Fishing for halibut
May be headed to Elmendorf AFB for a tour. Wife and I like to fish, having owned a small Lund 16' boat in SD, VA, and ultimately NM, before having to part with it to move to HI. Will know in next 10 days or so if I am headed to Elmendorf or Montana (I am ecstatic with either, though the wife loves the idea of going to Anchorage). Questions are many:
1. How far out of Anchorage must one go to pursue Halibut?
2. What size boat is recommended? I don't see a lot of Lund's being mentioned (probably due to rust?)
Any other information is appreciated. Thanks in advance for your advice.
Congrats on your possible move to Alaska! It will be a tour you'll never forget, even if boatless.
I'm not an expert on fishing from the Kenia Pennisula, which is where your looking to launch from, most likely Whittier or Seward. I'm sure you'll get plenty of real good advice.
As far as rust, that's not really a problem with Lunds. Maybe more an issue of leaking rivets, which you are probably already familiar with.
A decent Lund, in the 18' to 20' range will work, but you have to pick your days out on the water. This is a situation where even a cheap 20ft plus Bayliner would work well. In your case, it must trailerable. So a good truck will be mandatory.
A good arguement for just driving down to Homer and taking a charter boat every month could be made, but what's the fun in that?
Thanks for your service, my son is stationed at the Air Guard base in Anchorage as a FE on their H60 helos.
If you get to Alaska and want to figure what to "buy", just rent a boat from the rec services for a while and see what they have. You`ll probably do Whittier and Seward for a while and learn what is being used there. Wait for the sportsmans show in the spring and you`ll be a bit more educated--tho many boats are sold in the fall as fishermen turn into hunters.
Lunds are fine boats. 18' ers are the boat of choice many places out in the bush where people use them for any and everything, even commercial fishing and whaling!. Though riveted, they will hold up for many years if you keep them firmly planted on your trailer when in transit (vibration kills), and don't haul them across gravel too much. Alternate choices for aluminum skiffs are Hewes Craft, Bay Runner, and Koffler. All four would trailer well to Homer, Seward, or Valdez. 18 feet is the bare minimum for salt, unless you are going to stay very close to shore. If you plan on just fishing saltwater and have no interest in the Kenai, get at least a 70hp so you can beat a rain squall if you need to. I have a 19' Bay Runner w/ a 90hp Honda. A little over powered, but I enjoy the speed and reliability.
All: Thanks very much for your advice and kind words. I am looking forward to it, although the determination on assignment won't be made for another week or so. Yes, I loved my Lund, though it was small I did catch a lot of fish with it (walleye, crappie, white bass, and catfish in SD; and flounder, croaker, and Striped Bass in VA). Not sure what a 18-20 Lund would go for, I know it'd be in the $20-$30K range with power though. I noticed most of the boats I see discussed are aluminum, probably because I believe their easier to fix and probably as if not more durable than fiberglass, though I am not sure. I heard today at work that you can rent from Ft. Richardson, I am planning on purchasing a truck when I get there, since I had to sell my truck to come to HI.
Sayak: I have heard nothing but good about Honda and Yamaha motors. Is the Bay runner very deep, and how far out can you go with it? Can you get into places for Halibut?
Boats, motors and halibut
I've had every brand of outboard and a few inboard.outboards, and I'd have to say the Honda is the best in my estimation. It is quiet, low maintainence, and of course, doesn't require 2-stroke oil. I bought mine used. Yamahas are very good motors too, but Honda really developed the 4-stroke outboard.
The Bayrunner is a semi-v hull that seems to take waves pretty well. I spent a total of $5,000. on a used outboard, used boat, and new trailer. I'm not into the beauty boat syndrome of posting pictures and such. It's a workhorse that allows us to go have fun on the water, and we use it to death.
My wife and I went down to Homer yesterday, enroute to Tutka Bay opening where we heard about a new hot-spot. It was too rough 3/4 way over so we turned around and went to Gull Island and caught "chickens" (small halibut) but wanted bigger fish so headed to Mud Bay where we ended up catching our (me, wife, 5 year old) limit of fish in the 15-40 lb. range. In my mind these are much better fish for the freezer than big fish.
I feel comfortable going anywhere in Katchemak Bay in decent weather. We frequently go to the Compass Rose & Seldovia Bluffs without too much thought. I would take it as far as Port Grham on a VERY calm day. But I really don't need to. All the Halibut are right in Katchemak if you know where to find 'em
There are options for halibut and for boats. Ft Rich has boats to rent so you can try out some. You can also rent from Whittier Boat Rental if you want to try that. There are always boats for sale up here. My final tour before the Air Force told me to retire (wouldn't let me stay past 30) was to Elmendorf. Any questions once you get the assignement notification, let me know. I use to borrow a friend's boat and go out of Whittier for fishing and hunting so I have some limited experience out of there. I've also halibut fished from all the places on the kenai peninsula. Haven't been out of Valdez yet or Dutch Harbor.