I would like to plan a trip next year to a secluded area for trophy halibut. Anyone have any suggestions, or experiences on the best areas with lots of quality fish. I would like to stay away from areas that get a lot of pressure.
Big Fish, not many people. Seems to fit your description. Haven't talked to anyone who has gone there in the last year or two so I can't tell you what if any charter to use.
Only one place to go.....
Most other places are a crap shoot, realistically.
I think timing is everything when it comes time to look for big fish of any kind. Dutch Harbor's fishery is not what is once was. There was a time 5 - 10 years ago where you could be virtually guarnteed to catch a halibut over two hunderd in Dutch Harbor.
I don't think that is the case now. It is my understanding that the areas that held those larger halibut were pounded by charters and then commercial boats and now there is a boat ride out of Dutch as well. I would suggest you look at Yakutat, Gustavous, or Kodiak or a long range trip from Homer, or Seward.
One way or the other.... there are only so many trophy halibut caught each year and setting your goals at catching one of them could be setting yourself up for disapointment whereever you choose to fish.
I would suggest looking at all the fishing oppertunities that a port has to offer and also look at what you can do if the weather turns crappy. In Dutch Harbor, a stretch of nasty weather can ruin your trip...In some of the other areas you can still fish for somthing else.
Just my two cents as an Alaskan charter operator and long time traveling sportfisherman
I would be happy to have you come to Gustavus, Alaska and fish with me. Gustavus is off the beaten path of my fisherman and far enough away from Juneau that we do not get the influx of traffic. Yet not so far away that we do not have some of the creature comforts of some a small city.
You could also head to Elfin Cove which has some great fishing operations also. Talk about off the beaten path, this is isolated.
Let me know if I can do anything to help you find a place to fish.
I've heard from several sources that this year Kodiak was a bust for sport caught halibut, not just the hogs, you were hardpressed to hook up on anything. The commercial boats ran their lines real close to the island (where the charters run) and cleaned house. Typically most com boats run further out.
With high fuel prices, captains weren't as motivated to run further out. I'd imagine that scenario played out alot around the state this year, and wouldn't be suprised to see it again in the future.
Not to say there aren't any big halibut being caught, but that you'll have to look hard to find a good spot with high odds of big fish.
Dutch Harbor was on my list as a possible destination. Not into the rough seas. I have seen Deadliest Catch on Discovery, and the weather may be too unstable. I was in Kodiak this summer and did not see many large fish taken. Although, there are lots of fish under 100 lbs. The commercial guys hit it hard, unless you can fly out to a remote lodge to find barn doors.
Sounds like Gustavus is the place to go! I like the idea of not having to run a long ways to find fish, and I would imagine the waters in and around Icy Strait are a little more protected from bad weather. I have read that Glacier Bay opens to Halibut fishing in May & Sept. Elfin Cove sounds like another great place for Kings and Halibut.
Thanks for the feedback!
Josh, I will send you an email.
Up until this year SItka had the highest rod hour per fish for both King salmon AND halibut.
I've since been told Sitka is number two ONLY to POW!
Our charter fleet did land a 420 pounder and a 350 pounder 5 days prior. It' seemed to come in waves. When one boat did well most did well.
We also had issues with the long liners that will continue until they eventually run us or themselves (or both) out of buisness!
Sitka is a higher pressured area, Cape Omni might be a good deal. They say the areas near there are about what sitka was like 5 to 10 years ago. For us running from sitka it's a 2 hour run just to fish in GOOD weather.