By Pete Gray
Another great trip in the books…Whalers Cove 2018 was fantastic in so many ways. Mark and Kristine Powers continue to improve the lodge each year, making an incredible destination better and better. This year they built new rooms and boats. I was fortunate to stay in one of these rooms and fish the new boat with John Textoris, Rich Topp and Gus Klein. This super comfortable 32 foot aluminum boat powered by twin Yamaha 300 outboards was stable and fast. She had plenty of fishing room and equipped with everything you need for a great day on the water. Captain Ethan Broody has been working at Whalers Cove Lodge for several year and knew where to go and what to do. This is true of all the captains and boats at Whaler Cove. Most are seasoned with many years in
he area, and all are top rate. Every b
Our first day of our 4 day trip started with a scenic 45 minute float plane ride from Juneau to the lodge. We were escorted to the dinning room for a great breakfast, then off to the “boot shed” to get our rain gear and boots. Whalers Cove has top of the line gear ready for you to uses, no need to drag your own up! We climbed aboard the boat and headed for the point to catch live herring on sibiki rigs…easy b
ait making and we were headed for the fishing grounds in a matter of minutes. Captain Ethan wanted to start with
halibut and took up to one of his “secret spots”, about 10 minutes from the lodge. The slot limit on halibut this year was 38 inches or less, about a 30 pound halibut. We caught 20 plus halibut both over and under the slot, and in less than an hour we had our 4 fish limit. Next up was salmon, which was unusually slo
w. Normal condition, coho salmon were in abundance in mid August, but this was a very unusual year in south east Alaska. We still managed several salmon, but not our 6 fish per person limit which in previous years was the norm. Next up Captain Ethan suggested we target trophy halibut and ling cod. Fishing bait and MC Slugs with a 16 ounce lead head in 150 to 200 feet of water we managed to catch and release some amazing ling cod. Gus Klein was first up with a beautiful 44 inch 35 pound ling cod. The ling cod slot limit is very narrow- 30 to 35 inches….and everything else needs to be released. We all had plenty of fish to take home, so the thrill of catchin
g and releasing these monsters was great.
We did a similar program for the next 3 days,
each day catching our limit of halibut. Our best salmon day was 20, but we did not spend as much time with that as other boats. Most of the others had limits or near limits of salmon each day. Our highlight was certainly the giant ling cod…catching over 30 in our 4 days of fishing with fish from 10 to 60 pounds! When our fishing day ends, our longest run back to the lodge is 20 minutes, and generally in flat calm water! Largest halibut of the week was 71 inches or 200 plus pounds, which earned a two for the price of one trip back to Whalers Cove Lodge. There were several halibut caught and released over 100 pounds by the group.
They call Whalers Cove Lodge Alaska’s Fishing Paradise, and it certainly is! The accommodations are fantastic, my room had a king bed, fireplace and sitting area with a huge shower and bathroom. The food is fantastic, from Elk Chops, steaks, crab, salmon, halibut and more…every meal is an adventure. The lodge is a great meeting place before and after fi
shing. The staff is there to take care of all your needs. Guest services manager Jay is there ready to help before, during and after. Owners Mark and Kristine are there every d
ay to help too. Mike, who is in charge of fish processing, will custom make your boxes to your desire to take home. Most guests took home 2 – 50 pound boxes of fileted salmon, halibut and rock fish. The fish processing is top of the line and all included in your package. Many anglers also took advantage of a day up one of the local rivers to catch Coho salmon and trout. This is always available for those that want to experience true Alaskan wilderness fishing. The lodge and guides are equipped with everything you need from waders, boots, fly rods and jet boats to take you to productive freshwater destinations.
Our trip for next year is already filling quickly. Dates are August 13 to 17, 2019. I will be there with my wife Lolly. There are several couple that come in addition to singles and groups. All are welcome, from hard core anglers to casual, and will enjoy Whalers Cove Lodge. Speaking of hard core, Harold Davis from Davis Boats and his wife Ardith co- sponsor the trip and also bring a bunch of hard core anglers. For more information or to book a trip check www.whalerscovelodge.com or call 800-423-3123.