Regional Reports-West

Prince of Wales Island

Homer has long been the halibut sport-fishing capital of Alaska, but anglers also have discovered the halibut fishery around the outer coast of Prince of Wales Island, where the action starts heating up in April. In the spring, look for the halibut in 100 to 200 feet of water and be ready to tangle with fish from 20 to 200 pounds. Most fishermen consider the 20- to 50-pounders the best eating and take home their two-fish limit in this size-class. Use 40- to 50- pound-test line and stout reels and rods. Lures and baits range from chrome jigs and plastic squid to frozen squid and herring. Circle hooks work like a charm, and at least eight ounces of lead is needed to keep the bait near these bottom feeders. You can launch your own boat in Klawock or Craig, or charter a day trip in the harbor. Season fishing licenses are $15 for residents, $100 for nonresidents. A three-day nonresident license is $20. Contact: Alaska Department of Fish and Game (907-225-2859); Prince of Wales Island Chamber of Commerce (907-826-3870).