After a challenging year, to put it lightly, I was feeling a great need for a break…some adventure on the water. So I hit up my good friend, and world-class spear fisherman, Colin Sutton at indigoadventures.com. Colin was just wrapping up a NOLS course in Northern Alaska, and he had a small break in the action to hang out. We decided to meet in Sitka since Colin had two Ocean Kayak Trident 13s and a 16ft Zodiac in storage. There had to be some fun to be had in that available combo!
An untimely storm had ripped through SE Alaska upon my arrival. This was not your typical ‘Sitka Sunshine’ but despite the weather, I was able to kick around town and even sit down for once to read a book.
Once the weather subsided, Colin picked me up and we picked up the zodiac and kayaks to head to the water. We strapped the 13ft kayak across the bow of the Zodiac ‘Mothership’, threw in only a few essentials, and we were off. The clouds separated and the sun shone for the first time in days as to say ‘welcome’.
The scenes at the harbor as we exited included a historic lighthouse, many commercial fishing boats, endless birds, and occasional fly by at the airport. Behind us the serene green mountains with partial cloud cover resting over them.
We took off with the NE wind blowing at us in semi rough conditions in the inner cove heading straight for Mt. Edgecumbe (a volcano that carries its own storm system). About 15 miles out, humpbacks surfaced not 50ft away. We were we fortunate enough to hang out with them for a few minutes until the last tail breached. We fired up the motor and cruised a while longer until Colin pointed out a nice bait ball. We headed over hoping for some salmon to no avail but meanwhile spotted some puffins in the near distance.
We were 30 miles out when we put the kayak in at one of Colin’s favorite halibut holes in about 120ft on a pinnacle. The sun still shinning, I enjoyed the view of the rarely visible peak of the volcano. Within minutes, I was hooked! It was no halibut, and had that typical ling shake and I just started reeling. It wasn’t the halibut I was looking for, but it was a big ling at 46”. What a start to the day! She looked like a real bruiser, with signs of a rocky life. After learning quickly to man handle the beast (thanks Colin!), she was photo’d and released. A second later, Colin was into the biggest black rocky I’ve ever seen as well. With that excitement, Colin wanted to move on to a better spot. Better? I am down.
We headed SW and found another of Colin’s favorite diving pinnacles. It was while I was sharing my breakfast with the sea that Colin was into something big off the zodiac. Colin’s ling measured in at 58”, est. 60lbs. I couldn’t believe it and had to get back to fishing!
After hooking into a bunch more lings over 40-55”, I ended up just short of Colin’s big fish of the day with a 56”. We celebrated and called it a day!
A typical Indigo Adventure as we bombed back in the late hour surrounded by rarely seen pod of doll porpoises. I attempted at some video off the front of the zodiac when one launched out of the water and soaked me like the log flume at a water park. Colin laughed “you got porpoised!”
We returned to the dock, cleaned a few fish, and headed off to The Pub for a burger, a pint, and some billiards. I flew out next day.
"Within minutes, I was hooked! It was no halibut, and had that typical ling shake and I just started reeling."