resident anglers, the proposed U45O68 proposal will be a nice change for both the guiding industry in SE Alaska as well as visiting anglers to this region. If passed by the IPHC (International Pacific Halibut Commission) this month, the new regulation will go into effect this year for the 2012 charter season. Non-resident anglers would be able to keep 1 halibut 45” and under OR 1 halibut over 68”. Dressed weight for a 45” halibut is roughly 32 pounds and 123 for halibut in that 68” range. This is gives anglers plenty of opportunity to keep some great “eater” size fish or go after that trophy “barn door” halibut. We should know the decision by IPHC by early February at the latest. I will keep you posted.

December 22, 2011
Wrangell, Alaska

Winter is certainly in full swing here and that means I am traveling more fulfilling my commitments on different fisheries boards. So, while I am away from home, my friends are catching some real nice Kings! That figures! I am getting good reports they are catching several Kings during each outing, which this time of year, is considered very good fishing. These fish are being caught on the back side of Wrangell Island in the Eastern Channel and also in the vicinity of Vank and Sokolof Islands. Average weight seemed to be in the low to mid 20’s and they are catching them on both herring and hootchies.

So while my friends are out catching fish, I am going through my gear repairing and replacing anything that is questionable in my mind. While doing this I always come across some gear that I was surprised at how well it worked. What I came across first were some new hooks from Gamakatsu that I tried in a couple different rigs. First, I tried the Big River hooks in my usual 5/0 size both for my hand-tied slip leaders and also solid tie leaders in hoochie or Ace Hi Fly uses. The hooks are incredibly sharp and I found very deep penetration on hook up and never lost a fish that I am aware of using these hooks. I found that because of the design, the hook stuck out a bit farther in a herring than the 5/0 Octopus hook does however, I felt it didn’t effect the roll of the herring at all, just the look, so I went down to a 4/0 Big River and was quite happy with the performance and overall look once in the herring. These hooks kept their sharpness over and over and required very little touch ups even after extreme use. I also felt that the Big River hook is the perfect match for a hoochie or Ace Hi Fly set up.

Next, I tried a 5/0 Circle hook from Gamakatsu because I am always trying to find ways to release fish with as little stress and damage as possible. I use circle hooks on halibut all the time and I know that circle hooks are used on billfish as well because they hook up in the corner of the mouth typically and don’t cause as much damage as other hook styles. So, I only used the circle hooks in hoochie or Ace Hi Fly combos and was happy with the outcome. They did exactly what they were supposed to on salmon and hooked up in the corner of the mouth. At first, I wondered if they would hook deep enough and stay hooked. They did. I even found that I could use my gaff and twist the hook safely while keeping the fish in the net in the water. Only once did I have the circle hooks penetrate so deep that they actually came out of the eye on one smaller King.

Another rig that I liked this season was my own version of Silver Horde’s Tail Wagger spoon and hoochie combo. My version of this utilized bigger, more commercial troller sized gear because I wanted lots of action and visibility in the water. My most successful combinations were a silver spoon with a Yamashita OG141R hoochie and a OG11 hoochie on a dual color white and blue spoon. I mainly ran these spoons alone about 10 feet from the outboards and had good action. With a trolling speed of 2.5 knots, I felt I had good action and didn’t need to add a flasher to improve the action. These spoons worked on both Kings and Silvers for me.

So, as I go through more gear, I will certainly send along anything that I felt was a success.

Have a Merry Christmas Everyone!

John Yeager
Alaska Charters & Adventures
Wrangell, Alaska

Wrangell, Alaska
December 12, 2011

Well there’s some pretty decent winter King Salmon fishing going on right now. I have spoken with some local fishermen that are picking up Kings around Vank and Sokolof Islands as well as the “Black Can” in the back channel by Madden Bay. Herring and hoochies are working the best for right now. Weather certainly has been an issue lately around here, but it seems that we are able to get a couple days of “better weather” in between our winter storms.

I hope to hear sometime in late January some indications on the return of our Stikine River Kings. My gut feeling is that we may see a slight increase in the run size from this past season. We can expect 2012 bag and annual limits to be released by the end of March. Hopefully, I will have an idea before that so I can pass it along to you.

Halibut… The latest information I have received from SEAGO, a large charter fishing guide organization here in SE Alaska, is that they recommended a “reverse slot size” proposal or what it is being referred to as U45/O64, to the NPFMC (North Pacific Fisheries Management Council) this week in Anchorage as the “best” management strategy for the 2012 fishing season. This slot size proposal would allow anglers to keep halibut 45” and under and anything over 64”. I am not sure at this time as to HOW MANY halibut you can keep, but will try to find out. A 45” weighs 43 pounds live weight and a 64” weighs 134 pounds live weight. This is certainly better than what we have had to deal with for 2011. Additionally, the ability to keep a halibut over 64” in SE Alaska keeps that dream of landing that “barn door” trophy alive!

This proposal will be presented to the IPHC (International Pacific Halibut Commission) in late January at their annual meeting for approval. If this gets the thumbs up by IPHC, we could see this new rule ready for the 2012 season.

Wrangell, Alaska
November 21, 2011

Not too much to report this time of year and regrettably, my fishing opportunities are few and far between. That’s not to say that we don’t have fish here and if you are willing to wait on the weather, you might just hook up a nice winter King. I have spoken with two fishermen that connected with nice Kings over 25 pounds on the back side of the island. Fishing what is known to the locals as the “black can”, these determined trollers brought home some nice fish for this time year. I went out a week ago in search of a King of my own, pulling herring for starters and then switched up to my blue Hot Spot & hoochie combo to end out the day with no takers.

I didn’t mark a lot of feed where I was fishing between Vank and Zarembo Islands, but figured that since I had pretty nice weather at the moment, I would run a little from town before dropping in. Regardless, of my final outcome, it sure felt good to have a line in the water!

So, as I go through my gear I reminisce about the great fishing we had and the quality of the fish that came out of these calm waters.

As for fishing in 2012, I am awaiting some initial projections from Alaska Department of Fish & Game on the run size of our Stikine River Kings. I have a feeling that we may see a slight increase in the return. As soon as I hear something I can confidently post, I will update my report ASAP. Halibut fishing for South East Alaska will most likely be a challenge again for anyone with a charter halibut permit. I don’t see any changes coming our way that will make this situation any better. Silvers should continue to be plentiful for next year and I hope like this year, arriving early and making for some great King and Silver combo days within 15 minutes of Wrangell!

Wrapping this one up, I hope that everyone has a great Thanksgiving with their family and friends. So, eat lots of turkey and plenty of pie, but before you pass out in the recliner, throw out the idea of a fishing trip to Wrangell for next year!

Let’s talk fishing!
John Yeager
Alaska Charters & Adventures
new rods for the "Timber Wolf"

Wrangell, Alaska
November 1, 2011

Batten down the hatches! November blows in with a fall storm with 60 kt winds and gusts to 85 kt! So, I am afraid that fishing today is out of the question. This is the perfect day to overhaul your gear or tie up some leaders!

This time of year there isn’t much fishing action happening in Wrangell. We have had a few nice days over the last month and I did see some boats out trolling for Kings. These boats are only pulling a few Kings, if they are lucky. I have seen a good amount of birds working around Wrangell and know that we have a fair amount of feed hanging around for Kings to work on. So, it wouldn’t surprise me if there is some fishing potential out there if one can find a “weather window” to take advantage of.

At the time of this report, I don’t have any King salmon return forecasts yet for the Wrangell/Petersburg area. Usually, I am able to get some information in January that will lend a good idea to what I can expect for the upcoming season. When I do have new information I will report it here on a new Fish Report.

This season we were catching Kings in good numbers on daily basis from early May until late June. Typically, most of the Kings are up the river by then, but I think we had a late push of fish. We also had good Silver fishing which started for me around July 1st. This was earlier than in previous years and married up nicely with the late King push to make for some great fishing. So, my season tallies for salmon were 86 Kings and 113 Silvers.

So, with the season over I am now working through my gear and starting to ramp up for 2012. I am writing articles and reports and starting my marketing for the next season. Its time to start thinking about that 2012 Alaska trip! Make sure you put Wrangell on your list! And don’t forget about our King Salmon Derby! What a great time to be in Wrangell and the fun you can have fishing the derby. Book your trip between May 12, 2012 and June 10, 2012 and you’ll be fishing Wrangell’s 60th Annual King Salmon Derby!

Have a great week!

John Yeager
Alaska Charters & Adventures
Wrangell, Alaska

Wrangell Alaska
October 25, 2011

Looking into the face of November I am already thinking about my 2012 season. At this point, I think about several things that make up my season. Clients, the boat, gear and most of all, FISH!! I imaging those Wrangell Kings swimming around in the Pacific Ocean feeding like crazy and desperately eluding the commercial trawl fleet! Come on guys! You can do it! I so much want a nice return of Kings and Silvers for Wrangell next year. I had some incredible fishing this year with my clients and I sure want to do it again! I had some good friends back up this year for Kings and had the chance to make some new friends that at the beginning of the trip started out as clients. Bill Boyce of Fetha-Styx fishing rods custom built 8 new salmon and halibut rods for me and brought them up to try out in June with his wife Kimberli. It didn’t take long for a great friendship to form with them. We had great fishing for several days in a row, fishing the same location with limits each day. Kim topped off the trip with an incredible 40 pounder! That was just one of many highlights that I had this season.

At this time there isn’t any forecast from ADF&G yet for the King return for 2012. I will be bugging my contact in Petersburg for anything he can give me regarding run size. Hopefully in January we will have some preliminary numbers and then my the end of March I hope to have a good idea of what our daily bag limits will be. Please keep watching for updated fish reports on my site. In addition to working on my salmon gear for next season, I plan to continue writing fish reports and articles for The Reel News, Salmon, Outdoor line, and hopefully Pacific Coast Sportfishing Magazine. This is a great way for me to get the word out about Wrangell and the “Timber Wolf”. This winter I will also be at the Seattle Boat Show around mid January for a few days working the Wrangell booth.

So with Halloween in just a few days which leads right into Thanksgiving and then the “Big Man” shows up shortly after, I can’t help but think that Kings will be just a few short months away. One can only hope.

The boat leaves at 6am. See you then.


Wrangell, Alaska
September 4, 2011

Wow! I can’t believe my season is officially over. It seems like yesterday that I was gearing up for the start of my King Salmon season and picking up clients at the airport. Now it’s Labor Day Weekend and summer is officially over. All in all, I am very pleased with how my season went and I am already looking at next season and what it might hold. Again, one of the huge benefits of my “job” is seeing my friends again, meeting new people, and of course, watching the excitement unfold when a nice fish takes our bait. I really enjoy the friendships that are made with those that started out as clients and left as friends. These relationships are so valuable to me and also a key element in making my business what it is today.

My “charter” season officially started around the 18 of May however; we did have good King Salmon fishing earlier in the month. The pre-season forecast performed by Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) for District 8 (Wrangell & Petersburg) showed a slight increase in numbers than the previous year. This is good I thought and was able to come up with some good fish and decent numbers for almost a month straight. Then, around June 15 someone opened the gates and what a great surprise it was! We were catching our limits consistently with no problem; we had real nice fish up to a beautiful 40 pounder. Lots in the high 20’s and mid 30’s. We landed 54 Kings in just under a month and released at least half that because my clients didn’t want any more fish! It truly is an awesome sight to watch a nice King swim off after giving such a thrilling fight to a lucky angler.

At the beginning of May, non-resident bag limits were 2 Kings per day with a 6 fish annual limit. Right around mid-June ADF&G did their mid-season survey and found a significant decline in their counts to make a change to the limits. I know, I just said that it really kicked off around this time. So, they decided to decrease the bag and annual limits starting in late June until July 15. No problem, we are still catching plenty of fish to put smiles on my clients faces everyday. I just wish this “push” of Kings would have been here for all my clients who just missed out. Amazing what a few days can do.

We also saw an early run of Silvers that overlapped with the Kings that were hanging around Wrangell. For me, this was such a great opportunity because I usually have to wait a while after the Kings dry up before the Silvers start to show. My official numbers aren’t in yet from the log I keep each year, but I can estimate around 100 Kings and 160 Silvers were caught by my clients this season. Now, I know that for those of you that have fished in other areas either in Alaska or BC these numbers might be very miniscule, but for me I think they are awesome! Yes, there are “other” places to fish than Wrangell where you can catch a lot more fish, but I like it right where I am and I think that I get better every year. As long as my clients continue to have a great time and catch fish, Wrangell can’t be any more perfect in my opinion.

August 13, 2011

I had a great group up from Washington to fish for Silvers over 5,6, & 7 of August. Randy Shelton, Penny Hulse, along with Alan and Sharon Jadin made a very capable and fun group to fish with. We couldn’t stop laughing and joking the entire trip! Even when a fish was “on” the laughter never stopped! One of the best trips I have had this season hands down. We caught Silvers ranging from 5 pounds to Penny’s slab that pushed 14 pounds. What a great fight that was and a very nice surprise once it was in the net. We trolled mainly Mack’s Lures, SledgeHammers with a herring strip added for scent. Occasionally, I would mix it up and throw in a spoon or spoon flasher combo to see if that would increase our hits at all. Craig Point and Mud Bay were on for all 3 days of fishing. We even managed to find Sharon a Halibut to add to the fish box and to top that one, Sharon hooked into and landed a beautiful 24 pound King Salmon on the first day! All together 36 Silvers made it back to Washington and I am sure they will be enjoyed for months to come. This group really took it all in, the scenery, fresh air, calm seas and descent fishing. I was truly blessed to have such capable and appreciative anglers on my boat to share such a great experience with.

July 9, 2011

Well, I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised to see such a good run of Kings still here. Yesterday, we landed 2 real nice fish and lost 2 more on the surface. We had a triple header going with a nice King and two spunky Silvers doing their thing! Yes, tangles were happening faster than I could tell my clients how to play these silver bullets. What a fun time though! So far, 73 Kings have been landed onboard the “Timber Wolf” and now we are seeing some real nice Silvers to Wrangell, which adds to the excitement. I have been very happy with my new Fetha-Styx rods that Bill Boyce built and brought up with him and so far, we have really been putting them through their paces. I have switched to using the new Gamakatsu Big River hooks in 4/0 on my slip herring rigs and they are the best hook I have ever used. The deliver some very deep and hard hitting hook sets and believe me, these hooks will bite you! I have been injecting my herring with Pro-Cure herring oil and feel very confident that the extra scent has more than helped me land 54 Kings since June 18! Thanks to Kelly Morrison at Silver Horde, his KingFisher spoons are triggering bites when they are not taking my herring.

It’s time to start thinking about Kings in 2012. Book your trip now!

John Yeager.

There has been great fishing in Wrangell for the last 2 weeks. It feels like the flood gates have been opened! I have been limiting out practically everyday since the 16th of June. We boated a nice 40 pounder on the 17th of June and followed it up with a silver bright 35 pounder. Bill and Kim Boyce of Fetha~Styx fishing rods were with me for a 4 day trip and we had a blast! We used some custom built rods and we tried some techniques new to me that produced nice Kings. Immediately following my trip with Bill and Kim, I had a group of 5 that guys arrive in Wrangell that were anxious to get some King action. I just hoped that the fishing would hold up. I surely did and they loved it! We went another 4 days of great fishing and they are taking home some great eating King salmon. Great job guys!

We had some pretty good fishing over the weekend. It appeared that King Salmon were being netted in numerous places around Wrangell. I started about 15 miles from town on Saturday and got on a good bite right before the bottom of the tide. Nice fish in very short time. We worked our way back towards town and managed to pick up our 4th King of the day. Great friends on board the “Timber Wolf” for the last weekend of the derby. Herring seemed to be the bait of choice for most anglers however, I did see some Hot Spots with hoochies rigged for action on a few boats.

John Yeager
Alaska Charters & Adventures

Saying goodbye to May!

Tomorrow is June 1st and I hope that the fishing will continue to heat up. We have had incredible weather lately, lots of sunshine, warm temperatures and extremely calm waters all day. VERY early morning has seemed to be the best time for catching the most consistent bite of the day. You have to be dragging a herring by 4 am to make it happen. The rest of the day it seems to more of a grind than trying to catch a bite. I had a great father and son group for 5 days of fishing, Steve and Ben Helms were awesome to have on the boat. Very capable anglers and comfortable running gear and helping me run the boat. I enjoyed listening to all the places that Steve has fished and where he will be off to next. I truly enjoyed their company and hope that they had a good time even though we had more days without fish than I ever thought we would have. I hope they will find their way back to Wrangell soon.

The Kings are still coming in good numbers and I think the next week will be some of the best fishing we have had so far.

Wrangell Alaska Fish Report

May 28, 2011

It’s week 3 of the Wrangell King Salmon Derby. Top fish is 40.6 pounds and the rest of the ladder is over 30 pounds. The fishing seems to be scattered around the Wrangell area with the only consistency being a very early morning bite. We have a lot of feed in the area which I think is adding to the long hours needed to land that ladder King. I have been mixing it up a little by using spoons, Ace Hi fly’s and my regular herring rig. I think with so much feed in the area, it can pay off to throw out something different. No change in the derby ladder in over 2 weeks, but I am really working to try and get one of my clients on the ladder! I am out again tomorrow with clients, hopefully my 4 am departure with put us on some fish first thing! I’ll keep you posted.

John Yeager
Alaska Charters & Adventures
Wrangell, Alaska


By: John Yeager


Hello from Wrangell Alaska,

There is good news in this updated fish report that should make for some happy anglers. I was hoping that I would have this good news at the time I sent my May report out, but it didn’t make it in time. So, here it is. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions.


Alaska Department of Fish and Game has announced the District 8 King Salmon daily bag and possession limits for this year. These limits have been LIBERALIZED for the non-resident angler and are as follows: 2 Kings a day with a 6 annual limit. This is for the months of May and June which will encompass the peak of Wrangell’s King Salmon return and our 59th Annual King Salmon Derby. I have been out fishing both for myself and as a guide and have found fish almost every time. Babbler is producing some nice fish as well as Grey’s Pass. On the opening day of the Derby (yesterday) a 37 pounder was caught and weighed in from Babbler. I even managed to pull out a fish for my client right in front of the ferry dock! It was so awesome!




If you want to come up to Wrangell and catch some nice Kings and take advantage of the better bag limits I will give you a special rate for booking. Here are some dates and available seats at this special King Salmon rate. I have a few 3 day blocks for Kings at a great rate; call me if you can make a quick trip up! I am offering this special for 3 day blocks or available seats, I would prefer 3 to 4 (up to 6) anglers during this time and its first come, first serve. $180 plus tax per person per day for Kings only. No lodging or meals included, just full days of fishing.

Here are my openings:

May 17 (6 seats)
May 18 (4 seats)
May 19 (6 seats)
May 20 & 21 (6 seats)
May 24-26 (2 seats)
May 27-29 (2 seats)

June 6-8 – (3 seats)

This is a great time to take advantage of some good bag limits and a great price!

Your friend and Guide,

John Yeager.
Alaska Charters & Adventures
POSTED: January 11, 2011

Hello from Wrangell Alaska!

Cold Temps and clear skies are on the menu for this week.  The mornings are beautiful and the water is very inviting for about ten seconds and then you see the white caps and wind gusts blowing across the surface.  Winter King fishing today? I don’t think so, it doesn’t look that great after all.  Keep the boat at the dock.

King Salmon: Not too much to report this week regarding King Salmon.  There has been winter Kings caught around Wrangell and admittedly I was given some fresh winter King by a friend of mine that tasted incredible!  My friends that caught the Kings used herring, which there seems to be a fairly good supply of around Wrangell this winter.  Hopefully, if the herring will stick around then maybe a few Kings will be out there when I get my chance at them.  Anyway, still awaiting word from ADF&G on 2011 King Salmon bag limits which I figure will be published around the end of March. As soon as I hear something, I’ll let you know.

Halibut: Nothing new to report.

Silvers: This year I am confident that 6 Silvers a day will remain the norm.  Hopefully, we will see these guys a little earlier than last year.  If you are interested in Silvers at their peak, shoot for late July and all of August.

Remember, I will be manning the Wrangell booth at the Seattle Boat Show from January 21st to the 23rd.  So, if you find yourself at the boat show and want to talk fishing or just say “hi” please stop by the Wrangell booth for a visit.

Have a great week!

John Yeager

Alaska Charters & Adventures



POSTED: January 5, 2011

Hello from Wrangell Alaska!

Well, 2011 is upon us and there’s no turning back now. We may as well just spool up those reels and go through the tackle boxes in preparation for that first day on the water.

King Salmon: I am hearing from ADF&G that there is a good possibility for liberalized bag limits this year in District 8.  That can be good for anyone that comes to Wrangell because you may be able to keep more Kings than anywhere else in Alaska.  We might see a 2 King a day limit with hopefully a 5 or 6 annual limit on Kings.  I should know more on these regulations in late March or early April.  Also, I want to let you know about the annual King Salmon Derby this year.  In its 59th consecutive year, Wrangell has been the place to be for derby fishing.  With cash prizes that start at $6000, which can certainly pay for your trip and charter and give you some pocket money to take home!  Our derby usually awards prizes well over 40thplace.  It seems that almost everyone that fishes the derby takes home some kind of prize.  This year the derby kicks off at 6am on May 14th and runs until 9pm on June 5th.  If you’d like to talk about fishing during the derby, just give me a call.

Halibut: There is a lot on the table regarding sport caught halibut this year.  February starts the enforcement of the charter halibut permit program.  This year, charter fishing companies and guides will be required to have a permit in order to take clients halibut fishing.  This is for the entire state.  As one would suspect, there is a lot of turmoil regarding the constraints and loss of revenue to charter operators because of this permit requirement.  On the other hand there are those that are glad to see some restrictions put in place and more focus on the resource than the number of anglers coming into the state.  You can fish for halibut with me off the “Timber Wolf” with no problem; my permit is in my hand!

Silvers: This year I am confident that 6 Silvers a day will remain the norm.  Hopefully, we will see these guys a little earlier than last year.  If you are interested in Silvers at their peak, shoot for late July and all of August.

I won’t be at any sports shows this year however; I will be manning the Wrangell booth at the Seattle Boat Show from January 21st to the 23rd.  So, if you find yourself at the boat show and want to talk fishing or just say “hi” please stop by the Wrangell booth for a visit.

Have a great week!

John Yeager

Alaska Charters & Adventures