It's no secret that the waters around Sitka Alaska are home to some giant lingcod. Part of what I like best about the first few weeks of the season is the abundance of huge lings, and how easy they are to fish for and hook into. Because lingcod season opens May 16 (only catch and release before that), they have been left alone all winter. That leads to these fish really stacking up on rock piles and reefs on the outer coast of Southeast Alaska.
My favorite technique for targeting giant lingcod in Alaska is to set up a drift over a rock pile or off the down hill side of a reef, usually in 200 to 300 feet of water. A 12 ounce lead head with a rubber scampi tail is my favorite, since they don't snag bottom as easily as some of the iron jigs. Set up your drift so it's slow, using the motor in reverse if needed, then lower your jig to the bottom and hold on! When a 40 plus pound lingcod hits your jig, it's not the least bit subtle. You'll want to set the hook to bury the barb in that toothy mouth, then keep a tight line. A two speed reel is nice when bringing up a huge ling. I like a Penn Fathom two speed reel on a Seeker Hercules XH jig rod. It's a very light set up, but has plenty of lifting power in the rod, and plenty of torque in the reel.
To be honest, I do prefer the smaller to medium lingcod (15-25 pounds) for eating quality, but it's super fun to catch and release a few giant fish before keeping one of the best eating size. If you're planning a guided fishing trip to Alaska, be sure to talk to your captain about targeting lingcod at least once on your trip- it's a blast!
Posted on 06/01/2019 at 04:39 PM