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Thread: Kenia Penninsula post trip discussion and review (including processors)

  1. #1

    Default Kenia Penninsula post trip discussion and review (including processors)

    Man, it was fun getting back to Alaska. Escaping the Texas heat at the end of July is worth the trip by itself. I want to circle back and post information for others to maybe use. I have used this site extensively for research and trip planning, and I want to give feedback/input to the cause.

    We rented a car and drove from Anchorage to Seward, Homer, and Soldotna, fishing along the way. A week fishing in Alaska cost us about $5K per person, with airfare ($1K), guides ($1,700), lodging ($700), car, food, etc. We had 5 guided days of fishing, usually 6 packs. Bought groceries for sack lunches in Anchorage before driving down. Off-airport car rentals save you considerably (Midnight Sun recommended).

    PROCESSORS
    We used J-Dock in Seward, Coal Point in Homer, and Custom Seafoods in Soldotna. They all passed the "got it done" test and prices were all in the same ballpark. J-Dock was chaotic, again. They make you sweat whether you are going to get your catch (if they make it past the common cleaning grounds). J-Docks uses a young, distracted intake and counter staff. Coal Point and Custom had experienced people handling the ticket, and we appreciate the difference it made. Kudos to Coal Point for coming to the boat and hauling the catch up the ramp. We had our fish boxed and flew it home as checked bags at $25-30/box.

    SEWARD
    In Seward, we enjoyed the convenience of staying within walking distance of the dock, food, and drink. Beau of Just-in-Time lead a fine combo trip, and I would go fishing with him again. Wally of Way-to-Go took us on a silver charter and he seemed pretty stressed out for most of our day as he tried to put us on the fish. The nice big boat was comfortable, but he was barking at his daughter deckhand and not social with the clients.

    HOMER
    In Homer, we used Capt. Pete of the Julia Lynn for 2 days of halibut fishing. He was terrific again. Very knowledgeable about the resource, and I hope to fish with him again. Caught an 87 lb butt by the way. Loved eating at Cafe Cups. Spit Sisters makes a nice breakfast sandwich and cup of coffee before getting on the boat. Homer remains my favorite place on the KP.

    SOLDOTNA
    Soldotna during prime dipnetting season is an interesting social gathering. So is staying at Hooligans in Soldotna. They put us around back, which was sketchy enough until the drunk maintenance man stumbled by to pass out for the night in the maintenance shed. It can be a pretty rough crowd in Soldotna. The pancakes are good at Sal's Klondike Diner, and the owner is a sight to watch work. We fished with a guide set up by Andy Szczesny, and floated the upper Kenai for trout. Beautiful stretch of river - I have to remember to do this again after the reds run, not during. Best place we ate was Suzi's just east of town.

    All in all, I want to do it all over again. Thanks to all who contribute to this site.
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  2. #2
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    Great review. What part of TX are you from and do you come up often?

  3. #3

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    Good post. I got to visit the last week of July in 2006. I live in North Carolina and total cost of my trip was about $3500 including airfare and all. We booked with a guy on Funny Moose Road and I can not remember his name, but we was pleased with him and would use him again. He furnished us a place to stay and also booked us a trip on a float plane to I think Wolverine lake to fish for silver salmon. We also had two days booked on the Kenai river to fish for King Salmon. I got one that weighted 45 lb. We also had a trip out of Homer on a boat called the Northern Lights. We all limited out on halibut from about 25 to I think the largest was 38 lb. One guy with us got a ling cod as well. Very good trip. I am very sorry I can not remember the other people's names because they were very good guides. The young guy we fished with on the kenai also had his mom and dad guiding other people the same two days we were fishing with him. Some of you might know there names by this and post them. They need a little credit for doing a good job. There was also a young lady as a mate on the Northern Lights that would put most men to shame working. She was non stop from the time we left until we got back. The only bad thing on our trip was the limit on reds was one or two until the day we left and it went to six. If any of you know these people post there names and give them the credit they deserve.

  4. #4
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    I enjoyed reading this post. Obviously Alaska got to him, as it gets to many others.

    Do your research pehudson, there are more opportunities ahead of you if you want them. Some cost more, some cost less; the mainland is a big place and there are plenty of ways to have fun while on the harvest. Stay abreast of advertising. There are some outfitters out there that offer remote experiences at reasonable prices, but it takes do-diligent searching.

    Don't be afraid to venture off the mainland as well. I've been doing it in Kodiak for over 10 years. Like you, I began close to Anchorage and this is where my evolution finally took me. Do enough of Alaska and you will know. Eventually, it then becomes a matter of personal choice dependent upon what you want and those pockets that you have to reach it.

    Kudos to you...

    Rosenberg; Kodiak, AK / Sarasota, FL / Zhengzhou, CN
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


  5. #5

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    How much fish did you go home with?

  6. #6

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    There was six of us and we went to a store and three of us bought coolers and the other three got the fish boxes from the processor. We each took one cooler or box of fish back home. There was no difference in the fish boxes and the coolers as far as one being better than the other.

  7. #7
    Member carolinaboy's Avatar
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    Great review and a good looking hali you got there, too.

    I have entertained the same sort of trip as this over the last 14 of visiting Alaska but have never managed to leave my favorite AK destination - Prince of Wales Island - but once. POW has become my home away from home for fall Coho fishing the fresh waters there with the occasional salt water trip thrown in. The cost never really has been a big factor. Usually in the range of $2k or less pp for a week for everything. Sometimes less if we bring a 4th angler. Normally, it's three of us as the core group. This year - just me - as the others dropped out.

    The one trip I made other than POW was to a DIY lodge in Excursion Inlet near Gustavus for ~ $2500 pp for the week plus airfare.

    Three months later ... I went again anyway to POW.

    It's really good to hear of other Non-Alaskan's experiences to this great state....and there are a bunch of us.

    Every year on POW I run into many of the very same guys at the same time- a group of 6-11 from Idaho, the Chicago boys, the guys from MT, WY, NV, CA, etc... and the list goes on.

    But it's the islanders who have become my friends that make the place feel like home. The lodge owners treat me like family - and I mean that in the best way. Many of the locals recognize us and pretty much everyone on the island makes us feel welcome. The fabulous fishing is the icing on the cake but getting my "batteries" re-charged by just being there is the real reason to go.

    Didn't mean to hi-jack or ramble on like this ...just getting stoked about going back up in a few weeks.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cast Iron View Post
    There was no difference in the fish boxes and the coolers as far as one being better than the other.
    I agree completely that either a properly packed fishbox or ice chest will protect frozen fish in transit to ones home. However, one place you will find a difference is how airlines handle & charge for fish boxes vs coolers. Some of the floatplane services either will not take coolers or will charge a high premium for them; in contrast they often include fishboxes in your fare. For example, Pacific Airways includes two fishboxes per passenger in their lodge fare at no additional charge. They treat coolers are oversize items and they get loaded as 'space available', meaning they may not get to your destination till a later flight. Likewise, Alaska airlines will treat fishboxes loaded to 50 pounds as normal checked baggage, where coolers can and do get charged as 'oversize' items. American airlines (where I worked for over a decade) keeps changing their baggage policies, but to my knowledge they still treat fish boxes & coolers in the same way as Alaska airlines i.e. checked baggage vs oversize. This can amount to a lot of extra expense in getting your fish home if you're using coolers.

  9. #9

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    We shipped our luggage home by UPS and brought our coolers and fish boxes back as our luggage. Nothing was said about either but it all got lost and it took an extra 8 hours to get our fish home. It is a long story but everything come out good in the end. It cost me $160 to ship one large suitcase and one rod tube home by UPS. The end was completely out of the rod tube when it got here but all rods was in good shape. The suitcase with several high dollar reels in it took a month to get here. If it had not been for some local help at UPS I would of never saw it again.

  10. #10
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeek the Greek View Post
    ...Alaska airlines will treat fishboxes loaded to 50 pounds as normal checked baggage, where coolers can and do get charged as 'oversize' items...
    Just a comment on that. I ship coolers on Alaska Airlines all the time and have never had this experience, as long as they are not overweight or oversized. I just shipped two from Anchorage to Idaho on Alaska and Horizon last month and there were no extra charges at all. A 48-quart Coleman cooler will hold exactly 50# of fish, individually vacuum packed in portion-sized chunks, and will go through the system with no trouble at all. Just run a few wraps of 2-inch packing tape around the narrow sides in a couple of places, and a few wraps around the whole thing at the seam of the lid and cooler body (straps come off). Where you get into trouble is with those giant-sized coolers or with the Yeti Coolers, which are proportionally heavy.

    I have worked for Alaska Airlines for nearly 30 years, so I think I have a pretty clear understanding of this. There are probably other factors in your situation (larger cooler, overweight or excess baggage, for example). Either that, or you caught the wrong agent on a bad day. But it certainly is not the norm.

    Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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  11. #11
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    Michael, this hasn't been something I've had happen to me, but I've seen it often enough when working up by the ticket counter. Yes you're right, the passengers who incur the oversize bag fees are checking coolers larger than 48qts, or loaded heavier than 50 lbs.

  12. #12
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    Parenthetically, I'm not being critical of Alaska airlines or it's policies - I fly with them a couple times a year as a paying passenger (not non-rev!) and can attest to their first-rate customer service and on-time performance. You're a lucky guy for having been with a company like that for 30 years!

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