King Curse

The main goal I had when venturing out into the Alaskan outdoors was to catch a King.  I spent several years as a kid with my Papa salmon fishing off the Oregon coast and we did well but never did catch  King, or otherwise known as a Chinook.  I do remember catching a 24" "Jack" which is an immature King that barely made the legal minimum for possession.

My first trip out with Darby was in the beginning of June and I made mention of it in the Ninilchik post.  He was able to land and nice fish and all three that I hooked into came off before the boat.

My next attempt came the Tuesday after Memorial Day.  I floated down the Kasilof River which for the most part parallels the Kenai, which is well documented for its large Kings.  The Kasilof is more know for the numbers of fish rather than the my hopes were high.  After watching several other guys hook into fish I finally was able to get my grips on a fish that hit like a ton of bricks and spooled out my line like he was gonna be a biggun.  Turns out it was a nice fish, around 20lbs, but unfortunately was hooked in a dorsal fin.  Alaska has some of the most extensive sport fishing regulations that I have ever seen and are liable to change daily.  One of the steadfast rules is that foul hooked fish cannot be kept.  DAMN IT!

The fish was probably in the 15# range and wasn't all that big but it was quite a fight and had me pumped up as I let it go.

And then the rest of the day I spent watching everyone around me catching fish....and not a single bite on my line.  I did give my spot up after I caught my first one to another guys who hadn't caught anything who then proceeded to catch 2 keepers.....D'oh!

So I did catch my first King but wasn't able to take it home in the freezer.  That only meant one thing, I had to go again!  Third time has to be the charm, right? Right?

This trip down the Kasilof I was accompanied by my girlfriend who hasn't caught anything more than a crappie back in AZ.  I was a little worried that she would have a hard time handling a salmon running down the river while fishing out of a drift boat....but she quickly proved that there was nothing to worry about!

Her King was a 12-15# fish but unfortunately was a "Native" fish and we were unable to keep it due to an emergency order that the game and fish had enacted that week.  So that fish went back into the water too.  She hooked into 5 fish that day, landing two, and breaking off a really nice fish as she was getting it back to the boat.  Me on the other hand.....not a single bite.  HA!  Oh curse continues but it gives me something to look forward to when I get a chance to go back.

Here is a Jack that she caught and we were able to keep.

And I did manage a few more Reds the day before, so I was able to add a little to the freezer.


  1. Poor Robbie! Always the bridesmaid and never the bride! ;) Maybe next year!

  2. Ha! Guess I should go back next year...that's a good idea!


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