A visiting angler braved Wednesday morning's chilly conditions on the Kenai River, and was rewarded for his efforts with a nice early-run king salmon.
"It was cold -- but we had a good time," said Frank Wattelet of Joplin, Mo.
Wattelet, along with Ron McKee of Kansas and Mark McKee of Montana, were fishing from a drift boat with guide Kyle Hall of Tim Berg's Alaskan Fishing Adventures.
Wattelet certainly put in his hours of angler effort -- the group started its drift at 6 a.m., and Wattelet didn't hook up with his king until just before noon.
"It was a good 10-minute fight. It didn't jump much, but it was a plunger in the current," Wattelet said.
The fish measured 38 inches -- just under the 40-inch slot limit adopted for this year's early-run king fishery. The fish was estimated to weigh 26 pounds.
Hall said the group had just one other bite during their drift.
"Fishing was good, but catching was slow," Hall said.
Hall said he was careful to measure the fish before taking it out of the water.
Hall also noted that cold weather and a slow breakup has kept anglers off the river.
"It's very early for catching a king on a charter, but kings are usually caught earlier than this," Hall said. "It's just been such a late spring."
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