I don't know about yall, but me,TJ, and Sarah are starting to get pretty excited. We got salmon season right around the corner in June and July. We've been down here in Texas catching them Bass and Stripers. There ain't nothing wrong with bass fishing or fishing for stripers, but we are sure ready for 45lb king salmon, and hooking into a dozen sockeye salmon. This article is full of a little info on what's new going into the Alaska 2019 salmon season.
Two Boats, 3 guides
This year we will be expanding to two boats and three guides. The three guides going into 2019 will be Evan, Sarah, and TJ. All three of us bring a different strength to guiding. This will give us the ability to link your group with the guide that will provide the experience your looking for.
Sarah Sledge (Sockeye Slayer)
Sarah Sledge is Evan's sister and has grown up hunting and fishing her entire life. Sarah will be specializing in all women trips. Sarah has fun teaching ladies how to fish, and seeing their face the first time they hook a sockeye salmon. Sarah says, "I understand how it is being a girl in a male dominant activity. But that's alright cause I usually come back with more fish than any of the boys." Sarah is a hell of a sockeye salmon fisher, and will be sure to put you on the fish. She runs the upper section of the Kasilof river. Putting in at Tustumena Lake and fishing down to the Kasilof bridge. Sarah's river run is known for its glacier colored water, beautiful nature, and solid wildlife.
TJ Ryan (Head Guide)
TJ Ryan is the head guide for 1 reason. He is one of the best fisherman there is. Doesn't matter if its bass on Lake Fork, Reds of the coast, or king salmon in Alaska. One half of being a fishing guide is fishing skills. The second half of being a fishing guide is creating an experience for the customer and dedication. TJ is excellent at tailoring the trips to the customer and developing a great experience. Let me give you an example, If the group told TJ, "we are here to catch one really big king salmon (+50lbs)". He would tailor the trip that morning for that one goal. And even if it takes extra hours on the water he is going to do all he can to provide that experience to you. Tj's expertise is King Salmon fishing. TJ said, "I'm an analytical type of guy. I have journal entries from every time I've been fishing in the last 4 years. Now with new technologies like the Anglr app, I am able to analyze this data and get a strong reading on what the fish are doing." TJ believes by tacking all the data behind his fishing trips and fishing every day this gives him a huge advantage over other fisherman.
Evan Sledge (SledgeHammer)
Evan is the founder of Sledge Outfitters. Evan is living a dream. He gets to wake up every morning, meet a brand new group, and provide a once in a lifetime trip for them. Evan says, "You would be surprised how close you get after fishing together for 8-9 hours. They know everything about me and my story and vice versa. It's the coolest feeling meeting somebody totally new that morning, fishing with them all day, and then staying in regular touch with them for the next 5 years. "You don't get that everyday in a corporate finance job."- Evan. Evan specializes in King Salmon fishing, also known as Chinook salmon. Evans looks at king salmon like a chess match. In the morning Evan likes to pick 3 of his strategic spots to hit off the bat. From there Evan likes to jump the field (other boats) to be in the front 5 boats. Evan likes to smack a king in the middle section, than shoot it down to the bottom river in order to be the first boat on the incoming tide. Everybody has their own style. There's not a right way or wrong way. However, this is Evan's way and it's been working pretty well.
Alaska 2019 Fishing Regulations
The Alaska fishing regulations are set by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Depending on how many salmon have passed during the season the ADFG will adjust the fishing regulations to allow more or less harvest. So far so good. ADFG is expecting a healthy 2019 salmon run. They do not currently see any reason why it wouldn't be a healthy salmon run in 2019. This means that June and July should be great times to catch king salmon and sockeye salmon. Sockeye and silver (coho) salmon will be targeted in August. When coming to Alaska it is important to stay familiar with the regulations if you plan on doing any fishing on you own. Click here to check regulations.
New Bait, Bigger Kings
Last year Tj had experimented with new roe (salmon eggs) recipes. In fact he experimented with about 8 different recipes. The main goal was to find a bait and setup that was exceptionally well at catching those really big king salmon. From a cure standpoint he tried all the main cure brands such as FireCure, Nates Baits, and Pro Cure. Tried numerous additives, sugars, borax, and anise oil. By the end of the season TJ came up with his own cure recipe and additives that produced his two biggest king salmon last season. If your looking to catch one of those big boys be sure to ask Tj for some of that secret bait before you let the lines out.