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Thread: Children and Halibut

  1. #1
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    Default Children and Halibut

    Does anyone have thoughts/suggestions on taking a 4-year old and a 2-year old on a halibut charter (and/or combo)? We are thinking of possibly returning to AK next summer and are likely heading back to the Kenai Peninsula for some fishing while up there, but I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on smaller children on charters. And do they generally cost similar fares or reduced fares since they are not fishing? Also does anyone have recommendations on children friendly operators? Thanks.

    G

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    Default Children on charters

    While I think that it is great that you want to take your children out fishing with you, personally I would wait for a charter until they are a little older. I have 3 kids ages:8,10.18, that have grown up going out in the ocean with me on my fairly comfortable boat. They really didn't start to enjoy themselves and feel really comfortable until they were about 5 -6 years of age.
    The weather is so unpredictable here and often the seas may be a little choppy or downright rough. For a child that may not be familiar with this, it can make them seasick, or it can be frightening.So instead of you fishing and enjoying yourself, you will be there trying to comfort your kids. Also, as much as we love our kids others may not want to be bothered by them.When you go out on a charter in the ocean, chances are you will definitly have other folks on the boat with you. They pay good money to go and they will not come back early because 1 person is seasick. I hope that this does not sound rude.
    An alternative may be to take them on a siteseeing cruise. They are usually more stable and larger for your kids to roam.When you get back from that take them to a lake or stream and let them catch the big one! Hope you enjoy your trip next year.

  3. #3
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Default Kids on Boats

    There was once a 1/2 charter operation (don't remember their name) that took kids on for a reduced (I believe 1/2 price rate). But at 4 and 2 in my opinion they are a little young for Halibut, but rock bass for the 4 year old would be a hoot.

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    Default 1/2 Charter

    Forgot to spell out the Charter operation in Homer did 1/2 day charters, not "1/2 charter" as I messed up on previous post.

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default sound fisher has good points

    my boy is 6 now and goes with me often in the summer when i am taxiing folks around. he is good for a few hours at a shot, then he is prone to boredom and fidgeting. we have taken him fishing since he was really little, but never in a situation we were not in control of, like a charter.
    you could charter a whole boat, and then you would be calling the shots but it would be pricey.
    as far as a price break, perhaps on a bigger boat, but bear in mind that a smaller (6-pak) charter is limited to six persons by the coast guard, and there is no incentive to cut a deal if the boat could be filled with full-fare anglers.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default

    I have a 5yr that I took this summer. In the begining I had to pay allot of attention to him and help him out allot. Also the bordom factor came in to. But by the end of the summer he was doing allot of the stuff that I taught him all by himself and he wasn't bored anymore. Going out on a charter like people said before there will be other people that paid good money and may not want to be with a child that is pretty young. My two cents wait tell there 5. They will enjoy it more and so will you .
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
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    Default

    Last summer, my youngest client was 8. The kid could fish better then most adults, especially for kings. He'd have the rod out of the rigger and be fighting the fish before most of us saw the bite. NOt to mention he did pretty dang good at fighting fish to boot, with no help from anyone and very minimal coaching at all. The kid had however landed some fish I've only dreamed of fishing, the experience he had showed!

    That said, after a halibut or two, he was overly whooped trying to reel in fish at 440 feet (one of my more consistent marks). We tried shallower and even that was a little much. I'd gladly take anyone out but I really don't see them having fun or being to productive trying to winch in chickens let alone a barn door.

    If you do take them just to go, something you might ask is how big is the boat. The boat I ran is a little small to have 2 non fishing types onboard. 4 adults plus myself and she was full. I did run a few times with 5 or 6 clients and it was just to much (or should I say too little room).

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    Default Fishing With Small Children in Seward area on Charters

    We book many of the fishing charter captains out of the Seward area and many of them will take small children. However, the charters in our area for halibut are always a full day (because most captains want to run out to the better halibut grounds which are a 45 minute and up run depending on how fast their boats are.

    For a youngster, a full day can be difficult and also reeling up a halibut can be difficult as well because they are generally fished pretty deep. For that reason, you may consider the half day halibut charters offered in the Homer area (they don't run out quite as far as the Seward boats do).

    Also, your children would probably have more fun fishing for something like rock fish, (not as deep) or possibly even salmon (although the rock fish are easier to catch).

    Regarding if the captains will charge for the children: Most of the time they are going to want a full fare because their boats are limited to a specific amount of passengers (often six) and the Coast Guard counts the children as a passenger....

    Hope that helps!

    Capt. Sher
    Miller's Landing out of Seward, Alaska
    Capt. Sherrie Miller
    Miller's Landing
    www.millerslandingak.com
    sherriemiller@alaska.com

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    While I've taken my kids fishing from an early age, and encourage folks to get their kids outdoors as soon as possible, a 2 and 4 y/o are too young to be able to enjoy a halibut trip. The tackle is so heavy that you'll basically be fishing for them. I'd say around 8 is as young as most kids wil be up for halibut fishing.

    As far as just brining kids along as passangers, boats are limited as to how many people that can have on board based on their licensing. So a 6 pack can only have 6 passengers, and they aren't likely to want to have only 4 paying passengers vs 6, especially with the high fuel costs.

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    Default Follow-up

    I should clarify--I wasn't planning on the children fishing, only accompanying us (it would be my wife and myself along with her sister and husband), and obviously it would be up to the 4 of us to "keep track of the little ones" while fishing.
    It is good to know that the USCG counts children as passengers and the need to have full price passengers...

  11. #11
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    If you find a six pack boat that has a crew ameniable to kids, and you charter the boat for your group for the day, I'm sure you can work things out. You mighht not even have to pay full price for only 4 of your group fishing. Some captains are kid friendly, some are unfriendly to everyone. During the offseason, now, would be a good time to e-mail various charters, let them know what you want to do and whether they could accomidate you. I'd say just due to the scenery and thus keeping the kids excited, Whittier may be the best port to go out of.

    That said, when the bites on the fishing deck of a haliboat boat is fast and furious, and small children are best kept in the pilothouse, which would mean somebody wouldn't be fishing while they were watching the kids.

    Some activities your kids really would like is a trip to the Sealife Center in Seward, and maybe a glacier cruise out of Whittier.

    I have a feeling for small kids riding along on a halibut trip would be somewhere between boring and miserable. I'd thought about taking my kids out when they were around that age, and am very glad I didn't, as I know it would not have made for a good trip. They would have been bored, and I would be bummed for spending my time watching them vs fishing.

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