Peter Frank of Seward displays a sockeye salmon he caught in Resurrection Bay in Seward on Saturday. (Photo submitted by Gillian Braver)

Peter Frank of Seward displays a sockeye salmon he caught in Resurrection Bay in Seward on Saturday. (Photo submitted by Gillian Braver)

Tight Lines: Seward sees start of snagging season

“Fish are coming in thick … People are catching limits daily.”

Seward area anglers are getting good use out of their waders this June as they wade into the waters of Resurrection Bay to snag sockeye salmon.

The early-season sockeye salmon are in Resurrection Bay, their numbers growing daily as the fish head toward Bear and Spring Creeks just outside of Seward.

“This run should continue to improve, but right now more effort and patience will be needed to catch your limit,” according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Through September, between 10,000 and 20,000 sockeye will swim up Bear Creek.

“Fish are coming in thick. McDonald’s or walking down from Afognak is the place to go for reds. People are catching limits daily. Kings are starting to run up the culvert and are finding themselves trapped in the boat harbor,” said Seward fisherman Kenny Regan.

For those interested in seeing fish instead of catching, the weir, operated by Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association, is open for viewing on Bear Lake Road.

Fish and Game recommends visiting in June and July to view spawning sockeye.

Resurrection Bay, known as the North Gulf Coast by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, is open year-round to salmon fishing (except king salmon) and anglers are allowed six per day, six in possession.

Snagging is legal in all saltwater, as long as it’s not specifically prohibited, so Seward anglers have been hitting popular spots such as Spring Creek beach, near the waterfall at the mouth of Lowell Creek and by the culverts of the Seward Lagoon outflow.

Snagging allows anglers to hook a salmon on the body with an unbaited hook. Although it may seem intuitive, it’s more challenging than it seems. Hopeful snaggers should cast ahead of their target, keep the rod tip forward, pull their rod back as if they are setting the hook, return the rod tip forward and repeat.

Looking for a more detailed description on the technique of snagging? Watch what fellow anglers are doing, especially the ones with fish on the bank.

Snagging is not allowed in fresh water. Only unbaited single-hook artificial lures or flies are allowed.

During May and June last year, the red run was so successful that the bag and possession limits for sockeye salmon were increased in fresh and salt water for Resurrection Bay to 12.

The Seward Halibut Tournament also started this week and runs from June 1 to June 30.

“Halibut fishing continues to be good, especially when the weather is good,” according to Fish and Game.

Tickets for the tournaments are $10 each with a variety of awards for heaviest fish, tagged fishes and different weekly prizes.

Anglers snag along the shore of Resurrection Bay near Seward, Alaska on Saturday, June 1, 2019. Unless otherwise noted, all waters of Resurrection Bay are open to snagging. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Anglers snag along the shore of Resurrection Bay near Seward, Alaska on Saturday, June 1, 2019. Unless otherwise noted, all waters of Resurrection Bay are open to snagging. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

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