After a brief trip to Petersburg, we are back out in Frederick Sound for more exploration and fishing. Saginaw Bay and Kuiu Island is our destination. The bay is filled with numerous small rocky islets. Halibut fishing has been reported to be good here. Several days are spent in an anchorage known as Halleck Harbor. We launch the dinghy and fish on several of the shallow humps in search of another halibut. We catch lots of rock fish but no halibut. We did however end up with two nice coho.
While exploring the bay, we spot a beautiful black bear out walking the beach. There are no Brown Bears on Kuiu, only black bears. It is always a treat to see these beautiful animals.
After two days in Halleck Harbor, we move a few miles deeper into the bay and anchor off an old cannery site. Frances Stoughton joins us for a few days of exploration.
Exploring the cannery ruins, we wonder what life must have been like here during those times.
We collect a souvenir brick from the old kiln that is inscribed with the name “ Snowball”. Back at the boat, I researched snowball bricks and learned that Snowball was the name a brick supplier in England. They specialized in producing fire bricks with the highest melting point. The factory produced bricks from the 1880’s until 1920 and exported them all over the world. We are assuming that this cannery must have been built during that time frame. I am not sure what we will do with it, but we now have one of these bricks as a souvenir.
We continue our search for halibut and find a halibut hole which we later named “ Steak and eggs” ( a long story). We spend several hours here struggling to catch a halibut. We know there are halibut here because we hook into a really nice one only to have him shake the hook loose. This scenario repeated itself four times. Dejected that we have lost four nice halibut, we called it a day and head to one of our favorite anchorages on Kuiu Island called Honeydew. Determined to get one of those crafty halibut, we returned to “Steak and Eggs” the next morning. Our first bite is a nice lingcod. We have caught several of these over the last few days but they have all been too small to keep. This one is 32” long, legal to keep. They are certainly ugly and have viscous teeth but are quite tasty.
Within a few minutes of catching the lingcod, we have a halibut on the hook. We are very careful not to let this one get away. He weighs in at 40 lbs., the perfect size. While trolling back to Honeydew, we manage to get another Coho. The trio make up for all the unlucky efforts the past few days.
After hearing of our success, Frances Stoughton joins us to try their luck at “ Steak and Eggs”. They are out less than an hour and radio back that the have a big halibut and will be back to the anchorage shortly. Well, their fish is more than big. It is ginormous! Our scale doesn’t go high enough to weigh this monster but based on his length, we estimate that he must be at least 150 pounds. Dick is a retired commercial gill-netter and said this is the biggest fish he has ever caught.
We decide to return to “ Steak and Eggs” one more time. It doesn’t disappoint, and we soon have a big guy on our hands. He is a real fighter and makes us work hard to get him up to the boat. After about 45 minutes of hard work, we have him harpooned and are about to relax when we see that the harpoon did not go all the way through the body. It is a tense few minutes while we scramble to find a second harpoon tip. Finally, he is double harpooned and not going anywhere. Not quite as big as the Walshes, he weighs in at 75 pounds. “Steak and Eggs” is an amazing halibut spot that I am sure we will return to next year. Now, it’s back to Petersburg to offload some fish. Thanks for following along.