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Thread: Seward Halibut Charters

  1. #1
    Member AKHunterNP's Avatar
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    Default Seward Halibut Charters

    I know this is kind of late to be booking but I will be coming back from Afghanistan to Fairbanks in late April/early May. I have never fished out of Seward or for Halibut for that matter so I'm looking for a good charter service. It will be me, my wife and 3 children ages 14, 10 and 7. I've seen prices ranging from $350-$220 a person or chartering the whole vessel for $1500 and up. I'm not overly concerned about the price as much as the wife is. We will be pulling the RV down there and probably staying at the Seward MWR facility. So here are my questions:

    1. Is there any charter service more reputable than any other?
    2. Is the 7 year old boy and 10 year old girl going to be able to handle a Halibut? I'm not too concerned with the 14 year old girl. She's caught 50lb kings out of the Klutina on her own when she was 12.
    3. Would you suggest trying to charter the whole boat for ourselves only?
    4. Is there a charter service that consistently catches more or bigger Halibut?
    5. Would you recommend a full day Halibut only or a combo charter?

    I know it's a lot of questions but like I said, we've never done a charter for Halibut and after being gone a year I want to give the family a good vacation and fishing experience.
    "...arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe...Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them." -Thomas Paine

  2. #2
    Member AKHunterNP's Avatar
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    Sorry, one more question. I'm not locked in to going to Seward so if there is a better place (Homer, Whittier, Valdez, Kenai) please let me know. I'm not worried about the drive, I'll be driving all the way from North Pole so another hour or two doesn't matter.
    "...arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe...Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them." -Thomas Paine

  3. #3
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    I booked a trip out of Seward for my wife, myself and our little girl with
    http://www.justintimecharters.com/. He was very enthusiastic about us getting out as a family, and was great to chat with over the phone.

    Good luck with your search, there are so many charter operators out of there, its tough to weed through them all.

  4. #4
    Member redleader's Avatar
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    I would answer yes to all 5 unless you charter out of seward in July or later then I would take advantage of the combo options. The Seward or other areas question has already been beat to death, good luck.

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    I'll comment on 2, 5, and location a little

    I halibut fish all year with my kids. Hehe I have 5 at home with three additional foster kids ranging from 3 - 24. My six year old daughter was holding her own pole and got a hit. She set the hook and absolutely refused any help other than steadying the pole some. It was a cookie cutter chicken but she cranked it in herself. 140' of running tide.
    so yea depending on the grrrrr factor of the child, your kids will have a great time.

    These charter guy know their &$@&. Lol. Typically after only a few minutes of getting a scent going, the bite will be on. Not too sure how the big boats work but on a smaller boat you'll limit fairly fast if not releasing constantly for bigger fish (rarer and rarer these days)
    My kids get kinda bored quick so a combo butt/salmon day keeps it new all day. Then again my wife only wants (insists) halibut fishing.

    The biggest benefit I know when it comes to location is scenery. I've fished and enjoy Deepcreek runs but the truth is (for me at least) there isn't much to see. The water is grey an the shore line is one continuous running bluff. I haven't butt fished Whittier, however Whittier, Seward, and Homer have clear water, wildlife to see both in and out of the water, and you can catch any number of things on the hook. We've caught octopus, yellow eye, halibut, silvers, kings, shark, numerous rock fish, skate and much more. Deepcreek I've only gotten butt, cod, skate and an occasional irish lord. Accept for that crab asking directions to homer.
    King fishing is great out of anchor point area though and a combo run might end up there anyway.

    Hope that wasn't too much

  6. #6
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    1. Is there any charter service more reputable than any other?
    Yes, and typically the most reputable ones are already booked.
    2. Is the 7 year old boy and 10 year old girl going to be able to handle a Halibut? I'm not too concerned with the 14 year old girl.
    She's caught 50lb kings out of the Klutina on her own when she was 12.
    It's typically not the halibut that is tough in little kids, it's the heavy rods and sinkers. Ask the charter if they have jigging rods. A kid can handle a jigging rod with a 7-12oz jig much easier than a tuna stick in a 3# cod sinker.
    3. Would you suggest trying to charter the whole boat for ourselves only?
    With 5 people you've pretty much tied up a six pack.
    4. Is there a charter service that consistently catches more or bigger Halibut?
    This goes back to #1. But catching big fish is more a luck than talent thing. 100+# fish are not caught every day.
    5. Would you recommend a full day Halibut only or a combo charter?
    I'm partial to combo's, rockfish and silvers are honestly more fun to catch than halibut.

    As to ports, comparing Seward to Whittier. Seward is a shorter boat ride to the fishing grounds and typically better fishing. But, you're open to the Gulf of Alaska, so the water is going to be rougher. Whittier is incredibly scenic and the islands buffer you from the Gulf so typically calmer water.

    You might through Valdez in the mix coming from Fairbanks.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  7. #7
    Member logman 49's Avatar
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    The Rec camp has a fleet of boats that go out every day and could take your family I believe.

  8. #8
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    You probabaly do not want to take a charter and fish for big halibut with three kids that will struggle to pull in 20 pounders. I would reccomend a combination trip, maybe with Alaska northern Outfitters. They have a big boat that a a 75 dollar companion rate. That way you could go for cheaper then the rec camp boats and the boat is huge and comfortable - which is important with smaller kids- and the Captain on that boat is far better than any captain that works for the rec camp.

    As much as I would love to tell you to come with me, taking small kids on my boat is not fair to the hardcore fishermen who expect to fish for bigger halibut for most of the day no matter what.

    I think there might be a bit more than luck involved in putting bigger halibut in the boat but the problem is that it takes patience and kids are not set up to be patient. They want rods bend and fish flying into the boat.

    Good luck

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCAPT View Post
    You probabaly do not want to take a charter and fish for big halibut with three kids that will struggle to pull in 20 pounders. I would reccomend a combination trip, maybe with Alaska northern Outfitters. They have a big boat that a a 75 dollar companion rate. That way you could go for cheaper then the rec camp boats and the boat is huge and comfortable - which is important with smaller kids- and the Captain on that boat is far better than any captain that works for the rec camp.

    As much as I would love to tell you to come with me, taking small kids on my boat is not fair to the hardcore fishermen who expect to fish for bigger halibut for most of the day no matter what.

    I think there might be a bit more than luck involved in putting bigger halibut in the boat but the problem is that it takes patience and kids are not set up to be patient. They want rods bend and fish flying into the boat.

    Good luck
    If you want to come to Homer, I love taking kids out. There is nothing more that I love than helping a child pull in a big halibut. they'll remember it for the rest of their life.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  10. #10

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    It sounds like you are planning a trip in early May, so your species options are somewhat limited. I only have experience in the latter part of the season. I stayed at the military resort in early August 2010. I did not fish on the boats that operate out of the lodge, but rather fished with one of the local reputable charters, which was fantastic (ProFishnSea). I observed most of the catches from the fleet that operates out of the resort. It seemed like they always brought in limits of small halibut, an occasional nice halibut, and usually at least some silvers. Some days they would bring in a lot of silvers. Very few, if any ling cod or rockfish, though. I'm pretty sure they take 10 people per boat, and run 4 boats, and while I was there it seemed like they were booked every day. My suggestion is to book at least one day on a lodge boat. They are large enough for everybody in your family to be comfortable and very reasonably priced at about $200/person. Plus they have deckhands to help the kids. You could go 2 days for about the price of one day on an exclusive charter. I think you might have to "tip" the deckhands to clean your fish though. With 5 people fishing in your family, you would surely leave with a lot of meat.

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    Andy makes some good points. I dont think a hard core trip would be good with kids that age. you can spend hours pounding waves just to get there and that is not always fun. also it would not be fair to the others on the charter to have kids that are upset with. DO NOT get me wrong i think you should take your kids out fishing!!!!! Just taylor the trip to the kids. If i were you i would take Mutley up on his charter. Its a short run out and you WILL get fish and your kids will have a blast. His charter would be PERFECT! There is nothing better than taking kids out hunting and fishing but dont push them to hard until they are up for it or you will ruin them on fishing. Mutley is very reasonable with his prices and he would do a great job for you.

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    Andy has a good point about the boat size and what the kids look for in thier fishing trip! Kids like action and if action is what they need Josh Brooks is the man for you he runs the Huntress out of Homer, if he is not fishing try Silver Fox. That is only if you come to Homer. Seward is good too

  13. #13
    Member AKHunterNP's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice. We would be going around the 1st or 2nd week of June. I tried checking on the charters out of the Seward Rec area but there isn't much info on the website about it. Since I do have 3 kids I was trying to find a smaller boat that could be just the family. I know if it's all of us and one other guy and he wants to go to deeper waters and the kids are getting sick or anything then it's deeper water we go. I know if I was on a charter by myself and someone had a family I'd be pretty upset if the Capt turned us around or stayed in shallow water because of them.
    "...arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe...Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them." -Thomas Paine

  14. #14
    Member AKHunterNP's Avatar
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    Muttley, sent you a PM.
    "...arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe...Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them." -Thomas Paine

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    DON'T use Saltwater Safari, they ripped me off in 2009 and want to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else.............

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    Thanks for the info FL
    "...arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe...Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them." -Thomas Paine

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