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Thread: Homer or Whittier Halibut

  1. #1
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    Default Homer or Whittier Halibut

    Hello All,

    Thanks for checking out my post. My name is Aaron I am in the Army stationed at JBER. I had a couple questions for the group.

    1st I was wondering if there was anyone going to be fishing out of Homer memorial weekend that may have an extra seat. I am definitely willing to help out, just don't have a lot of money.

    2nd I have been told the fishing out of Whittier for Halibut is a bit harder but the chances of catching a big one 100+lbs is a lot better. Is there anyone that fishes out of Whittier that may have an open seat anytime this summer.

    3rd Can you catch Halibut consistently from the beach, if so could you help guide me to a place to do some surf casting. I was under the impression the Homer spit was a good place, until I got down to Homer last year and learned the chances of catching Halibut were slim to none from the end of the spit. It is fun catching everything else there though.

    This will probably be my last summer here in AK, I am trying to make the most out of it. Thanks everyone for any help or advice.

  2. #2
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I have caught 2 Halibut in about 4 trips fishing from the end of the spit.
    So slim to none isn't entirely true.
    For surfcasting I would try the Kasilof beach,the Kenai beach,and/or whiskey gulch.
    I'd you read the surfcast threads on here you will learn a lot of the techniques etc. The search feature can be your friend.
    I wouldn't call the beach consistent fishing but they are there and cheaper to get to. As well as a fun time with a great view.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    1) I'd love to take you out fishing but I have so many irons in the fire this summer I don't know if or when I'll get out on the water.

    2) A shot at a big fish has all to do with who is at the helm and what spots the captain chooses to fish than whether or not you head out of Homer, Seward or Whittier. You have to spend a decent amount of time on the water to hook a big halibut, they are not landed every day by every boat. I've found Whittier to be the toughest spot to get into halibut consistently unless you head way out there and whether conditions don't always allow that.

    3) I've never tried beach fishing but my impression reading from others experience is it's hit or miss with more misses than hits. The spit isn't the only spot, Whiskey Gulch and I believe the mouth of the Anchor River are also worthwhile spots to fish.
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    I've fished from both places plus Deep Creek and Seward. There are advantages and disadvantages of all the places. Paul is exactly right, the charter captain's knowledge of the waters and his philosophy is the key. Some only care about getting each person their limit and heading back to the dock. This was worse when they could do two trips a day. Some actually try hard for the bigger fish. Also as pointed out, big fish don't come every trip. I've fished once or twice a year since 98 and last summer was the first time I caught a 100+ halibut, although I've been on the boat when others were caught. Whittier is generally more expensive but you save on gas, lodging and food. Deep Creek and Homer you can be fishing within 45 minutes, not so from Whittier or Seward. Sorry, not going out Memorial Day week end.

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    Thanks for all the advice,
    I noticed when I went out of Seward with the military resort last year it was a full boat and that was the concern getting everyone limited out. Which is also good, everyone pays so getting a limit is a good thing. The one thing I realized going out of Seward is you pay for a full day trip but you are fishing about the same amount of time as a half day trip out of Homer, The 3 hour boat trip to the fishing grounds and then back definitely cuts down on the fishing time.
    I tried Surf casting last year from Wiskey Gulch, I did catch about a 40lb skate.

  6. #6
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    great halibut fish from both ports! Whittier will be much closer to Anchorage if that matters? also Seward has Excellent Halibut opportunity's as well, I know people surf cast from beaches around the Homer and Seward area, but not sure about Whittier? Shoot me a message and we can figure out your memorial weekend trip. Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Nemo View Post
    great halibut fish from both ports! Whittier will be much closer to Anchorage if that matters? also Seward has Excellent Halibut opportunity's as well, I know people surf cast from beaches around the Homer and Seward area, but not sure about Whittier? Shoot me a message and we can figure out your memorial weekend trip. Cheers
    CPT Nemo I tried to send you a PM, but not sure if it is going threw or not. I checked my sent folder right after I send the second one and it still said 0 messages.

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    I have also thought about trying an 10' zodiak launching from off the beach of whiskey gulch, or one of them areas. I can rent one from the Army base pretty cheap, whats your opinion or thoughts on fishing from a zodiak.

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    As long as the weather is good Try off Anchor Pt it is better fishing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by awhx4 View Post
    I have also thought about trying an 10' zodiak launching from off the beach of whiskey gulch, or one of them areas. I can rent one from the Army base pretty cheap, whats your opinion or thoughts on fishing from a zodiak.
    I have many years of fishing from an inflatable boat, mostly from anchor point about 10 miles out. Always plan trips according to weather and water movement.


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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by awhx4 View Post
    I have also thought about trying an 10' zodiak launching from off the beach of whiskey gulch, or one of them areas. I can rent one from the Army base pretty cheap, whats your opinion or thoughts on fishing from a zodiak.
    This is a good option especially if you pick your days. For specifically targeting halibut, I've had better luck off the beaches south of Deep Creek. Make sure you read the regulations on the king salmon conservation zone. This time of year it seems like we find more of them in less than 30 ft of water close to shore than say a mile or two out. So you will feel a tad safer. The issue with Whiskey Gulch is that the surf breaks right on the beach. So prepare to get pounded into the shore if there is more than 3 or 4 ft seas. Prepare means to have gear stowed or strapped down and any gear that can't get wet should be in a dry bag (camera, phones, etc) .It always seems a little better near Deep Cr because it seems like the surf breaks a little bit further off the beach, then you have a a little bit more water after it breaks to manage the boat onto the shore line. Anchor Point I don't recommend if there is any chance of weather picking up until you have some experience because there , it is super shallow for a LONG ways out. That means if the weather picks up, you will encounter breaking surf a quarter to a half mile off shore it seems like and if you get into trouble, THAT is where it will be. Also when launching or landing, NEVER stand between the beach and the boat. I've been run over by a 50lbs kayak and it was no fun. But on a nice day, any of those options will work. The Homer Spit is also ot bad since there always seems to be a one side that is a protected from the winds.

    And to state the obvious, be careful of gaffs and harpoons. Even a 30lbs halibut is hard to control and may twist and turn right at boat side...which would not be good for a zodiac. I'd consider a large King Salmon size net which should be good for anything up to 40 or 50 lbs which will be 95% of the fish you catch in that area. Bleed the fish and let it calm down a bit with a few bonks on the head before you bringing it in. a 30lbs halibut in a 10ft zodiak will wreak havoc on any gear and passengers if it "comes to life" again. If you haven't experienced that yet, they are WAY more powerful than you could ever imagine.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kardinal_84 View Post
    (snip) A 30lbs halibut in a 10ft zodiak will wreak havoc on any gear and passengers if it "comes to life" again. If you haven't experienced that yet, they are WAY more powerful than you could ever imagine.
    Reminds me of a trip with a buddy when he decided to straddle a halibut on deck to give it a bop with the attitude adjuster. Before he managed to swing the bat the halibut's tail flopped up and smacked him right in the jewels.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kardinal_84 View Post
    This is a good option especially if you pick your days. For specifically targeting halibut, I've had better luck off the beaches south of Deep Creek. Make sure you read the regulations on the king salmon conservation zone. This time of year it seems like we find more of them in less than 30 ft of water close to shore than say a mile or two out. So you will feel a tad safer. The issue with Whiskey Gulch is that the surf breaks right on the beach. So prepare to get pounded into the shore if there is more than 3 or 4 ft seas. Prepare means to have gear stowed or strapped down and any gear that can't get wet should be in a dry bag (camera, phones, etc) .It always seems a little better near Deep Cr because it seems like the surf breaks a little bit further off the beach, then you have a a little bit more water after it breaks to manage the boat onto the shore line. Anchor Point I don't recommend if there is any chance of weather picking up until you have some experience because there , it is super shallow for a LONG ways out. That means if the weather picks up, you will encounter breaking surf a quarter to a half mile off shore it seems like and if you get into trouble, THAT is where it will be. Also when launching or landing, NEVER stand between the beach and the boat. I've been run over by a 50lbs kayak and it was no fun. But on a nice day, any of those options will work. The Homer Spit is also ot bad since there always seems to be a one side that is a protected from the winds.

    And to state the obvious, be careful of gaffs and harpoons. Even a 30lbs halibut is hard to control and may twist and turn right at boat side...which would not be good for a zodiac. I'd consider a large King Salmon size net which should be good for anything up to 40 or 50 lbs which will be 95% of the fish you catch in that area. Bleed the fish and let it calm down a bit with a few bonks on the head before you bringing it in. a 30lbs halibut in a 10ft zodiak will wreak havoc on any gear and passengers if it "comes to life" again. If you haven't experienced that yet, they are WAY more powerful than you could ever imagine.
    Thanks for the information, that is definitely very helpful. I am going to check out the deep creek idea, and read up on the regs. Can you surf cast from the south side of deep creek. I am assuming there is a boat launch at deep creek, but does anyone know what it cost? whatsize boats can you launch out of there. Thanks for the great information.

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    OK, definitely not going to be able to rent me a boat from on base for memorial day weekend. If anyone in the Homer area has an extra seat or hook a Soldier up. I will be in Homer from Friday-Sunday. Going to take my girls to the end of the spit so they can play with the fish. I would love to get into the Halibut this weekend.

    Or if anyone has any good Surf fishing spots close to Homer that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all the help...

  15. #15

    Default Homer or Whittier Halibut

    Surf fishing for anything that bites is good by lands end near the ferry dock. For halibut whiskey gulch is your best bet. If your casting skills are decent, try right in front of the condos by lands end directly in the middle of the row. Cast out with a large heavy spoon or herring if you can get it out far enough. Low tide will be much better than high tide there.


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  16. #16

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    Here is an example of the issues at Whiskey Gulch. Water looked fine 20 yards offshore. By the time I could launch, the tides were wrong and I'd have to stay out till late afternoon so I bagged it. But if you caught the wrong swell coming in, I'd probably would not only flipped, but I'd also been driven into the beach pretty hard. I'd say this was on the edge of do-able but I didn't want to risk it getting any worse while I was out. Sometimes discretion has to be the better part of valor. Lol.
    http://youtu.be/3mH5zitazrs


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