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Alaskan Trip recommendations


sammygee

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Had an Alaskan Trip booked for July 2020 to the Kenai Riverbend Resort but due to Covid and Salmon fishing restrictions we had to cancel.  We are planning to go June 2021.  The trip we missed included two guided boat trips on the Kenei for Kings, two ocean trips for Halibut, a flight trip into an interior lake for Ling and Rainbows, and a flight trip to view and photograph Grizzles.  Last year the entire Kenai Area was shut down for Salmon Fishing cause the run was delayed and I don't want to take that chance.

 

Have any LOU folks had a good experience that they can share with me.  I am looking, of course, to catch a 40lb King, a Halibut about the size of my garage door, sleep in a clean bed and have access to good food.  Looking forward to some good recommendations

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Sammygee I’ve been running around Alaska for the past 25 years. You have a better chance to actually king salmon fish if you fish out in Bristol Bay but then the Halibut experience isn’t as easily available.

Kenai has the biggest kings on average along with the Kisseloff river that runs into the Kenai near Soldotna on the peninsula.

The salmon fishery in Alaska is the most regulated fishery in the world. If the fish counters the Alaska Fish & Game department have in place at the mouth of the river are not showing enough fish have entered they shut the salmon fishing down immediately.

The biggest risk for a fishing trip to Alaska is trying to get to fish Kenai Kings. In July you get huge runs of Sockeye and while not kings are real rockets for a fight on rod and reel.

For my money Homer is the place to go out of for Halibut. The fleet of boats out of there are excellent. Plus it’s close to the Anchor river which gets a run if kings if you can fish them.

Google Mark Glassmaker’s guided trips. He can provide the king fishing, halibut trips. And fly outs and he has excellent cabins right near the river. Mark is also deeply involved as a stakeholder in the King fishery management. He will have first hand knowledge of what is going on next year.


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Most of the fishing on Cook Inlet/highway system pretty much sucks and is shut down more often than not.  You can get early run kings on the Kasilof...they are not 40lbers but hatchery fish so the season is usually open.  Bob Ball is the best guide , book him early.  Even the halibut limits are getting harder to fill and barn doors are rare unless you take a long boat ride out of homer.

 

I would tell you to pony up the cash and go fish the nushagak on Bristol bay...but even the fishing there has been quite bad the last two years with no snowpack and low flows.

 

unfortunately the fishing in Alaska is not what it was even 12 years ago when I started going.  Many of the guides,camp,lodges are not exactly forthcoming about that information either....they’ll book you, take your money, then apologize when you get there and the season is closed.  No one here believes in climate change but I can tell you the fish in AK absolutely do.  I won’t be spending the $$$$ to go back until the numbers start to come back.

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Southeast Alaska is where you want to be for kings these next two summers. They had great recruitment the last two years with this year being exceptional. The young kings were looking like they were finding plenty of forage. I feel that 30 and 40 lbs fish are going to be very common down that way. Anywhere along this coast will get it done. 

The halibut situation is a GAF fishery for large butts. This is not cheap. You are paying for a commercial quota that was bought buy your charter outfit. They did raise the size limit for non residents last year that really helped putting more white meat on cleaning tables. But for a true "barn door" and being non resident the GAF program is the only way being guided.

 

Kisutch 

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The two easily accessed towns are Ketchikan and Sitka. Alaska air drops you into both. My choice would be Craig, Alaska on Prince of Wales Island. That is either a ferry ride or float plane trip from Ketchikan. You might not get the bear viewing you seek but the whole southeast part of the state is stunning. The Kenai peninsula is just run over with people now and just not the same. 

 

Kisutch 

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We flew to Anchorage and rented an RV and traveled to Denali, Fairbanks, Seward, and Homer. We spent 20 days in the RV in September at reduced rates of $90 a day spit between 2 couples . We had a great time and caught salmon, grayling, rainbows and dollies on our own for very little cost. It was to late for good salmon fishing but we got to see a lot of beautiful country and lots of wildlife.
We also hooked up with a former student that took us for a couple days of halibut fishing.
You could always hire guides or stop at resorts if you desired. It was nice to be able to set our own schedule and do it on the cheap.


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On 12/2/2020 at 9:26 AM, Kevin J Legg said:

We flew to Anchorage and rented an RV and traveled to Denali, Fairbanks, Seward, and Homer. We spent 20 days in the RV in September at reduced rates of $90 a day spit between 2 couples . We had a great time and caught salmon, grayling, rainbows and dollies on our own for very little cost. It was to late for good salmon fishing but we got to see a lot of beautiful country and lots of wildlife.
We also hooked up with a former student that took us for a couple days of halibut fishing.
You could always hire guides or stop at resorts if you desired. It was nice to be able to set our own schedule and do it on the cheap.


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Great job KJL!!!  So what time of the year is better for Kings?

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I believe mid summer depending on the area. We went in Early September as RV rates were 1/2 price in the off season. Still caught Chums, reds, rainbows, dollies and grayling on fly rods and had a super trip for the relatively low cost. Just did some research as regulations vary depending on locations. Managed to bring back 100 lbs of frozen halibut in coolers as extra luggage also cheap.


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14 day quarantine on arrival there. Forget about it.Anchorage has. Million visitors daily in the summer. My brother who lives in downtown Anchorage now says there are no tourists anymore. The airport has mainly freighter traffic. Even the residents are not traveling south this winter. Commercial fishing boats are having trouble with crews stopped at the Canadian border even. We have better salmon/ trout fishing here on Lake Ontario and it’s tributary systems.

 

 

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22 hours ago, Bait Bucket said:

This was our July 4th trip to Seward, AK in 2019. That halibut in the middle was 100lbs. Highly recommended if you can get there. Brought back two 50lb boxes of fish. Used them as checked bags on the airplane, cost 80 bucks.

20190704_174355.jpg

 

If you don't mind me asking, how much was the trip, all in?  

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So, the fishing charter was $395.00 per person. End of June until mid/end of August is peak season. This was booked with J-Dock charters. In my opinion, they are probably the best charter in Seward. The hotel was right across the street, just walk over, it was I believe around $145.00 a night. I think the license is $25.00.

J-Dock will clean, fillet, cut, vacuum seal and freeze your fish for about $1.35 a pound. Plus the cost of your shipping box. (can't recall the price of these, but not a lot). Took them as checked bags at the airport (40 bucks each)  Fed ex is about 300. Still frozen when I got home.

Halibut, Ling Cod, Rock fish (black and yellow eye) and silvers, all in one 12 hour trip. Kings are gone from the sound at that time. It's kind of different fishing with an eight pound jig in over 300 feet of water. They'll use a whole salmon for bait.  LOL.

There are cheaper charters, they will get you two halibut that are just about legal size and your done. Maybe some salmon also. J-Dock goes out about 3 hrs. to where the larger fish are. They will let you keep one, and it is usually well over 40 pounds. They keep nothing under that. The 3 largest were 100, 74, 65 pounds.

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We got to spend 20 days touring on our own in the RV rental. The most expensive part of the trip were our flights.
I did a great deal of research on fishing and took our own gear and it worked out pretty well. We got to fish in many different locations and seldom had to pay for parking the RV overnight. We did take a bus trip trough Denali which was well worth the cost.
We were also fortunate to hook up with a former student that took us halibut fishing for not much money. We cleaned, vacuum sealed, and froze our fish with his help and brought home 100 lbs of halibut in coolers.
It did take planning and we were with a very compatible couple that made our trip extremely affordable and enjoyable.
Was definitely a trip to remember!




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We go to Island Point Lodge on the Wrangell narrows outside Petersburg, you fish on you own, after a day or 2 learning curve youll do fine

 on my last trip we brought home 300 pounds of Halibut and Kings, SE Alaska was about the only spot nonresidents could keep kings a few years ago,  also the bottom fishing was fantastic for Yellow eye and rockfish, our 2 biggest Halibut that week were 109 and 163lbs,. food was good and accommodations nice, nobody waits on you all the time,. this is fishing on your own, but the owners grandsons normally know where the bite is good,  

 

2018 pics

forgot to mention all the Halibut were taken in about 100 feet of water,  way easier than pulling one from 300 feet

20180625_175607.jpg

image000000(1).jpg

Edited by Tradman
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