Leaving Skagway, we have another beautiful trip down the Lynn Canal.
Several Pacific White-Sided Dolphins soon join us and zig zag on our bow.
The U. S. Coast Guard and several gill net fishing boats are out but we have no sightings of any other pleasure boats.
The cruising in Alaska has been so strange this year with the lack of both private boats and big cruise ships.
Our home for several days is Funter Bay. The salmon are jumping all around as we anchor in Coots Cove. After deploying two crab traps, we head out for some fishing. It’s too rough to go out in Lynn Canal for Halibut so we troll inside the bay. We are rewarded with three nice size pink salmon. They also call these “humpies” because they develop a hump on their back as they get ready to spawn. Below is a chart on the different types of salmon here in Alaska.
We end up spending four days in Funter while again waiting on the winds to calm down. We were thankful to have moved onto the free public dock on day three. That night we had wind gusts up to 60 mph. We sleep much better knowing we are safely tied to a dock.
Fishing was productive in Funter with a total of 7 Pink Salmon and 6 more Dungeness crabs. We were hoping to find a halibut somewhere around but that wasn’t to be.
Leaving Funter, we try trolling for salmon in Icy Strait with Idyll Time. We are still learning our techniques for this as most of our fishing has been done from our dinghy. We manage to hook up with one pink salmon. This is our first salmon catch from the big boat so we are pretty happy. There are some prime spots for halibut in Icy Strait but we find the current too strong. The halibut will have to wait for another day.
As we pass Hoonah on the way to our anchorage in Frederick Sound, we see the two cruise ship docks empty. That is a sight you don’t usually see.
Our anchorage for the evening is at the head of Frederick Sound. This is wilderness cruising and very few boats venture this deep into this sound on Chichagof Island. We were here two years ago and named this Murnan Cove in remembrance of our good friends Jack and Barbara Murnan who were aboard at the time. Jack caught a 47 lb. halibut here just after anchoring. It has become one of our favorite anchorages.
Our first task after anchoring is to set out a halibut rig. The tail of the pink salmon that we caught earlier today is used as bait. An hour later, we are rushing to the rod holder containing a now screaming reel. We try to slow the line quickly paying out but the halibut soon shakes the hook and the line goes slack. Another one has gotten away! We rebait the hook with the fresh pink salmon head in hopes that the halibut will return. Soon afterwards, we are again racing to the deck and grabbing the rod as it is quickly paying out. We can tell that a big halibut is hooked. For the next hour we take turns trying to reel him in. We get him to the surface and see he is probably the largest halibut we have ever hooked. Jeff attempts to harpoon him but the fish is so thick that the harpoon doesn’t penetrate fully. A second jab drives the harpoon through his body and we have him secured to the side cleat. Now what do we do with him? He is too big to clean on our swim platform. Our only real option is to travel back to Hoonah the next morning. There we can bring him ashore and fillet. We leave him in the cold water overnight and are up early the next day on our way to Hoonah.
Our halibut measures 63” long. He is too heavy to lift up for weighing but based in his size we estimate him to weigh around 110 lbs. Our freezers are full so now we are off to Juneau to unload some fish. Thanks for following along.