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Thread: Halibut fishing Shortest ride

  1. #1
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    Default Halibut fishing Shortest ride

    Hi- Yes I'm one of those cruise ship people that will be in Sagway,Kechikan,Jueau,Sika,and Haines he 2nd-3rd week of June. I was wondering which port will be the shortest ride to catch some Halibut ie more fishing time? I'm an ex commercial fisherman and would like to hook my own fish and go with a real fisherman and not on a cruise ship boat ride. Any suggestions. I don't want to get roped into salmon fishing. we did that last time, catching a Halibut is just one of those things that is in my "Must Do" in this lifetime.

    any tips or good captains would be appreciated

    Thanks

    Jay

  2. #2
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    Default Short ride to halibut

    I would not bother with Skagway or Haines and I don't know Ketchikan. Juneau and Sitka would be good bets. Try Alaska marine adventures in Juneau and as for Sitka there are lots check them out via their websites.

    Chukar

  3. #3

    Default Yes...

    Check with Case at Alaska Marine Adventures in Juneau. I have not fished with him, but have communicated with him a few times and he also regurlarly posts on this forum; he seems to be a guy that really likes to fish! They've got a great website plus they can do some other things for the wives or non-fishers that may be with you (explore glaciers, whales, etc.).
    If I ever get that way, it'll be him that I fish with.
    Jim

  4. #4

    Default Skip Skagway

    Leave Skagway and Haines out of the picture altogether. Juneau will be a decent run at that time of year, but not out of the question. I'm really not sure about Ketchikan, but I would think it should be good. Definately give Case a call, he'll get you pointed in the right direction.

  5. #5
    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    Default

    Or just wait until I get caught up with my reading and posting and I'll give my answer right here! ;-)

    As much as I'd like the business, Of the ports mentioned, I'd pick Sitka first. Ketchikan and Juneau will have good fishing, but the run-times will probably be longer... you can get a great 6-hour halibut trip in Sitka.... I haven't seen anyone booking halibut in JNU or KTN for less than an 8-hour combo trip. These cities are really better known for salmon fishing.

    There was a guy in Skagway a few years back who was selling a 6-hour halibut trip in Skagway... turns out, the price included a flight to Hoonah and a 3-hour fishing trip someplace where they have decent bottom fishing! That should give a good idea of the quality of fishing in Haines and Skagway... at least as far as halibut is concerned.

    I haven't spoken to him in a few years, but see if you can track down Larry with Hula Girl Charters in Sitka. Neat guy, great at letting the fishermen fish and "entertaining" the tourists (at the same time)... oh, and he's got an awesome boat! (The "Hula Girl" is the sistership to the "Can Can"...) ;-)

    Happy Alaska Travels!
    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  6. #6
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    Default

    Just on the merits of that Sitka plug, I would be fishing with Case this summer!!! Just my 98 cents (I always have more than 2 cents).

  7. #7

    Default

    hung my biggest fish last year on a cruise ship charter...ended up pulling it loose or we'd have been late for the ship! Definatly look into sitka.

    Problem is, in June, you have to be out of the sound, so you MUST do a 6 hour trip minimum. It seemed most of the skippers stayed pretty close, though that's not saying there isnt big fish close, it's not as good imho.

    If you do get Sitka, you'll be going through Mike Walsh or his assistants on the docks. You want to ask for the Luna Sea, or Capt Jack (forget his boat name, brain fart) which is one of Mikes boats. Rumor had it, Jack stuck a potential WR fish and they let it go...with pics of course. Not only was it to big to get into the boat, the person who caught it was one of those non greedy types who isnt into killing for the sake of killing, my hats off to them! Though I'd have an awful hard time not getting the shark hook out shew!

    Most of the other skippers are pretty good though those two in particular seem to fish better then the others for flatties, and usually salmon for that matter.

    Dunno where I'll be this summer, or if I'm going to have the opportunity to skipper at all. Sure hope so, already miss the big water!

  8. #8

    Default

    If your only doing a "cruise ship charter" which is usually 4 hours I'll tell you what I know about the Ketchikan fleet, I guided there from 90 to 94 and what I saw from the guys that did those charters was they all trolled downriggers for salmon, most used artificial gear (plugs/spoons/hootchie's) and didn't travel far from the docks. They knew most people just wanted the experience of saying they fished in Alaska, they would probably never see these people again and probably wouldn't see much in the way of a tip, so they didn't make much of an effort. If they caught something, great, if not, so what, bring on the next group. If your serious about halibut, don't waste time with cruise ship charters, if time allows, book with a reputable guide for a full day trip. Just my $.02 worth.

  9. #9
    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    AkKings-

    It really depends a lot on who you get as a guide. There are some circumstances where booking a charter via the cruise line is a good idea, but when you book a "cruise ship charter" you're working with 2 middle-men (the ship and the shoreside broker) and never have direct access to the captain until you board.

    Also, there are some VERY successful and VERY good charters that do run charters for the cruise lines and brokers for part of their business. I was a "Juneau Sportfishing" boat for 2+ seasons, but never adopted the "just going through the motions" mentality. Every client was my personal friend, with whom I was sharing fun and experiences in my home. As a result, I no longer rely on the 4-hour salmon charters as my mainstay, and I've got dozens of repeat clients who first met me on their cruise and continue to come back year after year.

    It's interesting maintaining a sort of online "split personality"... when I post here, I usually assume folks are after a quality fishing experience, and advise accordingly (suggest full day or multi-day charters, etc.) When I post on a cruise-specific board, I realize everyone is on a much more strict timeline, and can advise the best option given their particular set of circumstances. Just because a boat "caters to cruisers" doesn't automatically mean you'll get less bang for your buck. It's really best to look at it from the clients' point of view... if you book a cruise ship charter, you will have less control over what you're paying for, but a little research and a direct booking will usually get you a good quality experience.

    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  10. #10

    Default

    I'm sure there are some that will go above and beyond but from what I saw they were few and far between. Some of them actually did overflow trips for the resort I worked for, heard many of them talking about how they really liked the easy $$$, low stress cruise ship charters, didn't seem as though any of them took it very seriously, IMHO.

  11. #11

    Default

    easy cash shoot, I took a MAJOR hit as a hired capt from 2 years ago which was 0 cruise ships, to last summer where I figure I did 25 to 30 days of cruise ships some doubles and up to 6 people on board. Never again if I can help it! Easy my rear end.

    I think most of the guys doing them give it all they can. I know I hated waisting my time as much as I hated wasting yours (the client). Love to be on the water, love to fish, and love catching fish. My problem was wanting to stay out tooo late LOL!

    From me to you, knowing what I've done. IF and thats a HUGE IF, I ever go on a cruise, I will NEVER take a cruise ship charter.....unless and only if I can choose the outfit and the skipper I'm running for which is highly unlikely unless you go off on your own, which means the long line wait to get off the boat, less time to fish meaning a waste of money. Just my 02c from seeing it from the other side.

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