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Thread: Trip Report

  1. #1

    Default Trip Report

    Hi -

    As some may remember approx. one year ago I was on-line asking about information to book a fishing trip for my brother and I, and our teenage sons. "Fishing trip of a lifetime" type thing. We returned this week and thought I would give a a trip report.

    Based on some advice from this forum, we decided on Kodiak. Planned to target halibut and silvers. We settled on an outfitter for the week that provided a cabin, boat and guide on Amook Island. Name to be provided in PM if requested.

    Cabin was as expected and sufficient for our needs; however we did run into potable water issue, but managed around it.

    Weather was a little disappointing; cloudy, drizzle rain the whole trip. We knew this was a potential but was hoping to see the sun at least once.

    Halibut fishing was very slow, except for one 4-hr period. Fished for about 28 total hours (not including boat ride time) and ended up with just enough to fill the coolers - approx. 200 lbs of fillets. About 80% of those were caught in the above mentioned 4-hr period. Most were small - 15-25lb range, three largest were 50, 60, & 65 lbs - all caught during the 4-hr period. Lots of Irish Lords and a type of cod (not ling).

    Spent one full day trolling for silvers - skunked! Reports stated silvers where up around Bear Island but proprietor did not want to travel that far. A bit irritating considering we traveled thousands of miles, and he was unwilling to travel another 10 or so miles to get us some salmon to bring home.

    Did some pink/chum /dolly fishing in a few streams, though we had to provide most of the lures. We kept a few chrome one to grill at the cabin.

    Fishing tackle was really sad. Circle hooks on halibut rigs were rusted and most had the points broken off. I was able to find a file and sharpen myself. One of the halibut rods would not real in and had to be hand rolled from 150ft down - by us, not the guide. Spin cast rods had mono-line that was rotten; I could break it with my hands. And as mentioned above we used our lures that were promptly broken-off with the bad line.

    In summary:
    • Scenery was beautiful though I bet it would be spectacular on a clear day.
    • Weather was what it was, and we were prepared with the proper clothing.
    • Worked hard for the halibut; but we did fill the coolers.
    • Really disappointed to come home with absolutely NO salmon - seems almost unalaskan.
    • Also very disappointed in the quality of the fishing gear. Seems to me if you run a fishing charter these are tools of the trade and should be kept in better working order.
    • Sons got pretty bored with the trip, as did I. 8+ hrs of six people fishing with only two fish being caught of the wrong species makes for a long day.
    • It was an interesting experience, but I would probably not recommend this outfitter; nor do I anticipate scheduling another "fishing trip of a lifetime" anytime in the near future.

  2. #2
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Yellowknife, NWT


    Sorry to hear about the less than perfect trip.
    While the fishing was not up to what you had hoped for don't let this discourage you from returning or planning another trip. Granted if I were the outfitter I would have good gear in excellent shape and would not hesitate to travel an extra 10 miles for the chance to boat a bunch of fish for my clients.
    While there are some poor outfitters there are also some first class ones. It's very unfortunate that the one you picked was the former and not the latter. Keep your chin up and give 'er another go!!!!!

    Or come to BC and use one of thier fine outfits in the Queen Charlots'

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Sarasota, Florida

    Default References...

    I don't ever book with anyone new until I take the time to reference former clients.

    It's a jungle out there, and this is one of the best ways to wind your way through it.

    I learn more and more about outfitters all the time. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that it is client responsibility to check them out throughly.

    Try not to be too bummed. I got stuck in Anchorage for 24 hours with lost baggage this July and the domino effect really hurt me. As best as anyone can plan, sometimes it "just happens".

    Don't be afraid to give it another try...

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    I too have had great charters/outfitters and some that sucked. I do NOT hold them to how may fish we catch but effort put forth. There is no excuse for such crappy gear unless you booked a bargain basement trip. you get what you pay for. If its too cheap to be true you are right! There is a ton of folks on this site in the know that can reccommend a great charter. Sorry to hear about your trip!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    I agree that it puts a damper on things when the guide/charter/what have you is obviously more interested in your money than they are about you ( I know they are that's why they are in business, just don't be blatant about it). But that being said, you brought home 200 lbs of halibut! That's 4 to 5 boxes of fish! I live in Kodiak and my family of 7 eats halibut like most eat chicken and I don't think we eat that much in a year. I'm sorry you did not get any salmon, and it may be Alaska, but it's still fishing.
    About the weather, don't let anyone kid you. Count on it raining on Kodiak and if it doesn't, you scored.
    I'm not trying to bust your chops, and the trip is only as successful as you think it was. But it looks to me that if you take the ratio of successful and unsuccessful on this your trip still fell on the side of successful.
    Don't give up on the rock yet
    Last edited by guns68; 08-20-2008 at 21:09. Reason: spelling
    At sea, it's force not reason that confers sovereign rights

  6. #6


    Thanks for everyone's comments. And though my report was accurate and true, it may have sounded a bit harsh. I do not by any means consider the trip a total bust. I just felt there were some "avoidable" disappointments. So, allow me to summarize some of the good points:

    • 200 lbs of halibut fillets!
    • Kodiak scenery is absolutely breathtaking!
    • No issues with any of the airlines (lost luggage, weather delay, checking weapons, etc.)!
    • Float plane pilot was really, really good - could not even tell when he took off or landed without looking down.
    • And best of all - spending some quality time with my sons, brother, and nephews!

  7. #7

    Default About a week....

    ago, I voiced on this forum my own "woe is me" pity party. It didn't take no time at all for the members of this forum to straighten out my "opinion" about a halibut trip we took out of Homer; like you, I did see the light and in the end focused on the positives, not the negatives, which were my fault to begin with, because I'M the one who picked the charter, picked the trip priorities, and picked the day we fished. The captain did his best and tried 4 or 5 different spots, gave us a discount on the trip, plus gave us 2 fresh cooked Tanner crabs, and put me on a 80 or so lb. halibut!
    It's pretty dang easy to get caught up in the "Alaska" experience where fish are supposed to jump in the boat or on your stringer, but fishing is fishing no matter where you are.
    Definitely do your homework next time around and do get back to Alaska; it's a great place with great people, no kidding. In fact, the faster you make return plans the better!

  8. #8
    Member Tolman24's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Eagle River, AK

    Default Fish jumping in the boat

    There is definitely great fishing in Alaska. There are also days where you just can't catch anything.

    I am doing my trips in my own boat now and the captain has a **** hard time finding fish every trip. The guest I take, family and friends, seem to think I have some magic abilities to see under water and know where the fish are.

    On Tuesday I spent 2 hours running to Naked, 6 hours fishing, and 2 hours running back. We were after Halibut primarily, I was just wanting a day on the water with my daughter and her friends. I have decided that fishing is nothing more than an excuse to get out in the boat. Blood on the deck is just the gravy for the trip.

    To sum it up, limit on yellow eye, 2 decent sea bass, and 2 chickens. We finally caught the chickens 1/2 hour before calling it quits and had them on at the same time. Marked the spot on the chartplotter immediately at hook up and floated it twice more with no luck.

    Here is my point. I felt this was a great trip. Smooth water, boat ran great, weather was nice, got some fish in the boat. If this had of been a charter or a trip of a lifetime the trip would not have not been viewed as a success as we only caught 2 small target fish. As I tend to say fishing was great, catching was slow. If I figure the cost of fish per pound I am eating some high dollar fish. I figure the trip was $275 in fuel alone between truck and boat. We probably came away with 25 - 30 lbs of fillets. $9 - $10 a lb.

    I would never make it as a charter captain as the pressure of finding fish would be to much. I do try and keep my gear clean and serviceable but it is not top of the line. I hope that after a few more years I will have more experience and can find the fish.

  9. #9


    Thanks for everyone's replies. I fully understand and appreciate it is "fishing" and not "catching". And I actually enjoy the fishing part as much as the catching. Your points are all well received.

    However, I do have a difficult time considering "The captain did his best and tried 4 or 5 different spots,..." the same as receiving 3-4 different reports that the silvers were at a specific location and the proprietor deciding it was too much effort for him to go the few additional miles to get there. He did save some time and some fuel on this trip; but unfortunatley lost any hope for a repeat customer or a positive recommendation. But maybe my expectations are just too high and competition is such that he needs neither.


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