Fishing for huge lingcod in the Sitka Alaska area can be incredibly enjoyable and productive. To target lings, we drift over rocky bottom, preferably a reef or high spot offshore. The depth can be as shallow as 100 feet or as deep as 400 feet. I prefer a lead head jig in the 12-16 ounce range with a scampi rubber tail (no bait necessary for these toothy monsters!).
Send the jig to the bottom, raise and lower the rod around 2 feet per raise, and be ready! The strike is normally not subtle, but you do need to set the hook and keep constant tension on the line to avoid the ling spitting the hook as it shakes its head. In my experience, the strike and first few seconds hooked up is when the fish has the best chance of spitting the hook. If you've kept strong pressure on the line through the initial hook set, you're not likely to lose the ling. At this point, the fish realizes it's hooked and is likely to make a strong run. Hold on, enjoy and prepare for battle!
Once you've battled the monster to the surface, your captain can grab him under the gills to hoist out of the water. Even if the ling is too large for the size limit, it's easy to hold him for the photo before releasing him back to the cold Alaskan waters. The lingcod population around Sitka is very healthy, and they get really big, so you have an excellent chance of hooking into a trophy size ling if you spend an hour or two targeting them.
Posted on 12/19/2018 at 02:00 PM