So far, we've fished the first four inlet-wide commercial fishing openers. These are long days, as we are running the boat out of Homer. We leave the harbor around 2 AM, run for about 5 hours and start fishing at 7 AM. We fish for 12 hours and then make the run back to Homer. Our day usually wraps up around midnight.
Fishing is picking up! We're hoping to be on a trend of doubling our previous catch each opener. It's great to be catching groups of fish, and they look great! We're seeing large (6+ pound) sockeyes and large bright chums. We've caught one coho (silver) so far. The large sockeye are great to see after reports of smaller-than-average early season sockeye at the Copper River.
The commercial fishing forecast for Upper Cook Inlet this season is a good one. Seven million sockeye salmon are expected to return to the major river systems of the Inlet, with almost five million reds returning to the Kenai River. This is 20% more than the 20-year average run.
In short, the fish look great and we're catching them! Now is a great time to place an order for fresh or frozen salmon as the fish we're currently catching are as nice as they'll be all season.