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Thread: Small boat out of Valdez?

  1. #1

    Default Small boat out of Valdez?

    I have a 17' aluminum boat with a 65hp o/b jet. Can I fish it around Valdez for most shades of salmon and/or halibut, or should I focus more on Anchorage area? I would like to take the family camping and fishing throughout the summer.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005


    I used to have a 16ft semi-v open boat with a 50 horse and took it to Valdez lots of times to fish Silvers. I usually stayed in the arm. No need to go out past the narrows. Once though I went out to Jacks bay but I think I was pushing it. Weather was good though. There were a couple times where it was too rough though and I couldn't go out. But, with common sense a guy can use a small boat down there for sure. Lot's of folks run around in skiffs.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  3. #3


    I have run my 15 foot bayliner for years in Seward. It can get wet, it can get rather cold, but I always made it back and never really felt like I was in any danger. Just watch the weather, don't go very far, and you'll be just fine. Perhaps a little uncomfortable, but fine none-the-less.

  4. #4
    Member Daveinthebush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Valdez, Alaska

    Default Yes, no, maybe

    At certain times yes. If the wind is right and the seas are flat yes. And you stay in the port.

    If the winds are up, no.

    If you go out past the Arm and the winds come up. NO, or plan on spending up to a week on shore if they do. I know, I have and I have a 21' boat.

    If you don't know the area, don't have any electronics and the fog moves in no.

    It also depends on your experience level on the ocean and knowledge of the area. The residents of Tatitlik do it all the time. I have a few friends that have been here 15-20 years and they do it on occasion. But we know the mountain tops, the safe bays to stay at and have friends that we can call if we get into trouble.

    The weather is not dependable. At certain time of the year we have morning fog. At certain times we get afternoon west winds. At times the winds come up the Arm. At times the winds go down the Arm. Knowledge of the weather reports, marine reports is essential to safe boating.

    Common sense, an eye for the weather and safe boating skills are going to be your determining factors.

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  5. #5
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eagle River, AK


    The fellas above gave adequate warnings about the boat. As for the fishing, you'll likely be able to get into great pink and silver fishing, but you're not likely to get into halibut consistently. Halibut fishing in the Sound is either a waiting game, a deep water game (1,000 ft+), or a distance game (40-80 miles from port). Homer and Deep Creek have far better near-shore halibut fishing.

  6. #6


    where is Deep Creek? I can find Homer...

  7. #7
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Yellowknife, NWT


    Quote Originally Posted by Northern View Post
    where is Deep Creek? I can find Homer...

    Between Homer and Soldotna.

  8. #8


    IMO Homer is just about your best bet as you can get for close in halibut fishing. I used to consistantly catch fish while messing around in my zodiac within 1/2 mile from shore. They were not monsters, but if all you are after is 20-30 pounds of Halibut, Homer is a good bet. Deep Creek, the weather and winds can make things "interesting" but you don't have to go far out there either. In fact, while it is rare, I have watched people catch tiny halibut at the mouth of deep creek when the large numbers of salmon are cruising around there. Maybe they are feeding on eggs or carcasses. I personally think that the fishing is better out of Deep Creek, but the seas are more likely to cooperate in the immediate area of Homer thanks to the protection of the spit. Just my 2 cents.....

  9. #9


    Any "special time" to make the trip, or just sometime in the summer? I am just planning family get-a-ways for some good fishing. If the halibut are there pretty much any time, then i can try to schedule with a salmon run. I bet it gets busy down that way when the kings are in.

  10. #10


    Honestly, the best time varies from year to year. However, the best time almost always does so happen to be in the middles of a stong pink, sockeye, or silver run - at least from my experience. And if you are fishing Cook Inlet, the tide makes a huge difference as sometimes it is nearly impossible to keep your bait on the bottom.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Good times in Valdez

    I use to fish Valdez in August and have the time of my life with the silvers. Halibut was pretty slim. I would book a charter when in Valdez. I had a 14 ft boat with a 20 and on calm days went as far as Billy's hole and and Bigh reef. A word of advice, I was always prepared to spend a few days to wait out wind. One time coming back from Billy's hole I almost got stuck in the ice from the Columbia glacier. I went by in the mornig no ice, I came back a few hours later lots of ice. It was a little nerve racking to say the least. I never had much problem staying inside the narrows. I would highly recommend a GPS the fog can really pose a problem.


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