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Thread: Halibut fishing question

  1. #1
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    Default Halibut fishing question

    Hi,
    My wife and I have been wanting to take a halibut charter for a number of years and we think that this year may be the year we bite the bullet and spend the money.

    I am a life long fisherman, aged 65 and in pretty good physical shape. The only problem is, I have a bad heart which gives me concern when talking about a trip like this. What I want to know is just how strenuous is a halibut fishing charter. I can fish from shore all day long without a break and have no problem but this is a whole new game for me. Your candid thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Charlie

  2. #2
    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    Default I dunno bout "bad"

    But I have had a double, A shunt to correct transposition of the major arteries, a cardiac avultion (where they stop and restart your heart) and a cardiac ablation, all by age 36. I am overweight (duhhhh) Have atrial fibulation and atrial flutter. You just need to tkae your time and when you run outta breath take a minute to catch it. They do not usually "spit the hook" if you keep slight tention on it and a good charter captain will help you out if needed.

    Also keep an eye on the "take me fishing and Open seat" threads for a private boat that has space. I would rather do that then go out on a charter, last charter I was on sucked as they did this weird "shuffle" down the side As one person caught something you would move forward.

  3. #3
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Default

    Do it. My 78 year old grandpa caught a 204# halibut this summer and he had no problems hauling it up and it took over an hour, and he has shoulder problems and has smoked since the Korean war. Once you hook a halibut it will stay on provided you keep tension.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    This is a question that should be posed to you Dr. Have a talk with him or her about it.

  5. #5

    Default

    Good point to talk to your doctor.Also talk to your charter captain before you book,they should be more than willing to disguss your issues.Some prefer to fish shallow in the kelp,which will make your bait checks a lot more friendly.The shuffle down the side of the boat is usually to minimize tangles.Good Luck

  6. #6
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    Default

    Definately take the trip. Most charter boat captains I know are more than willing to work with their clients and help them any way they can. Just take your time and don't rush it. Have a great trip.

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    Default Go For It!!

    I would check with my physician first, but I have quite a bit of experience taking out friends that are elderly or health-compromised for halibut fishing and they all took home halibut that they handled themselves. You know yourself better than any stranger does and if you think you are "pushing it" you have to speak up and let the responsible person on the boat know what is going on.

    A couple of years ago I took out a 73 year old fellow that had recently completed a round of chemo and radiation treatment for a colon cancer relapse. We were lucky enough to connect Dick to a 58-inch halibut (just under 100 pounds) and I made sure he took his time working it up to the surface. It had taken a chunk of salmon on a 16/0 circle hook so I was fairly optimistic that it was well-hooked and that we could take our time. It ended-up being the fish of his life-time. There was a lot of 'high-fiving' and back-slapping once we had it subdued and lashed to the stern cleat!

    My only other suggestion would be to try and pick an operation that works relatively protected (maybe even 'inside' waters). Wind and waves will put a real damper on your day if you are already health compromised. Whatever you decide - best of luck with your halibut quest. ;-] If you have any additional questions drop me a PM.

  8. #8
    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    Default Deck hand

    Be sure the charter boat has a Deck Hand to help the clients, if you need to, ask for help, most of them will help if they know the situation, and a nice tip at the end of the trip is the reward for the deck hand. The Cook Inlet can be tough at the tide change rip, the inside waters are much calmer most of the time. Seward can be real nice on good days. Good Luck Gerberman

  9. #9
    Member Tight Lines's Avatar
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    Charlie

    By all means GO!!!! Check out Yakutat, halibut fishing is within 45 minutes of the dock and the water is generally smooth. The guides are friendly and accommodating with med issues. I would recommend contacting:
    Gary Klatchkan @ 1-907-784-3598 for the dates you want.
    The area also has great salmon fishing on the legendary Situk River.
    Here are some Buts we caught in Yakutat last year & a nice Ling too:


    Dave
    I'll hold on to my Bible & my Guns, you can keep the change!!!

  10. #10
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Default

    Halibut generally do short runs and then stop, giving you a chance to bring them in without a ton fo stress if you want. The Captian of the boat will have more of an effect on how tired you get. Some charters fish in 60' of water with light weights, and others fish in 250'+ with several pounds of lead. It also depends on the time of the month and how much tide is running to determine how much weight you will use. Some charters target big halibut that are way out in deeper waters, and some generally get smaller ones in close. You should spend some time on the phone with different charter operators, and I bet you will get a fit for those that are a good fit for you.
    2009 Seawolf 31'
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  11. #11
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Default

    If you want the thrill with a little help, find a charter that uses an Electric Reel. There use to be a guy in Seldovia that had them. Don't know if he still charters, but something to ask around when talking to charters about if you are interested. My wife uses one due to a medical condition and it allows her to fish halibut till her heart is content.

  12. #12
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    Check with your Dr. and if he gives you the ok, do it! I'd also say do your research as to where to go, and don't limit the trip to just halibut. Kodiak would be one of my first choices, as they have good fishing fairly close to port, in shallower water and they don't have the big tide swings some of the other fishing areas have to fight.

    Before booking, ask how the boat fishes for halibut. Many boats just use heavy sinkers and bait, and heavy rods. Those really where you out. Other boats have at least a couple of jigging rods on board, and those rigs are much friendlier for a day of fishing, and catch just as well if not better than the bait rigs.

    One of my regrets is I never got a chance to go out halibut fishing with my father before he passed away.

  13. #13
    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    Default try Alaskan fishing fever...

    Out of Nanilchek, 40 miles before Homer. Paul has electronic reels but you have to let him know. He advertises on this site also so just do a search here.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

  14. #14

    Default

    My Dad still gets in a halibut trip or two every summer, he's 87. He needs a little help on anything over 75#. He really likes to just ride along if it's calm. The guy in Seldovia with electric reels is Dave Cloniger, aboard the "Peggy 'n Me". (907-234-7417). I've never been out with him, but I have heard from some friends that book with him every year that he is good.

  15. #15
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Ebb Tide Charters

    He is one of our members here. Out of deep creek. Amazing guy and alot of fun and his 17 yo son deckhands for him. Sweet Glacier Craft boat. I dropped a sandwhich on his deck and when I picked it up it was cleaner then before I dropped it. Diamond plate deck, Never slipped once, comfy cozy cabin and great prices. Oh and the fishing was awesome. He is creating his ninch to fish with familes friends and to make it affordable. I would give him a shout and at least see what he has to say too


    http://www.ebbtidechartersinc.com/
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  16. #16

    Default Understandable Concern

    While clamming across the inlet, with his friends and family, I lost a friend this year. About your age, with a similar health issue.

    I am sitting here comtemplating whether I should pipe in on this thread, or not, wondering what he would say right now? If my friend knew it might happen, or was likely to happen at that time, he'd probably have begged off. But, he didn't. He just lived his life, as he wanted, with his family and friends not expecting anything to happen.

    Frankly, after several long days of site seeing, fishing, early mornings, and late evenings he was pushing it. The weather was funky, so I decided I didn't care to launch my boat in the surf at Deep Creek. But, the next day he and others charted across in bumpy water, breezy weather.

    For as long as I knew him, I don't think he ever really rested or stepped down, he was generous and always the first to help, cook, clean, and get up in the mornings. Was he stresssed out? He had wacked the top of his head at the top of the my cabin door the day before..... was that the start of something more complicated? Was it stress, his health, pushing too hard? I can't say. I do know that he wore me out, there really was no keeping up with him when he decided what he wanted to do.

    I miss the guy, but, what I feel doesn't matter...so where am I going with this....

    I do not think that an offshore day on the water will be overly stressful for someone who will be careful not to go out if the day is funky and the swells predictably uncomfortable. Especially, if you have a prior arrangement with the charter skipper to return to port if you feel a little funny, light headed or have to sit or lay down to get your bearings. Man up, stop, turn around and head home at the first sign that something isn't right. Since its mostly about tides, plan so that you can leave at a comfortable morning hour, fish a could tide set, come back early enough to get your fish processed and make it to dinner without being exhausted.

    For me, and from the content of other comments on this site, halibut fishing is more than catching. Of course, it is nice to take home a couple nice fish. But, I enjoy the whole process from getting up to go, havng coffee and preparing lunch, to arriving back in the harbor, having a post-fishing sundowner with someone while perfecting our lies. I like the process even more if I just take it easy, get a good nights sleep before, don't over do it the evening before, avoid complications, be prepared to pack it in if the weather is not cooperating, remain flexible. For sure, the halibut will be there tomorrow, you can go out then.

    Would my friend have gone if he were in your shoes? Yes, I am sure of it. Does what happen to him make any difference whatsoever, that's for you to decide but don't dwell upon it. The act of catching the typical halibut is fun and I think less physically demanding than digging a post hole.

    Tempered with the cautions so aptly expressed by others in this thread, and, respectfully, if you think you can dig a post hole without packing it in, I'd say come on up and go halibut fishing, enjoy yourself. You'll have a great time, surrounded by one of the most beautfiul places on earth.

    Best wishes, and as some say around here in the winter.... keep your gloves on.

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