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Thread: Most economical way to ship fish back from Alaska

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    Default Most economical way to ship fish back from Alaska

    Going to fish off of Kodiak Island this summer on charter boat. What is the best way to ship fish back to the lower 48?

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Best way is to have it RTF--Ready to fly--- and take it with you a checked baggage, that's going to be the cheapest, but there can be some hassle in it if you have long layovers or have to overnight. Depending on who you're fishing with they'll most likely go to Island Seafoods for processing, they ship FedEx. Pickled Willies is a little cheaper for processing and ships UPS which is cheaper on average, don't know how as UPS charges an arm and leg to ship stuff up here, but for some reason they can get great rates from them. Both Island and Willies are good places.
    Life's to short for an ugly boat

    Blaze N Abel Charters
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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Checked as baggage is your cheapest option. The hotel in Kodiak will stow your coolers in there walk in cooler if you stay there.

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    ++ What Abel said.. The Cheapest is to take it as Checked Baggage.
    However, the safest would be to have it shipped ups or fedex to your door step.

  5. #5

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    Be aware that FedEx, UPS, or other shipping companies rates are very expensive to ship back to the lower 48. Last year, for a 50 # fish box from ANC to SFO cost me $225 via FedEx!!!! As others said, checked baggage is the cheapest way to go, as my extra bag fee on Alaska Air was only $25 for the 50 # fish box. However, be aware that some airlines (like Delta!) charge much more for that second bag, and even on Alaska a "third bag fee" jumps up quite a bit. As far as layovers/extra nights causing problems, Alaska Air has freezer storage at most of their hubs, and as long as they know it's frozen/perishable (and clearly marked) there should be no problems. My last fish box on Alaska somehow ended up in Phoenix and it was stored overnight in their freezer with no issues when I finally got it two days later.

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    There are deals to be had, if you ship FedEx/UPS yourself it's stupid expensive like Bob mentioned. I overnighted a 65lb fish box via Pickled Willies last fall for $88 to Topeka Kansas. I have a biz account with FedEx that I use as well, I shipped my outdrive case, 150lbs, via FedEx in Dec for $250 to Maine.
    Life's to short for an ugly boat

    Blaze N Abel Charters
    Kodiak, AK
    www.alaska-fish.com
    https://www.facebook.com/BlazeNAbelCharters/?fref=ts

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    PS if you spend a night in Seattle there ia place to store your fish for the night down stairs where you pick up your bags SID

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    Ship your clothes home and take your fish as your checked baggage! Way cheaper!


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    Do I give my friends advice? Jesus, no. They wouldn't take advice from me. Nobody should take advice from me. I haven't got a clue about anything..

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akmike30 View Post
    Ship your clothes home and take your fish as your checked baggage! Way cheaper!


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    Unless you bring the woman...
    Life's to short for an ugly boat

    Blaze N Abel Charters
    Kodiak, AK
    www.alaska-fish.com
    https://www.facebook.com/BlazeNAbelCharters/?fref=ts

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    Mail your clothes in flat rate boxes and check your fish

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    Large cooler check as baggage! If you are paying for extra bags the 50lb weight limit may not be in place on extra bags. On Alaska extra bags for me were up to 90lbs.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I think you got lucky MGH.


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    On alaska the third bag is $75 if it is 10 lbs or 90 lbs so stuff the box full

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    Member dieNqvrs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwanttofish View Post
    On alaska the third bag is $75 if it is 10 lbs or 90 lbs so stuff the box full
    Not exactly, the policy is. $75 Up to 50, then additional for 51-75 and
    More additional for 76-99. Sometimes agents let stuff go, but depends.

  15. #15

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    Last year I got to the Delta counter in Anchorage and a couple of my fish boxes were 53 lbs. I had weighed them on a hand scale right at 50. The agent wouldn't let them go. She said she could have let them go at 52, but not 53. We got out of line and dumped some frozen water bottles, re-taped and were good to go at 50-51 pounds. Later I put a label on my scale to add 2-3 pounds to the weight.

  16. #16

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    Having logged a ton of miles toting fish in boxes, bags, and coolers from Alaska and Mexico, I can tell you one thing with certainty...you can look up the and read the rules all you like, and you should. But the way they're applied varies, and it comes down to the people behind the check in desk. I've had/seen everything from ticket agents apply the rules to the letter, (probably the most common) ...to all kinds of rule bending, on weight, height, etc...This has held true for a lot of years, with every airline I've flown. I will say Alaska Air SEEMS to be a little more flexible/forgiving/ etc...
    So basically, follow the rules to the letter if you want to ensure no hassles, fudge a little of you feel lucky...but have some extra $$ in hand in case you get a stickler behind the counter ...(which you likely will)

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    Default Overweight bags

    No this is what we do every year. The first two boxes or suitcase is 25 each after that it does not matter it is $75 up to 99 lbs. The last 3 years the same thing ever since we found out that. They say overweight is $75 but no different than the 3rd box fee. Call them and ask them. We will be doing it again this year.
    This off the alaska airlines site
    If a checked bag falls into more than one fee category (piece number, oversize, overweight), only the higher, single fee is charged.
    Last edited by Iwanttofish; 02-29-2016 at 21:23. Reason: ad info

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    Member Col. F Rodder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwanttofish View Post
    No this is what we do every year. The first two boxes or suitcase is 25 each after that it does not matter it is $75 up to 99 lbs. The last 3 years the same thing ever since we found out that. They say overweight is $75 but no different than the 3rd box fee. Call them and ask them. We will be doing it again this year.
    This off the alaska airlines site
    If a checked bag falls into more than one fee category (piece number, oversize, overweight), only the higher, single fee is charged.
    Never had an issue either on Alaska or Frontier. Thats what I have been doing for the past several years

  19. #19

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    You learn something every day So do the biggest boxes they sell at Fred Meyer, ect...hold 100 lbs when full? The biggest boxes I've ever done were back when the general limit was 70 lbs, a bunch of years ago before they changed it to 50.
    I do have 2 102 qt coolers that would likely hold that much, but they'd be oversized, and I'd have to pay oversized for them on the way up as well, right? Even though I could keep them well under weight.

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    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    I think the only way to get 100 lbs in an 80 lb. box is to put it in unfrozen, then put the whole thing in the freezer, it will be a frozen block, and will take a couple days to get frozen. When fish is frozen in plastic bags (vac Packed) and then put in the box there is a lot of dead air space, so the weight will be less.

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