Jan – April 2009


I ice fished with a 9-year old and he caught much more fish than I expected with a few measuring about 12 – 15 inches. All of the fish were caught on Balls O` Fire salmon eggs fished a crank or two off the bottom in about 8 feet of water. The ice was only about 2 feet thick — sometimes this time of year it can be considerably thicker. Weather was warm and sunny, although we started fishing about noon in order to enjoy the warmest part of the day. I also caught some fish as well, but definitely did not keep up with my guest. In addition to the larger fish we caught, most of them were smaller — especially the landlocked salmon. The larger fish were all rainbow trout and Arctic Char.


I took a couple kids ice fishing and watched them catch about 35 fish on Pautzke`s Balls O` Fire salmon eggs. They kept a good mess of Arctic Char and rainbow trout about 10 – 12 inches in length, and one of them also caught the lunker of the trip — a 21″ Arctic Char that put up quite a fight before being pulled from the hole. Ice may have been a little bit thicker than the last time I was fishing this month, but still remained at about the 2 feet depth.


As publicized in Fish Alaska I will be presenting seminars on fishing bait with bobbers for salmon at the Wasilla Outdoorsman`s Show on Friday March 27, Saturday March 28, and Sunday March 29. In addition I plan be at the Pautzke Bait Company Booth during the remainder of the show (unless I`m on a short break). Feel welcome to attend the seminars or stop by and talk to me at the booth.

The following week I will be presenting the same seminars at the Great Alaska Sportsmans Show in Anchorage, and once again spending time at the Pautzke Bait Company Booth. Feel welcome to attend seminars or stop by and talk about Pautzke Bait Company products and fishing at the booth.


GREAT ALASKA SPORTSMAN SHOW — The largest outdoor show in the state runs from 4 – 9 p.m. on Thursday April 2, 12 noon – 9 p.m Friday April 3, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday April 4, and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday April 5th. The show is located in Sullivan and Ben Boeke Arenas in Anchorage and features fishing, hunting, boating, motor sports and more.

FREE SEMINARS — I will be presenting two free seminars during the show, both of which will be located in the Sullivan VIP Lounge — Clobber Salmon With Bobbers is scheduled at 7 p.m. Thursday evening, and then again at 5 p.m. on Saturday evening. Drop Back FIshing with Bobbers and Bait is scheduled at 7 p.m. Friday evening and then again at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Pautzke Pro Staffer, George Krumm may provide additional insights on fishing bobbers and bait during some of these seminars.

SALMON EGG CURING — For those interested in learning new ideas of how to better cure your own bait, George Krumm will present Curing Eggs for Salmon FIshing on Sullivan stage 4 at 7 p.m. Friday evening.

ADDITIONAL SEMINAR SCHEDULE –There are many more free seminars scheduled to run during the show and a schedule is included in the Show insert that came out in the Sunday March 29 edition of The Anchorage Daily News. These insert show guides will also be available at the show. Show admission is $10 for adults and $2 for kids under 12.

DURING THE SHOW — I will also be available at the Pautzke Bait Company Booth and in the Zebco/Quantum Booth both located on the floor of Sullivan Arena. Like any other show goer — whenever I have a break, I plan to spend time looking around the show and talking with exhibitors and friends I always bump into at the show. Stop by and ask about Pautzke bait products, Quantum rods and reels, or our guided Alaska salmon fishing trips. If you would like to make a 2009 guided fishing reservation feel welcome to call us at (907) 746-2199 either before, during, or after the show. Hoping to see you at the show.


I picked up my new 2009 Suzuki DF90 Outbard jet motor this week from Anchorage Yamaha Suzuki Marine. This outboard has been marketed as smaller, lighter, quieter, and more fuel efficient than other 4 stroke 90 horse motors, while also providing easier starts, and superior acceleration. I`m looking forward to running this motor during the 2009 fishing season, and have included a write up on the Suzuki DF90 Outboard motor on our new Outboard Jet Boats page of this website. Feel welcome to visit this page to read more about outboard jet motosr, our custom designed guide boats, and outboard jet drive units. Simply click the Outboard Jet Boats navigation button on the left or the text link at the bottom of this page.


Open Water — as mentioned in my last report, I purchased a new outboard motor, but now I`m waiting for a lake to open up to make my first check run before heading out onto one of the rivers. Yesterday, while driving past some of the Kepler – Bradley Lakes along the Glenn Highway I saw ice from edge to edge, so it may take a week or more before I can get a boat in the water. Yesterday I also noticed that there was quite a bit of open water on the lower Knik River, however, there was a considerable stretch of extremely shallow water between where I normally launch a boat, and where the channel was deep enough to operate a boat comfortably without the risk of running aground.

Deahka River king salmon — earlier this week the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced harvest of king salmon in the Deshka River would be allowed on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of each week with a catch and release Deshka king salmon fishery on the remaining four days of the week. In addition, the Deshka fishery will be limited to artificial lures. The Department plans to evaluate the fishery based on numbers of king salmon swimming past Deshka River Weir by June 12, at which time regulations could be adjusted.


Eklutna Tailrace — I drove to the tailrace this morning and cast #4 Flashtrap Spinners for about an hour. Water was very clear and i did not see anything looking like a salmon. From past years of experience it looked to me like I was on the water too early — but I`ve always had a goal to catch a king salmon in a Mat-Su river during the month of April, and the month is winding down quickly so it was time to give it a go.

While there was hardly any snow or ice near the tailrace, I had noticed a considerable amount of ice chunks down in the lower Knik River when I drove across the Palmer Hay Flats. I`ve yet to catch a king salmon when that much ice still remained in the river, so that is one reason I figured I was a bit early.

Little Susitna River — From looking at water level graphs on the USGS website I`m guessing the ice has already gone off the lower Little Susitna River. I would suspect, however, that the road to the boat launch is likely very soft and muddy. The water level still looked lower than when I`ve caught early king salmon out there in the past, but if the water comes up a bit more I may try a trip out there before the end of April.

Fishing this time of year provides an opportunity to check out new gear I am planning on using on fishing charters, and of the 3 rods and reel outfits I tried today, there was one clear winner I planning to use on this summer`s guided charters.

I tried to time my fishing to catch the highest tide during the day, but even so, there was not any overabundance of water at the tailrace. on the drive across the flats I saw a few moose, ducks, geese, and a bald eagle.

The Kepler – Bradley Lakes were all still iced over, but I took a walk near some of them yesterday, and it seems to me the ice should be going off within a few days now. I`ll try to post a new report in less than a week, but certainly will not be fishing on a daily basis for a while longer.


Little Susitna River — A friend of mine drove a 4-wheeler to the river yesterday and reported that there was still a considerable amount of snow on the last couple miles of road. Even with the snow he said the road is already getting muddy, and he expects road conditions will be difficult for a while. He said the river was still iced over as far as he could see in both directions form the boat launch. There were some smaller areas where water was flowing along the ice — and I would still expect the ice to wash out in the next few days.