Advice: Fishing from a 13ft Smoker Craft with 25hp Motor
Hi everyone! I've been lurking on this board for a while and you all seem like a great, helpful bunch!
I'm looking for some advice. My dad, uncle and I are driving up to Alaska from Seattle for the summer. We're going to be bringing my dads 13ft aluminum Alaskan Smoker Craft with a 25hp motor and hand turned down riggers. I'm wondering what kind of fishing we can expect to be able to do from this boat. We're going to be in Fairbanks, Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula (most of the time being spent in the Kenai, I believe). We want to fish for everything (bottom fish, halibut, salmon, crabbing/shrimping out of Whittier, etc, etc). We don't have a lot of money so doing a lot of charters isn't really an option, except maybe one for halibut since it seems like we might not be able to do much fishing for them from out boats.
Anyone have advice on what to expect or places that we will be able to go?
Anything is helpful, thanks so much!
... in a 13 foot skiff with a 25, around the Kenai... maybe silver salmon close in-shore at Homer or Seward, probably not halibut (unless you're really lucky), definitely not crab and shrimp. Your boat is best suited to lakes, of which there are plenty on the Kenai. I would either leave the boat, or stick to lakes.
I have been boating in Alaska for 35 years and I would not go far from shore in such a small boat. Better to save gas money and wear/tear on your boat and trailer and just charter. You'll thank yourself later if you're only after saltwater species.
Well, I know that my dad and uncle want to go freshwater fishing. I don't have much experience with it so I'm much more keen on the saltwater stuff. I don't think leaving the boat behind is an option at this point. (We leave Monday).
I was talking to my dad tonight and he's hoping that we'll be able to find open seats and split the cost of fuel, etc, with someone with a bigger boat. We're going to be staying in RV parks so I guess we might be able to meet people.
In your guys' experience is this a very realistic plan? I've been looking at the "open seat" thread on the board and it doesn't seem to have much activity. As much as we would like to go on charters, on the budget of a student and two retired guys (my dads a vet) I don't think it's really going to be possible.
Thanks for your advice!
The saying here in Alaska is "cold water kills". Every year dozens of people around the state push their luck too far and die. Even the lakes on the Kenai which are fishable with a power boat (many are not), can get quite rough quickly, such as Stormy, Hidden, Kenai, Skilak and Tustumena. Be safe, and stay close to shore. You can troll for lake trout in Hidden with good results if you know how. Other places in Alaska are similar.
Likely your boat won't be legal for the Kenai River in July if it has a 2-stroke, so that is out. It is possible to fish right off the inside of the spit in Homer, and there are a few halibut there within sight of the harbor. Silvers too in August and September. Hopeak is right in saying that your boat will be overloaded if you all go, however. if you make friends in RV camp grounds you may indeed make a connection with a person who has a seaworthy boat (especially if they see what you have).
I don't mean to be a downer, but I would hate to read about some WA tourists that drowned in a boating accident and make the connection with you all. Please bear in mind that non-resident fishing licenses are pricey too!
If you do end up towing the boat up the highway, make sure you grease the trailer's hubs and tighten the driver side wheel lugs every day!
Yeah, knowing my dad he's not going to be one to push our luck and won't take the lure of fish over our safety.
We've been testing out the boat with the three of us on the Columbia River and while large and deep I doubt it gets as rough as the waters up there. Are there any other rivers that we would be able to fish in the boat?
While it is a bummer to hear this, I'm glad to get as much knowledge as possible before heading up there so I can know what to expect. I'm definitely more of a planner than my dad so it's kind of up to me to get as much info as possible.
Thanks for all the help! If the people we encounter up there are even half as nice as you guys I think we'll be just fine!
Marylei check your PM box