Fishing Montague Island Alaska Herring, halibut, lingcod, rockfish, silver salmon, and black bass fill the boat as these anglers brave the waves of Montague... | Published Feb 5, 2010 9:34 PM Fishing All smiles! Lingcod have a mouth that means business. Photo by Doug Olander. SHARE You’re never hard of herring in Alaska! Okuma’s John Bretza swings aboard six big Pacific herring aboard the Crackerjack Voyager for the live well. Photo by Doug Olander The ubiquitous herring are hands down the snack of choice for coho and chinook (king) salmon. They can run to a foot or so and make for fabulous pickling — or for that matter crisp frying! Photo by Doug Olander Ideal halibut tackle: Okuma’s new Maikara and Cedros Lever-Drag reels line the walkway between salon wall and gunwale. Capt. Andy (“Frosty”) Mezirow favors 50-pound braid. Photo by Doug Olander A Pacific rockfish both uncommonly caught and uncommonly beautiful – Mezirow admires a lovely tiger rockfish, solitary denizen of rocky structure in the Pacific Northwest. Photo by Doug Olander A bait looking for a shark. Big herring rigged with a large J hook and a tie strap to keep the fish’s mouth shut on the slow troll behind a weighted chrome planer with a purple vinyl skirt. It didn’t work this time but it’s worked for Mezirow often, when salmon sharks move into Prince William Sound. Photo by Doug Olander A whale or a sail? The towering dorsal fin of a big bull orca (with a uniquely bent tip) looms in the early morning gloom off the starboard side of the boat. Photo by Doug Olander Surprise catch for this 4-ounce Crippled Herring jig – a Pacific searcher, not a species caught often or this large; that’s about as big as this nice looking little fish gets. Photo by Doug Olander A meal interrupted for this big-mawed mama – a large lingcod that went for a 3-pound pink salmon but came up with snake (or more appropriately lingcod) eyes. Photo by Doug Olander While waiting for some salmon shark action, John Bretza dropped a jig down with a new Okuma Cedros spinner and came up with this striking yelloweye rockfish. Photo by Doug Olander A piece of a deep-drop rig put together by Jeff Pierce, with Mustad, with a backdrop of a truly sensational summer afternoon on the Gulf of Alaska. Photo by Doug Olander A metal jig fished by Pierce worked its magic on a large lingcod off Montague Island. Photo by Doug Olander All smiles! Lingcod have a mouth that means business. Photo by Doug Olander Another ling, held here by Mezirow, for Pierce who shows what the big gal coughed up on deck after being boated – a large partly digested Pacific cod. Amazing that it thought it had room to ingest more when it went for a jig. Photo by Doug Olander On a cool but calm August morning the Crackerjack Voyager has just set up at anchor. In fact, most of the morning after this it was rare to not have at least one rod bent with silver salmon, halibut or other species at any moment. Photo by Doug Olander Silver salmon action for Scott Lipsett of Reactor Watches as Mezirow nets a 10-pounder. Photo by Doug Olander A net full of silver! Mezirow scooped up not one or two but three light-tackle coho salmon at once. When the wild, schooling fish move through, it’s Katy bar the door! Photo by Doug Olander Lipsett in action again, this time with a 70-pound halibut, at the upper range of best eating size (and of the size that fights particularly hard as well, Mezirow says). Photo by Doug Olander The power of a large halibut is evident from the water this one is moving as Mezirow struggles to maintain a grip on the line for Lipsett. Photo by Doug Olander Happy campers – Sport Fishing’s Clint Jones (left) helps Lipsett hoist his big ‘but in the air off Montague Island for a photo. Photo by Doug Olander Fun fish — the unpredictable fight of a nice silver salmon is enough to make an angler smile. Photo by Doug Olander Coho salmon offer a fly-fishing frenzy when they swarm around the boat. Pierce is aided by mate Jeff Seward (who put his baited rod in the holder, background: note that now a salmon is also making it dance). Photo by Doug Olander The Big Hoist: Halibut continued to give Bretza’s Cedros level-wind a workout. Photo by Doug Olander Big 1-pound Savagegear swimbait that the author brought back from Norway proved it works as well on Pacific as Atlantic halibut. Photo by Doug Olander Catching even smaller halibut on crankbaits can be a challenge, but weighted wobblers like this will bring ’em up off the bottom in relatively shallow waters like those off Montague. Photo by Doug Olander The silver salmon two step! With every angler on the boat hooked up — and on super-light braided line — it takes some fancy and fast footwork to stay with your fish. Photo by Doug Olander The “black bass” of the Pacific Northwest, when midwater schools of 4- to 7-pound blacks are thick, no descending jig has a remote chance of gettilng through the blacks to the bottom. Light spinning outfits like this offer great sport. Photo by Doug Olander Ditto for little baitcast levelwinds as Sport Fishing’s Clint Jones proves. Photo by Doug Olander Another Black Bass. A brace of big lings aboard the Crackerjack Express and a third hooked up in the background. These were both unhooked and successfully released: Lings suffer no barotrauma from a swim bladder and are remarkably tough fish. Photo by Doug Olander Holy Poop! (note: not actual dialogue.) Fifty pounds of angry lingcod prove a handful for Mezirow and guest skipper Terry Mangold. Photo by Doug Olander Herring, halibut, lingcod, rockfish, silver salmon, and black bass fill the boat as these anglers brave the waves of Montague Island, Alaska.