Catch a Big One in Prince William Sound

Fishing is as synonymous with Alaska as surfing is with Australia, and there’s nowhere better to snare that big catch than in Prince William Sound.  This fantastic waterway which lies in the heart of the Chugach National Park is directly connected to the Gulf of Alaska at its northernmost end.  Not only is it the perfect location for some cruising around the glaciers and doing a little whale spotting, but it is also home to some of the best fishing in Alaska.  Salmon is prevalent here, and there are plenty of different species to aim for; King, Sockeye, Chum, Pink and Coho.  There is also the opportunity to fish for Halibut, Cutthroat and Rockfish, amongst others.  And now that the shrimp market has become so popular, fishermen in the sound are regularly bringing home baskets of these fantastic shellfish.

But for those of you fishermen who want to try something a little more extreme, forget the salmon and go straight for the salmon shark! 

In October of 2007 four intrepid, although some might say crazy, fishermen had their eye on these enormous creatures, which can reach up to one thousand pounds in weight and reach nine feet long.  What made this expedition remarkable was the fact that the fishermen were heading out with normal rods and open kayaks.  They found themselves near Hinchinbrook Island, close to the entrance to the Gulf, surrounded by a few hundred of the monstrous creatures.    Using Avet 50 reels, they baited the sharks with pieces of salmon, and successfully caught four of the creatures, hauling them aboard before releasing them again.  They avoided getting tangled or dragged overboard, and reckoned that their catches were around the eight feet long mark.  It certainly gives a new meaning to the idea of extreme fishing in extreme waters. 

If you’re the sort of fisherman who doesn’t fancy wrestling a thrashing, somewhat unhappy, razor-toothed shark onto a thin piece of floating plastic, and would be much happier with a catch that can actually fit on your dinner plate then don’t panic - there are plenty of charter boats ready to accommodate a fantastic day out on the icy waters of the sound.  The main inhabited locations are Whitter, Cordova and Bear Creek, with Anchorage a little way to the North West, and there a several operators who have bases in these areas.  Of course, fishing doesn’t have to be done from a boat, and for adventurous fishermen with a taste for a little solitude, there are some fabulous cabins dotted around the National Park area that make perfect fishing retreats.


For more information: Traveler's Guide to Valdez and Traveler's guide to Whittier and Traveler's Guide to Cordova

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