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Thread: Best bet for HALIBUT in early Sept?

  1. #1

    Default Best bet for HALIBUT in early Sept?

    We'll be fishing the Kenai for second-run silvers in Sept and would also like to book a halibut trip or two as well. We'll get there sometime between Sept. 5 and 8 and stay until the 16th or 17th. We were going to go to Seldovia for a couple of days but now I'm hearing halibut fishing tends to start slacking off there in mid-August. I fished Unalaska last year and REALLY liked the isolation and the huge numbers of fish (even though I never caught a big one... 69lb was the largest).

    Anyway, would sure appreciate any advice on where halibut fishing is consistent in early and/or mid-September. We'd prefer to go somewhere other than Homer or Seward. Both are just way too "touristy" for me and too far of a boat ride to get to decent-sized fish. I've never caught a triple-digit fish so I'd like to go somewhere that gave me a decent shot at that... although somewhere that consistently hauls in 80-pounders in Sept. would be just fine as well. Thanks, Tom

  2. #2

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    UplandHuntsman,

    I don't think anyone can help you with this as your expectations are hard to meet. You don't want to go to Homer or Seward where you are closer to the gulf currents and the big halibut because you don't like their feel because they have too many fisherman. If I could offer something - they are busy because the fishing at these locations is better than it is in other, less busy, locations. At least the ones on the road systems that you are speaking. Sure, you will find good fishing at Deep Creek, Whittier, Valdez, and others. However, day in and day out, year for year, Homer and Seward both beat those other places for halibut fishing most of the time. Also, Seward has good rock fishing, ling cod fishing, and in early September, pretty good fishing for silvers still.

    Furthermore, you state that you want to consistently haul in 80 pounders at this "off the beaten path" location. I do too, especially in September when the big ones are starting to move far offshore into much harder to fish waters. Heck, I'd like to consistently catch 80 pounders in July. Truth is: we are lucky to consistently catch 30 pounders with an occasional 50-80 pounder thrown in the mix most of the time. In September, this is only going to be more difficult since the weather will likely make it nearly impossible to get out, and the charter business is in the "roll up the carpet" mode. I find it likely the less traveled ports that you desire are not even offering many charters in your time frame.

    In my humble opinion, your best bet is Homer or Seward, especially at the time of year you are speaking of. They are still chartering - albeit they are winding down and getting ready to call it a season. They are closer to the big fish that you desire catching. And, best of all, they are not going to feel all "touristy" as the majority of those folks will have already wrapped up their vacations and gone back to work. I have always found an early September trip down to Seward to be way less hectic than one in June, July, and August.


    I'm afraid that the two places that you don't want to go are your best bet......

  3. #3

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    Thanks very much for the info.

    By "consistently", I didn't mean an 80-pounder every other fish or something. I meant a charter where if six guys go out and each gets a limit, there's a good chance 2 or 3 of the 12 fish brought back will be 80-plus. I understand if expecting the preceding in early Sept means I'd need to go to Unalaska or Kodiak. But I wanted to see if maybe someone had a suggestion that's a lot closer to Anchorage.

    How far do captains usually go in early Sept to get away from the chicken holes in Homer? in Seward? Just wondering... if it's not too far then I will definitely think about fishing one and maybe even both of them.

    I know good fishing plays a significant role in Homer being one of the most commercialized areas of Alaska. But lots of other factors play a big role too... and when added together they play a much larger role than fishing: all the glacier and whale-watching tours, the onshore wildlife tours, being a major hub of the ferry system, etc. And simply being at the "end of the road" is another reason Homer is arguably the most "touristy" place in Alaska (I doubt many people tour the Kenai Peninsula without traveling to and spending time/money at its end).

    Thanks again for the tips on Homer and Seward. Sounds like if I check around enough in Homer and/or Seward I can find a captain who books until at least the Sunday after Labor Day (Sept. 7) and who does his best to put his "six-pack" on medium to large halibut.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.R. Bauer View Post
    UplandHuntsman,

    I don't think anyone can help you with this as your expectations are hard to meet. You don't want to go to Homer or Seward where you are closer to the gulf currents and the big halibut because you don't like their feel because they have too many fisherman. If I could offer something - they are busy because the fishing at these locations is better than it is in other, less busy, locations. At least the ones on the road systems that you are speaking. Sure, you will find good fishing at Deep Creek, Whittier, Valdez, and others. However, day in and day out, year for year, Homer and Seward both beat those other places for halibut fishing most of the time. Also, Seward has good rock fishing, ling cod fishing, and in early September, pretty good fishing for silvers still.

    Furthermore, you state that you want to consistently haul in 80 pounders at this "off the beaten path" location. I do too, especially in September when the big ones are starting to move far offshore into much harder to fish waters. Heck, I'd like to consistently catch 80 pounders in July. Truth is: we are lucky to consistently catch 30 pounders with an occasional 50-80 pounder thrown in the mix most of the time. In September, this is only going to be more difficult since the weather will likely make it nearly impossible to get out, and the charter business is in the "roll up the carpet" mode. I find it likely the less traveled ports that you desire are not even offering many charters in your time frame.

    In my humble opinion, your best bet is Homer or Seward, especially at the time of year you are speaking of. They are still chartering - albeit they are winding down and getting ready to call it a season. They are closer to the big fish that you desire catching. And, best of all, they are not going to feel all "touristy" as the majority of those folks will have already wrapped up their vacations and gone back to work. I have always found an early September trip down to Seward to be way less hectic than one in June, July, and August.


    I'm afraid that the two places that you don't want to go are your best bet......

  4. #4
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Go to Homer and see if you can request a "long range trip" that will be your best bet. 2 or 3 over 80, that is a tough request, but not impossible.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  5. #5

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    Thanks pike, that sounds like a good plan (assuming the weather forecast is decent).

    Quote Originally Posted by pike_palace View Post
    Go to Homer and see if you can request a "long range trip" that will be your best bet. 2 or 3 over 80, that is a tough request, but not impossible.

  6. #6

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    I would find a six pack boat that is willing to run to find bigger quality fish. A lot also depends on the weather. I am booking a Halibut charter in late August probably out of Deep creek or Homer. Seward offers combination trips for Silvers, Halibut & Lings.

  7. #7

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    Huntsman - I've touted these guys a lot, along with plenty of other folks on this forum. But mainly to give an idea of what you could hope to catch on a good outfit in early September out of Seward, check out the fishing gallery from Profishnsea:

    http://www.profish-n-sea.com/scrap_b...ex=0&Year=2006

    This is from 2006 as I don't see any photos from 07, but gives you an idea anyway. I also think that by September, neither Homer nor Seward is going to anything like the tourist madhouse they both are earlier in the summer.
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

  8. #8

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    Went out with Pro-Fish-N-Sea last weekend on a charter sponsored by a company we use at work. We limited out on Silvers (54) and Halibut (18) and made it back to Seward by 4:30 PM. None of the buts were big, but it was mainly a salmon trip. Also threw back about 10 big ling cod.

    Last year I went out of Homer the last week in August and we all limited out on Halibut with the largest being a hair over 50 lbs. We started keeping chickens and packed it in early because our arms were hurting from reeling in all the fish. Basically hit bottom, wait 10 seconds, reel up a halibut. Out about 35 miles.

  9. #9
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Talking uh... have you been to homer?

    "and when added together they play a much larger role than fishing: all the glacier and whale-watching tours, the onshore wildlife tours, being a major hub of the ferry system, etc"

    we have no glaciers accessable by boat, there is one you can hike to.

    there is one boat that offers whale watching, and they go all the way to the barrens, but not in september.

    what is an "onshore wildlife tour"? ... you drive around in the evening looking for moose? (but your time frame is late moose season,so they will be scarce<grin>)

    not sure what the ferry schedule will be this fall, but if by "hub" you mean that you can get to kodiak or seward every week or so, and seldovia too, then i guess we are a "hub".

    sure you can get a charter here in september, and find a skipper who will work hard to get you the best fish around. or you could do a silver/halibut/deer long-range trip.... but sometimes those big halibut are just not around, and as cold as this "summer" has been, i would not be at all surprized if the fishing falls off hard and fast come fall.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
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  10. #10

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    Yes, I've been to Homer a few times.

    He wasn't being specific about September and neither was I (when debating the reasons why Homer gets crowded). He was saying Homer gets crowded because the fishing is good in general (not just in Sept). I responded that fishing is just one of the many reasons Homer has become so commercialized and why it stays crowded during the warmer months.

    You asked me what an "onshore wildlife tour" is... Well, last time I checked bears live most of their lives on land. Homer Chamber of Commerce website lists a full dozen companies offering bear viewing tours (some from air, some from boat). And yes, a lot of people get a kick out of just driving around looking at eagles, etc while hoping to see a moose or two as well. (Again, we weren't being specific to Sept).

    Just one whale watching boat even during the height of the tourist season? That's really hard to believe.

    And another non-fishing thing that brings lots of people to Homer... I can't remember its name but birdwatchers from all over come to take a charter out to that one island that's packed with thousands of sea birds during the summer. I think maybe it's called Gull Island but I'm not sure.

    And thousands do go to Homer every year to view the glaciers. Just looking at them from town or from a tour boat in the bay is a big thrill for a lot of people. They don't necessarily have to walk on one or have a boat pull them up alongside in order to be happy with their "glacier experience."

    Just say the word and I'll look up the number of people who go in and out of Homer via the ferry system every year. It IS another big reason why Homer is so commercialized and gets pretty crowded at times. Think about the thousands of senior citizens who visit Kodiak, Seldovia, etc, every year... You think they'd rather drive their rental car onto a ferry in Homer in order to get to Kodiak or cram into a puddle jumper to get there? And yes, I know the Kodiak ferry takes like twelve hours.... that's no time at all to seniors, especially if they get to sight-see along the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    "and when added together they play a much larger role than fishing: all the glacier and whale-watching tours, the onshore wildlife tours, being a major hub of the ferry system, etc"

    we have no glaciers accessable by boat, there is one you can hike to.

    there is one boat that offers whale watching, and they go all the way to the barrens, but not in september.

    what is an "onshore wildlife tour"? ... you drive around in the evening looking for moose? (but your time frame is late moose season,so they will be scarce<grin>)

    not sure what the ferry schedule will be this fall, but if by "hub" you mean that you can get to kodiak or seward every week or so, and seldovia too, then i guess we are a "hub".

    sure you can get a charter here in september, and find a skipper who will work hard to get you the best fish around. or you could do a silver/halibut/deer long-range trip.... but sometimes those big halibut are just not around, and as cold as this "summer" has been, i would not be at all surprized if the fishing falls off hard and fast come fall.

  11. #11
    Member AKArcher's Avatar
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    Default Easy now Upland

    Quote Originally Posted by UplandHuntsman View Post
    Yes, I've been to Homer a few times.

    He wasn't being specific about September and neither was I (when debating the reasons why Homer gets crowded). He was saying Homer gets crowded because the fishing is good in general (not just in Sept). I responded that fishing is just one of the many reasons Homer has become so commercialized and why it stays crowded during the warmer months.

    You asked me what an "onshore wildlife tour" is... Well, last time I checked bears live most of their lives on land. Homer Chamber of Commerce website lists a full dozen companies offering bear viewing tours (some from air, some from boat). And yes, a lot of people get a kick out of just driving around looking at eagles, etc while hoping to see a moose or two as well. (Again, we weren't being specific to Sept).

    Just one whale watching boat even during the height of the tourist season? That's really hard to believe.

    And another non-fishing thing that brings lots of people to Homer... I can't remember its name but birdwatchers from all over come to take a charter out to that one island that's packed with thousands of sea birds during the summer. I think maybe it's called Gull Island but I'm not sure.

    And thousands do go to Homer every year to view the glaciers. Just looking at them from town or from a tour boat in the bay is a big thrill for a lot of people. They don't necessarily have to walk on one or have a boat pull them up alongside in order to be happy with their "glacier experience."

    Just say the word and I'll look up the number of people who go in and out of Homer via the ferry system every year. It IS another big reason why Homer is so commercialized and gets pretty crowded at times. Think about the thousands of senior citizens who visit Kodiak, Seldovia, etc, every year... You think they'd rather drive their rental car onto a ferry in Homer in order to get to Kodiak or cram into a puddle jumper to get there? And yes, I know the Kodiak ferry takes like twelve hours.... that's no time at all to seniors, especially if they get to sight-see along the way.
    Just a little bit of advice...Don't piss in the watering hole...

    Homer Dave is in the watering hole that probably holds the biggest halibut in September.

    He was defending his town like you were saying it was too touristy...

    Seward or Homer...from an Alaskan to someone one who is asking for advice. If you want to go out to Kodiak or further...then you give up the "closer to Anchorage" and submit yourself to some nasty weather.
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

  12. #12
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Talking aw gee, you are right , i am wrong.

    homer is very touristy.
    don't come here, you won't like it.
    try seward. <GRIN>.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
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  13. #13

    Default

    Besides, with a name like "homerdave," he probably lives in Michigan or something, and just gets a kick out of "selling" advice to Alaska(n) tourists!

    (sorry, couldn't resist on a gray Sunday morning...)
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

  14. #14

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    Just wanted to point out the many reasons Homer gets and stays so crowded during the warmer months. Most of which obviously have nothing to do with people going out on a fishing charter. For most tourists, the availability of fishing charters has nothing to do with why they decide to visit Homer. I don't understand how they would rather watch birds, whales, bears, etc, or take pictures of glaciers all day instead of being out fighting a halibut but to each his own.

    nickster, I never said any of Dave's fishing advice was wrong. I said he was wrong about other things (like insinuating ferry system wasn't a big deal and that wildlife watching of land animals wasn't a major reason for tourists pouring into Homer every summer).

    Dave, thanks for being man enough to admit you were wrong.

    AK, I will try.... Thanks for being tactful with your request.

    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    homer is very touristy.
    don't come here, you won't like it.
    try seward. <GRIN>.

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    Default Ninilchik

    My vote is Deep Creek. I've had charters out of Seward, Homer and fished for Butts out of Whitter on a private boat, but after my last charter out of Ninilchik this past Friday on a J&J Smart charter I will be heading back to Deep Creek. Can't say enough about the great service they provided, Tanner and Mike did a great job on the HERS TOO, our cabin/campground was great, and as the picture shows, fishing was awesome. Eight guys fishing, four butts over 100lbs and many other decent fish. Thanks Notso, we'll be back.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracer View Post
    My vote is Deep Creek. I've had charters out of Seward, Homer and fished for Butts out of Whitter on a private boat, but after my last charter out of Ninilchik this past Friday on a J&J Smart charter I will be heading back to Deep Creek. Can't say enough about the great service they provided, Tanner and Mike did a great job on the HERS TOO, our cabin/campground was great, and as the picture shows, fishing was awesome. Eight guys fishing, four butts over 100lbs and many other decent fish. Thanks Notso, we'll be back.
    Deep Creek can have great fishing. However, as the fish move into deeper water , sometimes starting as soon as late August, Deep Creek is one of the first to lose the big fish. Can it still be good, surely. But, every day that does by in late August and into September, the farther away those larger fish are moving thus decreasing your odds. But, it certainly is a place I have enjoyed fishing.

  17. #17
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracer View Post
    My vote is Deep Creek. I've had charters out of Seward, Homer and fished for Butts out of Whitter on a private boat, but after my last charter out of Ninilchik this past Friday on a J&J Smart charter I will be heading back to Deep Creek. Can't say enough about the great service they provided, Tanner and Mike did a great job on the HERS TOO, our cabin/campground was great, and as the picture shows, fishing was awesome. Eight guys fishing, four butts over 100lbs and many other decent fish. Thanks Notso, we'll be back.
    Not to take away anything from your catch, (which was phenomenal by the way) but I believe you gotta fish each place 3-5 times to figure out if its really any good and if the captains you go with know their stuff. I'm not calling it a fluke, but I wouldn't expect Deep Creek to provide any better fishing than Homer. I fish out of Homer simply beause I've had some really good catches in the last couple of years and have seen a couple of really big fish come up. Just my thoughts.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  18. #18
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default deep creek?

    i don't think the tractors launch in september anyway...
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
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  19. #19

    Wink short and simple

    IF YOU FIND A CAPTAIN AND CREW THAT GOES THE EXTRA MILE FOR THEIR CLIENTS YOU WILL CATCH SOME NICE HALIBUT AND ROCKFISH AND SEE WHALES ,BIRDS ETC...THE BEST FISHING WE HAVE HAD IS IN SEPTEMBER...YOU MUST LEAVE A EXTRA DAY FOR BAD WEATHER.... WHEN WE SEE RUSSIAN BOATS WE DROP THE LINES....
    BONEYARDBAITS THE BEST HALIBUT, ROCKFISH GRUBS ON THE PLANET....''06'' WORLD RECORD LINGCOD ''08'' HOMER HALIBUT DERBY WINNER''. BOTH FISH CAUGHT WITH BONEYARDBAIT GRUBS WWW.BONEYARDBAITS.COM

  20. #20
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Sept in Seward and Homer will not have many tourist. I would go to Homer and fish. Weather in sept can be a problem. Like boneyard said plan on an extra day. Halibut will be moving into deeper water.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
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