Salmon Super Highway Rest Stop @ Waterfall Resort
By John L. Beath
For rods bent hard under pressure from king salmon on the boat next to us when we arrived at Veta Bay. Our guide, Kurt Ferse, told us to get ready for action as he positioned our boat over a school of bait and hungry king and coho salmon. Seconds after lowering my whole herring bait toward bottom a slight pause signaled a bite followed by a fast hook set. Sticky sharp hooks stuck and forced a fight – angler vs. fish, at one of the world’s best salmon fishing locales, Waterfall Resort on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska.
Fishing partners Chris Batin, owner of www.AlaskaAngler.com and author of several Alaska fishing books, and Chuck Baird sent their cut-plugs spinning downward. Both anglers soon had their own fish to fight. After netting two kings, and a nice coho salmon Kurt set up another drift over the school of baitfish. The other Waterfall Resort boat just north of us continued to fight a mixture of king and coho salmon. On the second drift I put a small mini FAT Squid on instead of a herring in hopes of catching a halibut. Seconds after the artificial squid lure hit bottom a massive head shaking strike signaled halibut up the line. Another fast hook set, another hard-fighting fish. Baird continued to hook king salmon almost every time he put his bait in the water. King salmon could not resist his technique of lowering and the reeling the bait to the surface.
Most anglers would describe the action at Veta Bay as an epic, once-in-a-lifetime bite. Waterfall Resort guides casually describes action like this as “A typical day on the water.” When action dies off in one location Waterfall guides have dozens of fishing hot spots to try. In addition to great Alaska king and coho salmon fishing action, anglers will also enjoy catching big halibut, lingcod and hordes of fun-to-catch white-fleshed rockfish.
During a typical day of fishing anglers will likely fish several locations to fill their limits of king and coho salmon, halibut and rockfish. Catch and release is also encouraged, which enables anglers to enjoy a full day of fishing instead of quickly limiting and returning to the dock.
Why is fishing at Waterfall Resort so great?
Prince of Wales Island sits at the crossroads of southbound migrating salmon. The west side of the island can easily be described as a “Salmon Super Highway.” Hundreds of runs of salmon runs heading to Southeast Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and Idaho swim past this remote wilderness area. In the early 1900s commercial salmon fishermen searched Southeast Alaska for prime, productive locations to catch boatloads of salmon. They soon found this salmon highway and discovered dozens of “feed stops” for salmon to gorge themselves on bait before continuing on their migration route. Word of massive catches of salmon swept the commercial fishing scene with stories about great catches on the southwest side of Prince of Wales Island.
Waterfall Cannery soon went into production because of its central location to the very best salmon fishing grounds. By 1936 Waterfall Cannery produced 310,000 cans of salmon. Today the site has been renovated and built into Southeast Alaska’s only five star sport fishing resort – Waterfall Resort.
Anyone who wants a five star Alaska sport fishing experience will love Waterfall Resort. Waterfall uses the best guides, boats, fishing equipment and has the best service in the industry.