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Thread: Charters/Lessons Learned

  1. #1

    Default Charters/Lessons Learned

    Well, did our annual charter halibut trip; this time we went out of Homer instead of Deep Creek. Our trip was on August 3rd, and come to find out, the tide was not too good for halibut fishing overall (I did get one approx. 80 lb. fish); no other halibut whatsoever for the entire day; we tried 4 or 5 different spots.
    When booking the trip, I spoke to the captain about doing a combo trip (halibut, rockfish, steamer clams); he said no problem, it'd be a long day but doable.

    Things learned:

    1. Do not try to do a clam trip the same day halibut fishing (clamming tides require minus tides); typically the tide swings pretty radical and not great for fishing; in fact it never really did get "slack".
    2. We didn't even try for steamers cause the captain said there had been commercial clammers cleaning out the beaches.
    3. Rockfish: we tried for about an hour just outside Port Graham; got 3 or 4 dinks, let them go; no others.

    His website was nice and he was pleasant to talk to over the phone, so I didn't bother to try to investigate the trip and/or his operation any further. In his favor, he knocked the price down from 225.00 to 185.00 each for us, plus we helped him pull his Tanner pots and he cooked and gave us 2 legal tanner crabs.

    I guess in retrospect, he should've been honest about the tide change and the possibility of tough fishing and asked us what the priorities were. He also had pretty cheap tackle (Storm jigging rods for rockfish; 9.99 specials).

    Better luck next year!
    Jim

  2. #2
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default I guess

    that is the way it goes...but hey - you got 40 pounds of butt meat right...that is not too bad really. Sometimes the biggest fish are caught on a strong tide - more scent movement further....not easy to fish em though.


    A little off topic but..

    I think that tanner's are personal use fish....unless he is commercial...........since I moved here I see that not many "alaskan's" use all of their personal use fish for personal use.

  3. #3
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    Default fishing

    Jim
    Your guide took you fishing on the day you asked and booked to fish. (Weekend of Aug. 3 )
    He tried to provided the trip you ask for ( combo trip ). You said he moved 4-5 times trying to find you some fish. You did not catch many fish. Who's fault is that?

    Dishonest? How can you say the guide was dishonest? Did all the other halibut charters in Deep creek and Homer fish Sunday Aug.3 ? Are they all Dishonest?

    Even if you halibut fished on the best tides of the year, and you did not catch a single fish it does not make your guide dishonest ! Sometimes you have to take responsibility for your own actions. ( Remember you picked the date to fish) If you want the best chance at catching lots of halibut book your charter on the best tides.Sometime that means not fishing on the weekend or the day that convenient for you. I really think you expect far to much form any guide
    .
    All of us would all love to go out on one charter and fill our freezers with halibut, bass and steamers on a day that convenient for us. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. But it not always the guides fault.

  4. #4

    Default Big Jim, Minus Tides not a bad thing

    I too have found that minus tides are hard to fish, but very, very often worth the effort it takes to fish them. Yeah it means heavy tackle, anchoring, and sacrificing some herring for a scent trail, but because of the minus tide the current spreads the scent a long, long ways, and that sometimes attracts a lot of fish. Before I bought a boat, I had gone on at least 20 halibut charters, and I never landed a 80 pound fish and saw very, very few caught by others. While you sound a little frustrated and think that you didn't have that great of a day, anytime you wrestle a halibut over 50 pounds from the depths it not only a good day, but a great day. Just for future consideration, Seward is a much better combo fishery than Homer is.

  5. #5

    Default

    When you told him you wanted to do a combo, you pretty much then and there told him what the priorities were. He took you to several spots, you got a nice fish, he gave you crab, he voluntarily refunded some of your money....hell, tell me who he is and if I ever need a charter I'LL use him.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
    When you told him you wanted to do a combo, you pretty much then and there told him what the priorities were. He took you to several spots, you got a nice fish, he gave you crab, he voluntarily refunded some of your money....hell, tell me who he is and if I ever need a charter I'LL use him.
    SPOT ON

  7. #7
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Sounds like

    Your guide did exactly what you wanted. It is fishing not catching. I have done well on -4 and +24 tides. i have been skunked on them too and vice versa on little water movement tides. There are no promises that the big one or lots of ok ones will be caught. Heck on the rivers i fish i have one guy catch 6 fish and another guy on the smae exact setup get skunked. Life if funny that way. Sounds like your guide tried to do the right thing
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  8. #8

    Default Okay guys...

    I see your points and stand humbly corrected; all of your replies are on the money; you guys are exactly truthful; sorry for the crappy,unthankful attitude. I didn't really take the time to get away from complaining (unfounded at that) enough to realize I did bring in a 80 pounder, plus the other things he did for us.
    What swayed my thinking was that 2 days later we went out again out of Homer with a friend who has his own boat and we had non-stop action all day long. Prior to that, I actually did think I'd book a trip with the charter guy again next year cause of all the effort on his part; I'm ashamed to have gone in the direction I did and thank you guys for telling it like it is.
    Jim

  9. #9
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    Sounds like the guy made an honest attempt in less than ideal conditions. I've been out of homer where we hit spot after spot and only picked up a few fish, then luckily the last spot was a chicken hole and we loaded up.

    I've also been out of seward on one of the larger boats, they anchored us up outside of Montague, and the fishing just never picked up. The 18 of us did end up with maybe a dozen chickens, a few lings and some silvers. Finally they pulled anchor, hit a chicken hole on the way back, and we just started hooking dog fish.

    I wouldn't have minded not limiting out on that second trip, but the captain didn't put a 100% effort into getting us onto the fish.

  10. #10
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by T.R. Bauer View Post
    I too have found that minus tides are hard to fish, but very, very often worth the effort it takes to fish them. Yeah it means heavy tackle, anchoring, and sacrificing some herring for a scent trail, but because of the minus tide the current spreads the scent a long, long ways, and that sometimes attracts a lot of fish. Before I bought a boat, I had gone on at least 20 halibut charters, and I never landed a 80 pound fish and saw very, very few caught by others. While you sound a little frustrated and think that you didn't have that great of a day, anytime you wrestle a halibut over 50 pounds from the depths it not only a good day, but a great day. Just for future consideration, Seward is a much better combo fishery than Homer is.
    I totally agree. This year we went out of Homer and the tide was roaring one day and we sat anchored for 3 hours waiting for it to slow down but when we did we nailed a 70# halibut and some other chickens, there is advantages to tides. The best tides have some current but not too much. No current sucks to a degree because there is no scent trail and the fish don't move alot. Big key to big fish is throw the little ones back and keep waiting. One or two nice ones will generally show up.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  11. #11
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Default

    To date I have only been on one trip for but's. That was in the middle of September 2003. I had a very good trip for that time of year I am told. I managed to catch and release 1/2 a dozen or so halibut to about 35 pouinds. (I did keep my limit though ). There was 5 of us on the trip and I think we managed to land somewhere between 15 and 20 but's up to about 40 pounds. Not giants but decent sized and good numbers for sure.
    We ran about 40 or so miles out of Homer and when we reached the fishing area the tide was ripping. My first flatty turned sideways in the current and laid a beating on me!!!

    Here's a pic of the rip.


    And my biggest but of the trip.




    Fishing is what it is. I could have just as easily been skunked.
    I have been on plenty of blue water trips where the boat was skunked and I have been on some very good trips where limits of dorado and tuna were caught.

  12. #12
    Member Tolman24's Avatar
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    Default good for you

    Jim,
    Way to man up and admit a mistake. I think we can all get caught up in the griping. Then I realize, dam, I am living and fishing in Alaska. life can't be all bad. My wife keeps saying it is cloudy let's not go out. I say screw it, it may not get any better. I am going, even out of Whittier at low tide. Every time you eat on the halibut the trip will get better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    I see your points and stand humbly corrected; all of your replies are on the money; you guys are exactly truthful; sorry for the crappy,unthankful attitude. I didn't really take the time to get away from complaining (unfounded at that) enough to realize I did bring in a 80 pounder, plus the other things he did for us....
    Jim

  13. #13
    Member Sterlingmike's Avatar
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    Default Not so good guide

    My wife went out with a crappy guide last Thursday out of Seward and we only got a couple of chickens. Fished all day on good water, good weather, good tides. I hope she doesn't get rid of me for a better guide. Not even a Silver. No tip either, except that she told me I'd better shape up.

  14. #14

    Default Ah guys,

    I better live like I tell everyone else; I (not always) try to help see the positive side of things for others, like when it's raining and has been for quite some time; I think, "hey, at least the fire danger is down!" Just didn't do a good job for myself; lesson learned.
    Thanks again for all you's honesty,
    Jim

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