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Thread: Are you flying fish home? Take this advice!!!

  1. #1

    Default Are you flying fish home? Take this advice!!!

    I hope this does not bring up any sensitive issues for anybody. I read a few times about people being upset that some tourists take home more than they can eat etc.
    In my case, I will be done with my fish in 6 months. I did not take too much. To be honest, I wish I took more. As Im writing, Ive got a salmon sandwich waiting for me for breakfast/lunch.
    So, take this advice ONLY if you're gonna eat your fish!! Not your neighbor or friend "Who doesnt really like fish, but sure Ill try it. Im sure my wife will cook some''. Know what I mean?

    I was at the airport yesterday waiting for my flight to take me away from fish heaven and I could not believe the amount of $9 styrofoam boxes I saw. Most of them looked like they were made by the same company! They must be making a killing. I think those boxes are OK for people who visit Alaska for other reasons than the fishing. I mean, if you're here to see family, well, 25lbs of fish is good. However, if you're like me, and you want to eat fish for the next 6 months, 25lbs will not do. Rose and I calculated we were eating about 4lbs of fresh meat a day while in Alaska. (We know because Coal Point made 2lb bags for us and we ate one of those every meal. Sometimes more!)

    Anyways, this is my advice to you:

    It seems like those boxes can carry about 25-30lbs of fish AT MOST. Since most airlines will allow you a weight of 50lbs before a surcharge, why would you waste all that space?

    What you can do instead, is go to Walmart. Buy a 5 dollar grey plastic bin. I bought the 18 gallon by Sterilite for 5.00 and change. After that, I bought an $11 sleeping bag.

    Stuff your fish in the sleeping bag, then put it in the bin. You can easily carry 50lbs of fish back home and it will not thaw. As I write this, I still have about 30lbs of fish in that sleeping bag, and it is STILL ROCK HARD. Its been in there for over 40 hours now. (Im staying at a friends and she doesnt have that much freezer space...yet).

    The cost for this set up is $16 but it allows you at least 20 more pounds of fish. Calculate 20 lbs of halibut at approx. $15 a pound...well worth it in those terms.

    Also, if you are flying AIR ALASKA, they allow up to 90lbs for a surcharge. Other airlines only allow 70 lbs. So if you havent bought your ticket yet, and are planning on taking fish home, use Alaska Airlines.

    Also, the airport has a freezer!! Man, I only found out the last day and its a lot cheaper than the other places Ive used and called. They allow you store fish, if in box; 12 a day. if in cooler; 14 a day.
    I didnt quite understand their definition of 'a day' though. I brought my fish at 12:00am on friday morning, picked it up on saturday around 6pm and was only charged one day.

    I think you get from 12:00am on day, to 11:59pm the FOLLOWING day. You can call and ask. Just look up 'freezer storage anchorage airport' on google.

    Thats my advice to you. Hope it helps.
    Random guy in Fly shop: "Where did this happen???? In real life or in Alaska?"

  2. #2
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Default

    The big fish box at Freds is near $16. They can easily hold 50lbs of fish, 70lbs if you are not careful. The small boxes (the $9) are good vistor boxes, such as if someone who wants some fish/game who comes to visit, I often fill a box for them when they leave. Just sent my folks out of here with two 50lb coolers, they brought up empty. They were here a week and their clothes fit in they carry ons, and they used my extra gear (rods, waders, etc...).

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKFishOn View Post
    The big fish box at Freds is near $16. They can easily hold 50lbs of fish, 70lbs if you are not careful. The small boxes (the $9) are good vistor boxes, such as if someone who wants some fish/game who comes to visit, I often fill a box for them when they leave. Just sent my folks out of here with two 50lb coolers, they brought up empty. They were here a week and their clothes fit in they carry ons, and they used my extra gear (rods, waders, etc...).
    Didnt see big ones. If those work thats good then. I can use the sleeping bag and bin afterwards so Im happy in my case. Also, if you already have the coolers, then you can of course bring those. In my case, I didnt have them.
    With air Alaska, they allow you a total 90lbs for surchage. I was able to fit that into an 18 gallon bin. In the second bin, I fit in 70lbs.
    The lady checking us in thought it was silly that I had 3X 50lbs so she helped me out. I was happy that I had the extra room.
    I gave her a sleeping bag and a bin for her help . She said her kids would use it.
    Random guy in Fly shop: "Where did this happen???? In real life or in Alaska?"

  4. #4

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    Did you duct tape the container shut? If so, did you have any issues with TSA?

    Planning to fly out on my first Alaska fishing trip this weekend, from Texas. I was planning to bring a cooler with frozen food inside as one of my checked baggage, and fill it with frozen fish on the return trip. I would like to duct tape the lid, but wondering if that is an issue with TSA now that they inspect some luggage. Anyone have any experience with this?

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Charterboat Operator
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    Default tsa

    Quote Originally Posted by Conagher View Post
    Did you duct tape the container shut? If so, did you have any issues with TSA?

    Planning to fly out on my first Alaska fishing trip this weekend, from Texas. I was planning to bring a cooler with frozen food inside as one of my checked baggage, and fill it with frozen fish on the return trip. I would like to duct tape the lid, but wondering if that is an issue with TSA now that they inspect some luggage. Anyone have any experience with this?

    Thanks!
    if you tape it shut and they have to open it, they will re-tape it. they will not tape it for you or give it back to you after they have inspected it so you can then tape it.
    i sat in the Kodiak airport last fall and watched a guy, bieng nice, he left all his boxes/coolers un taped so tsa could inspect. He got told the tape issue. sat there for 30 minutes taping up boxes to check in, checked his boxes, which went 6 feet behind the counter to TSA and they opened up all the boxes, then re-taped them! quite amusing entertainment when you have got a couple of hours to kill!!

  6. #6
    Member Berto's Avatar
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    last fall when i flew two 50 lb coolers full of deer meat from MT to AK i simply left the coolers open until the person behind the counter checked them. once checked, i taped them, the counterperson put them on the conveyor and all was well.

    so go to the airport without taping your coolers shut, then once "checked", tape them shut.

  7. #7
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    Default Putting the freezer to good use

    About full after this week. Making sure the new home feels welcome for it.

    Hope this was a good deal for both of us.


  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by traderjon View Post
    About full after this week. Making sure the new home feels welcome for it.

    Hope this was a good deal for both of us.

    HA! Thanks for taking off my hands Jon. Im happy to hear its still got 'some' room left.
    Random guy in Fly shop: "Where did this happen???? In real life or in Alaska?"

  9. #9
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    Default try an Igloo Cube

    The Igloo Cube is a good choice for bringing fish/meat home. Filled it weighs in at around 47 lb's. I duck tape it before the airport. No dry ice and it stays frozen form Seldovia all the way back to Florida.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by wel59 View Post
    The Igloo Cube is a good choice for bringing fish/meat home. Filled it weighs in at around 47 lb's. I duck tape it before the airport. No dry ice and it stays frozen form Seldovia all the way back to Florida.
    What size cooler is your Igloo Cube? I see a 50 qt. and a 70 qt.?

  11. #11

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    Costco sells insulated cooler bags that can hold up to 50lbs of fillets.

  12. #12
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    Default No longer a virgin...

    Well, Soda, months ago you were asking advice and now you are giving it.

    That's wonderful.

    Obviously, Alaska has been good for you. Undoubtedly, it has enriched your soul and expanded your mind. I remember your early posts of anticipation, and I now read your posts posts of assuredness. Good for you. That is way of the Last Frontier for those of us who are fortunate to have been touched; and you truly are now touched.

    I hope we meet someday and wet a line. From my perspective, you seem be quite the stand-up guy.

    My congratulations...

    Rosenberg/Florida
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard R. Rosenberg View Post
    Well, Soda, months ago you were asking advice and now you are giving it.

    That's wonderful.

    Obviously, Alaska has been good for you. Undoubtedly, it has enriched your soul and expanded your mind. I remember your early posts of anticipation, and I now read your posts posts of assuredness. Good for you. That is way of the Last Frontier for those of us who are fortunate to have been touched; and you truly are now touched.

    I hope we meet someday and wet a line. From my perspective, you seem be quite the stand-up guy.

    My congratulations...

    Rosenberg/Florida
    Thanks Bernard! I was hoping you'd see this post! I thought of you when I posted it. I figured, I probably thought about it because of your book! Saved me a bucks because I already had the sleeping bags on one of the bins. I used them throughout my whole trip and was going to 1) sell it for nothing 2) throw it away 3) Give it away 4) Use it to carry my fish!

    Oh yeah...did I tell you your advice about carrying a back really paid off for me? Snapped a rod in Illiamna...had an ugly stick in the bag!
    Random guy in Fly shop: "Where did this happen???? In real life or in Alaska?"

  14. #14

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    Just to concur with others...there are all sizes of fish boxes available, easily big enough to carry 70+ lbs. we've used multiple boxes on 4 trips over the years, and they work great. We spend an extra 40 bucks on boxes we're only gonna use once, but when we're dropping 3 or 4 grand for a 2 week trip to fish heaven, who cares? I know it's gonna cost us some serious coin to bring back the load next trip...it's been 3 years (just finished off the last of the canned reds a couple months ago) and it's killing me not to get back up this year. We'll have to go a whole YEAR without The tote idea is a good one though...

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