I can already hear it. Of course he's going to say something nice about fishing with Robbo up in Craig, Alaska. After all, Robbo's his buddy, fellow blogger, and co-host on The Outdoor Line. Well yea, all true, but the truth of the matter is that Robbo has it dialed!!
I have fished with Robbo enough to know what a great fisherman he is but this experience of actually going up there and entertaining some clients in Craig was different. I wasn't just heading out and fishing with the guys, I was buying an adventure and counting on it to be a good time and that is exactly what I got.
My business partner Paul, father-in-law Rick, and Wayne and Lloyd Coogan with Coogan Construction in Juneau, Ak. joined me for the trip. We all met up at the airport in Ketchikan to grab a float plane to Craig. After arriving in Craig, we met Robbo at the hotel where he had us already checked in and then it was off to the "Man Town" for a couple of cold ones and fresh crab. Fishing had been good out on the ocean the last week but for the time I was there we had a big swell forecast combined with a 30 knot north wind.
Robbo's 28ft North River handles the rough stuff like a champ.
The first day we were met with a cold rain and heavy wind that kept us off the ocean where the fishing had been hot. No worries, Robbo knows the area well and had already picked out a few spots to hit that were tucked in and out of the way of the rough stuff. Lloyd had the hot stick and boated the first king of the trip. After a few more minutes, he was on another fish and handed off the rod to my father-in-law Rick who settled in for what ended up being a long fight after initially getting the fish close and then watching it rip off 250 feet of line. Paul got in on the action as well going one for two while Wayne and myself were pulling in the bottomfish. After battling through rough, wet conditions we decided to head on in and call it a day.
Rick and Lloyd with two nice first day kings.
On day two, we woke up to sunny skies and a calmer ocean. Robbo took us out to where the fishing had been hot the previous week. We got into a hot bite early with Paul landing a nice king, Lloyd boating a coho, and easy limits of halibut for the boat. Paul then followed that up with a very nice slot sized ling. After, the bite shut down it was time to do a little scouting and we ended up day two where we started day one. I got into the salmon action by landing a coho that was followed by Lloyd with another king. The fish had been scattered after the storm that blew through but we were sure we had picked the right captain after hearing that most boats in the fleet had blanked the last two days. That evening we decided to stay at the man cave, grill out some of our fresh king salmon, and have a premium cigar. Life is good.
Wayne having some fun with one of his black sea bass.
Day three had the best forecast of the three days and that was the day we had chosen to go offshore and do some real meat fishing. Unfortunately, when we woke up mother nature had a different idea. We still had the bright sunny skies but the north winds had picked up and were blowing up to 40 knots. We had made the decision the night before to get up early and be the first to a spot where we figured other boats would be. With our fingers crossed that the weather would hold for just a little while so we could get to pineapple rock we haeded off. After a bumpy ride out we were finally at the point of no return when Robbo decided for safety's sake to turn back around and find calm waters. Disappointed but undeterred we started fishing and soon Wayne had a nice king in the boat. I could tell that not getting out to pineapple rock was really disappointing to Robbo as he kept peeking out around the rocks to see if it was calming down at all. After boating close to our limit of halibut, it was all that Robbo could handle. The water looked calmer so we reeled'em in and gave it another go. I have to admit, on our way out I didn't see how we were going to successfully be able to fish but I guess that's why I am the customer. After arriving, we were joined by a couple of other boats that were taking advantage of the little window we had. Shortly after arriving and limiting our halibut, Paul hooked in to a fiesty king that took us for a ride in very rough water. After a hard fought battle, we boated and weighed a nice 29lber. After some hi-fives and congrats it was back to fishing. Another 20 minutes went by when I hooked a fish about 22ft under the boat. After a head shake or two line started peeling off the reel and I knew I has a big king on. As the battle raged on, I started taking some heat from Rick for taking so long to land the fish. Soon it was apparent that Paul and I had hooked similar fish but who's was biggest? The other guys talked it up while Paul and I both kept quiet while hoping we had the big fish. The fish weighed in at 30lbs and my trip was complete.
Paul with a beefy 29lber followed by my 30.
Robbo has a great deal going on up there in Craig. It was first class, organized, and an adventure all in one. With the scenery that is SE Alaska, world class fishing, and a top notch guide like Endsley, a couple of days on the water with Prince of Wales Sportfishing is something that should be on everyone's bucket list. No wonder Robbo has so many repeat customers. Thanks for a great 3 days.
Where else can you get this kind of scenery?