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Thread: Chicken Halibuts in protected bay??

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    Default Chicken Halibuts in protected bay??

    Hey guys,
    I'm hopping someone in this forum can point me out in the right direction regarding fishing for chicken Halibuts in protected bays such as Whittier and Seward. You guys have done great helping me out in the past and hope to get more inputs.
    Well, here's the thing...I'm planing on purchasing a cheap boat to start fishing out of the bays (Particularly an 80s 16 ft Bayliner Capri with a small cuddy cabin and 85 Hp force outboard at $2k. Don't know if that's a good deal or not but everything seems to be in good condition). I know nothing about boating yet and have heard many bad things and a few good about these older Bayliners, but im am looking to start my boating experience on smaller lakes like Nancy Lake first.
    There after getting comfortable, I would like to try to fish for salmon, rockfish and especially halibut in both Whittier and Seward Bays. I'm not looking for anyone's fishing spot, but would like to know if there's even any chicken Halibuts in these closer areas. I don't plan on going out far because the boat is too small in my opinion. Maybe 3-5 miles Max out from the dock. In the past, all we've done is fish for chicken halibut off the shore of Clam Gulch and it's been a hit or miss. Sometimes we'll catch many and sometimes none at all. So I assume, casting out from Clam Gulch shores will land us some small halibut so why not 3 miles out from the bay... in good days that is... and with under 3ft swells. I don't think I'll even dare take this fiberglass boat out in Clam Gulch or Whisky Gulch though. Can it be done with little risk? What do you guys think? Would this cheap Bayliner at $2k be a good boat to start off with and will I be able to catch Halibuts in these bays knowing that I'll be too afraid of going out far? I've also caught plenty of salmon off of theses shores to, but would like to add in the boating experience. Is worth getting this boat for fishing OR would I be better off on the shores for both Salmon and Halibut? Thanks in advance for all of your repsonses.

  2. #2

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    When I was a little kid my uncle baught almost the same boat. Him and my dad would fish out of anchor point. He baught the boat with a cabin to help keep water out if it kicks up a little on your way back. Before buying the bayliner he had a small tri haul the would take out. One day the fishing was way to good. All big halibult over 100 one being over 200. They didn't want to leave when it started to kick up and the extra half hour fishing almost cost them there lives. They had used more fuel then as anticipated to so they had to change tanks on the fly and like my dad said if the line woulda pulled air there were in the water. If you know what your doing and when to say when you will be able to do lots of fishing in that thing but definatly need to study up on the signs of when to run. Big lake on a windy day can get choppy enough to get a feel for your boat in small chop.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    For years I also fished out of a 16' aluminum boat from Anchor Point. Went out as far as 9 miles or so. Just gotta pick your days. I too waited a little too long once before heading back and it was a long, LONG ride. But like what was said, if you know what your doing and know how to ride the waves when it kicks up a little then it's not that big a deal. I was out on Tustumena Lake once in my now 18'er and it made the inlet look like child's play. We were lucky to make it that day.....shouldn't have tried it.

    BTW.....sounds like a real good deal on that Bayliner. The only problem with a heavy boat though is you can't launch it on or off the beach which is what I still do with my 18' aluminum. So if you need to either use the harbor, or the tractors, or wait for the tide in one of the rivers, then a guy might want to ask himself if he may as well just get a bigger boat?

    And yes, you can get into halibut just about anywhere....
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    Hey guys, thanks for the replys. It sounds like I will not be going out to the inlet or sound any time soon. Looks like I'll need plenty of experience on the bigger lakes before even getting out there. My main concern is, will I be able to hook onto any halibut 3-5 miles out in the Whittier and Seward Bay. I remember doing a charter there and it seemed forever to get out there only to catch some chickens. Hopefully that's not the case.

  5. #5

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    3-5 miles anchor point with a tractor launch or even homer. Whittier is typically a trip. Seward depends. I have caught 20lb but out of the harbor In seward and in the bay but know of people catching very nice fish even in close to the sea life center or around the fairy dock.

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    Wow, thanks a bunch troutslayer. You sure are giving me high hopes now. We'll see how this year goes for me, wife and kids then. I'll come back and post picture if I do get lucky.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    While you may catch a halibut or two with lots of time and effort out of Whittier, it is anything but a sure bet for halibut within 3-5 miles of port. I'm not very familiar with Seward, but for consistent halibut action close to port, your best bet is Homer.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    My whittier halibut chicken hole is 85 miles out. I have caught 1 halibut within 10 miles of whittier though.

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    My consistent halibut spot is 3 miles from the spit.



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    I've caught halibut close in out of Whittier in the past but it takes a lot of prospecting, patience with long soaks to get anything so not real productive in close. But, big fish occasionally. My son's mother-in-law got a 105# near Pt. Pigot on my boat so they are there. And I've seen a small open skiff bring in an 80# off the Sealife Center in Seward. But like most posts, the reliable fishing is out a ways in both places. The things to watch for while venturing out of Whittier in a small boat are the glacier winds which kick up and blow for a while. The nasty chop usually dies down out past Shotgun but can make it tough getting back in if they kick up. Out of Seward its the afternoon day breeze which typically comes up right after noon with 3 footers closely spaced so you need to head in before that starts up or stay in real close. Good luck. There are fish in close but you have to watch the weather and be patient.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    One of my 3 scariest times in a boat was the 7 or so miles from decision point to whittier in an 18' hewes searunner.


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    I had a Force outboard once. I would not go any further than you care to row. It was a 40 horse that I got brand new.


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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    One of my 3 scariest times in a boat was the 7 or so miles from decision point to whittier in an 18' hewes searunner.


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    My scariest ever was in the same spot in a 27 foot Kingfisher. Wow.
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    Wow, thanks for the replies guys, but you guys make it sound way too dangerous out there especially for a small 16 footer fiberglass boat. Are you guys just trying to scare me away lol. Just playing. I know the dangers of fishing in salt water because the currents can suddenly change. Our lives are way more important then catching a few fish so I won't ever take any chances. I'll only wait for calm days and haul as back as soon as I see a slight change.
    About the tractor launch in Whisky Gulch. I've heard it's was $65 per launch but would we also have to pay for parking? Also, I been viewing a lot of videos on YouTube about the tractor launch and only see aluminum boats. Have you guys ever seen small fiberglass boats launch from there? My concern is damage to the boat while coming back from fishing since aluminum is tougher to puncture than fiberglass. Thanks for the replies.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Has nothing to do with current, for the most part.


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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    A willawah can come up and kick your ass fast!


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    If you pick your days, stay inside the spit and make sure you're headed in before the daybreeze kicks up you MIGHT get away with a 16' boat on k-bay. I wouldn't take it offshore. Just my .02.


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    I grew up fishing out of Deep Creek in a 16 foot open boat, spent hours trolling and fishing for halibut. That was all anyone used. Launched on the beach or went up the river. We didn't go as far out as the people do now and if it was rough we stayed home. It can be done you just have to be careful. My neighbor tells stories of being out at Knight Island and all around PWS in a 16 ft skiff with one motor. Crazy if you ask me but they did it. My Dr took a 14 ft RIB +to Knight island last winter deer hunting by himself. Don't let the size of your boat stop you but use your head and pay attention to the weather. Know where to hide and when. Homer sounds like the best choice as there are butts closer to safe harbor.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    As I've said many times before, the minimum size boat for realistic fishing conditions in SC is a 20' skiff. Realistic conditions include a 3' chop, especially out of Seward. And you'll also find a 22-24' cabin cruiser to be 10 times more comfortable to use in typical conditions. Size your boat for realistic conditions, not ideal conditions. When you live minutes from the launch you can pick and choose your days and evenings. When you're pulling a boat from Anchorage you've dedicated a day or days to the trip, $100 in travel costs just to get to the port, launch and park and will either have to deal with what the conditions are, or tuck tale and head home.

    If you lived in SE, there are many places where you could catch fish to your hearts content with a 16' boat. But out of a Seward or Whittier such a boat will only lead to frustration or worse yet the temptation to get into waters you have no business in because the fish won't be found close to port.
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