Payton Grant barely had time to enjoy the beautiful weather before catching two king salmon at Wayside Dock Monday afternoon.
Payton, 13, of Juneau and his father, Ian, already had plans to come out for a day of fishing and the nice weather made their day that much better.
“I came out here and caught both of my fish within the first 10 minutes,” Payton said. “I casted out twice and got one on my third. I got the lure back, casted out again got another one. It feels pretty good. “
Payton and Ian estimated that the first fish he caught weighed in between 30-35 pounds and the second at about 15 pounds.
“I was so excited for him,” Ian said. “It was a long year last year and we worried about the reports for this year. So, to have them come on like that within the first couple minutes was awesome.”
June 15 marked the beginning of the king salmon retention season — it was catch and release until that date, but after the 15th, fishermen are allowed to keep them if they catch them. Alaska Department of Fish and Game had enacted a conservation measure prohibiting retention of king salmon until that time, citing record-low returns on the Taku River.
Fishermen like Priscilla Jordan said she caught and kept her first king salmon of the season on Sunday. With the weather conditions like they were on Monday, Ramirez said she planned on fishing for at least a few hours.
“When I caught it (on Sunday) it was in the pouring rain, and I was in a hoodie,” Jordan, of Juneau said. “I would not leave until I caught one. Until I catch one (Monday), I am not leaving my spot. I will give it at least 20 more throws and I will catch one.”
Gary Richards said he has had a successful season so far, but had not caught anything Monday.
“I have been out five times and I have been doing pretty well,” Richards, who said he caught a female king Sunday, said. “It was quite rainy when I caught one the other day. Today has definitely been an influence on getting me out here.”
Winneth Ramirez said she caught some fish at Amalga Habor this past weekend, but was still waiting on her first king salmon.
“We are hoping today we get (a king),” Ramirez said. “We are planning on staying for two hours.”
Not all fishermen out Monday had been successful early on in the season. Jerry Voss said he has not caught any in his three outings so far, but was going to go as long as possible Monday.
“I haven’t had any luck,” Voss, of Juneau, said. “I got off work and came here to fish. I’ll be here until the tide is through.”
With the ever-changing weather conditions in Juneau, the fishermen out Monday said the weather will not impact how much they go out the rest of the season.
“Once the season is open, fishing is fishing in Alaska,” Richards said.
• Contact reporter Gregory Philson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 523-2265. Follow him on Twitter at @GTPhilson.