Fishing Report on 3 charters; 1st trip to Alaska; plus other musings
My wife and I went on 3 chartered fishing trips during our first visit to Alaska. We did a lot of other things besides fishing while we were visiting, but I wanted to share my fishing experiences.
Our first charter was to Wolverine Creek with High Adventure Air in Soldotna. Jeremy of High Adventure Air was a terrific and knowledgeable guide, and our boat had a good time. This place is well known by the tour companies, and there were about 40 people waiting to fish "the hole". My wife and I snagged, I mean caught, 3 reds, which was on par with what the other boats were doing. It is frustrating to watch countless fish ignore a fishing lure. This fishing trip convinced me that silver salmon fishing may be more appropriate for me. Felt odd taking only 3 fish to the processor when the dipnetters were bringing in coolers full. I would recommend this to someone who has not done it before, but I would not do it a second time (I prefer fish that bite).
Our second charter was halibut in Homer with Captain Pete of the Julia Lynn. My hours of research paid off with this one, as we loved this trip. My wife caught a 50#, and I caught 35# and 30#, and we caught a good number of pacific cod. The captain was knowledgeable and easy-going. I would do this again, and again, and I highly recommend Capt Pete.
Our third charter was drift fishing the Kasilof with Dennis Randa. This one was not so much fun. When we got in the water, Mr. Randa got in the way of other boats, griped and fussed at several other boats, and had us ready to leave after about 10 minutes. He was pretty grumpy and *****ing all morning until after lunch. We did not catch any kings (not his fault). Mr. Randa has a tremendous knowledge of the river, and loves nature. However, I would not fish with him again, nor would I recommend Mr. Randa.
In the end, we checked 80 pounds of mostly halibut filets onto the plane, and we have already enjoyed 2 top notch halibut dinners.
Other random musings from our first trip to Alaska:
- A trip to Hallo Bay to see bears was pretty cool. I did not expect to be that close to that many bears. Also expected our guide to carry more than a marine flare to protect our group.
- We went to the mouth of the Kenai to watch dipnetters. As nonresidents we could not participate, but it was neat to see this special fishing opportunity.
- Renting a car in Anchorage: You can save several hundred dollars by renting a car away from the airport. An $8 cab ride to Midnight Sun car rental saved us $600.
- I wish I had booked a silver salmon combo in Seward instead of taking the Kenai Fjords boat tour for the day. Guide: "Look at the pod of killer whales off to our right." Me: "Where's my Shimano?"
- Taco Bell in Soldotna with tired dipnetters everywhere - disgusting. Yes, we went to Taco Bell - 2 weeks of $75 dinners left us wanting something simple. Note to self - when there is a line of 20 dirty, tired fishermen in front of you, leave. I was smart enough to not try and use the bathroom.
- Russian River campground. We wanted to stop in and walk to the Russian River Falls. They wanted $11 for parking, regardless of how long we stayed. I kept going. Something about paying $11 for parking in State as big as Alaska rubs me the wrong way.
Good, frank report filled with useful info for other visitors. No slams anywhere in it, but no glossing over problems either. You hit the honest middle ground I wish more folks could find. Congratulations on a great trip, and c'mon back any time!
Thanks! We are already planning a return trip next year for silvers!
As Brownbear said, honest and frank. Alaskans look at fishing as stocking up for winter and it is evident by what you saw with the folks working for their reds. Next year you should consider Seward for some fishing. If the goal is sending salmon home then you could work the red fishery on Nash Rd and the catch is 6 per day. Same with silvers, 6 per day if caught inside Resurrection Bay. A couple of days fishing salmon can produce some nice fish to send home.
I spent some time hanging around the docks in Seward, watching the fishermen come in with nice loads. Next trip, I will plan a combo out of Seward.
Originally Posted by akpolaris
Good plan, I think the Combo trips out of Seward provide the very best all around trip. Great sight seeing, whales, porpoises, halibut/ling/silver/rockfish all hanging on the same board isn't all that uncommon...
Originally Posted by pehudson