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Thread: Valdez\Jack Bay\Galena Bay in a 16 Ft. Klamath 30hp Motor

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    Question Valdez\Jack Bay\Galena Bay in a 16 Ft. Klamath 30hp Motor

    I was just curious I have a 16Ft. Klamath with a 30 Johnson. Is it feasable to go out as far as Galena Bay in good weather conditions and the right electronics?

    Ron

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    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Default Lots of people do....

    and some of them shouldn't. I've seen boats that size with 6 big people in them. You can get some big, confused seas, sometimes the worst are right in Valdez Harbor (the big water before you hit the narrows). The worst seas I ever had in my 26' cruiser were from a huge tug-like commercial boat that was throwing a 12 foot wake in the narrows. Good weather means the VHF weather report says "seas 2 feet or less". I would never go out if the report says 3 or 4 feet in that boat. And, if it were me, I'd have everyone with a life jacket on all the time, and make sure you have a functioning VHF radio. And, no more than 3 people. I presume your 30hp Johnson is reliable, if your motor conks out just when you thought you had the handle on a big wake or wave, you'll be in trouble PDQ. Generally, if you can do the transit out and back at slack tide, the calmer it will be. Sometimes when the wind goes one way and the tide the other, it can get pretty wild. You might think about some basic overnight gear too, just in case the forecast was wrong and you need to hide out in one of the protected bays.

    Lots of rocks at the entrance to Galena Bay to watch out for! Good luck and don't push it!

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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for the info. I never take more than one other person with me and I would be back in early before the afternoon winds kicked up. I have a VHF radio and GPS. The guy I bought this boat from used to take it to Deep Creek. I thought that was a little crazy. I was looking for a place to catch halibut in this boat. If I did not have to go that far it would be better. Valdez is alot closer to Fairbanks. When I was stationed in Hawaii I used to go out with a friend that had a 25ft Parker and when we would come around Barbers Point into the wind it would be like the Deadliest Catch.

  4. #4

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    I have to say that in my limited experience the worst part of Valdez is getting back to the harbor. We were out Labor day last year and went all the way out to Bligh reef in our 21' Custom Weld Jet boat. It was perfectly smooth with a little fog. Coming through the narrows we had a very rough 7 miles back to the harbor. It was called 4-5' on the VHF, and I believe every bit of it. Wind capped waves and not much fun. The boat did well, but it sheds water very well. I had the wipers on the whole way back in. Air ride seats were awesome for that beating. It would have easily swamped a 16 foot open boat. It seems like the afternoon wind driven seas are common from our long weekend at Valdez. Every afternoon the same rough kind of ride back in. Not much cover to hide along the edges as you have to avoid the oil terminal which would be the natural side to avoid some of the wind. It was a really cool area to boat, but the wind does whip there in the afternoon.

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    Default Maybe Then Homer\Deep Creek Area

    The few times I have been down around Deep Creek I noticed a small protected boat launch at the campgrpound. The high bluffs seem to protect water if you stay relatively close to land.

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    Default 2 more thoughts on this...

    1) Everyone goes way out for halibut out of Valdez. I've heard of some caught in Jack's Bay and I wonder if there aren't some much closer in, on the harbor side of the narrows....especially in July when the pinks are in, hmmm.....

    2) Maybe you should find a buddy with a bigger boat to go halibut, and stick to salmon in yours...then again, my favorite fishing day of all was with my 8 year old son in a 14' Livingston when we caught 11 halibut, biggest was 103 lbs.! But, that boat was already way out there in a protected fiord, although the guy that brought it there came from Whittier to past Bligh Island! Crrrrraaaaazzzzzzzy!

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    I have fished Jacks Bay many times for halibut and bottom fish. The only halibut I ever caught in there was about 135 pounds. Maybe other people have done OK in there but I have drug much bait across the bottom of that bay while letting the wind drift me for that one fish. Lots of Irish Lords and a some small Ling Cod. Ironically most of the Ling that I caught in Jacks have been the blue colored ones.

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    i did it last summer in a fish central rental boat 21ft. open skiff 50hp honda it was a slow trip it was nice the first half of the day but the trip back was a little skechy the rain and wind set in on the way home and being in the narrows with chenega goin through added some pucker factor all in all i dont think i would go all the way to galena again in a boat like that jack bay was not bad but still a very slow trip in that boat no halibut but we limited on rock fish and a couple lings.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    On the right day no problem at all. However, the weather blows up very quickly. The worst seas I've experienced have been between the Narrows and port. Even if you have a life jacket, the water temps will only give you less than a hour before you are overcome by hypothermia. Not many places to hide between the narrows and port, the waves build from boat traffic and the afternoon winds really kick it up, add some tide and it gets ugly. If you can wait until late it most often settles down near dark. As mentioned already, watch out for the ferry, the Chenega comes down the channel wide open and all they do is blow the horn. That thing throws a huge wake.

    An other option might be to take your rig on the ferry and go to Cordova, I've done well near Hitchenbrook.

    The closest I've caught Halibut is around Bligh Reef.

    I would have a VHF radio, at least a hand held. Check the weather often. Here is a link to the buoy info, Potato Point has a land based site that I use often as it is close to Jacks Bay.
    Using the link below, just click on each station and it will show the winds, temp, ect..

    http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/maps/Alaska_inset.shtml

    Good luck and be safe.

    Steve

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    Default Jacks Bay

    Last year a 201 pound halibut was caught near Entrance Island. Some people fish by the boey at Potato Point and caught big fish. There is another spot just past the Narrows that is about 400ft deep that they get big fish. I have caught halibut in front of Anderson Bay. Jacks Bay in front of the water falls. At the entrance to Saw Mill Bay. Rockey Point just North of Galena Bay. Black Point in the Tatitlek Narrows,Reef Island, Bligh Reef, and Boey 9. If you have the fuel take a left at the Tatitlek Narrows and go into Port Fidalgo there are lots of fishable bays in that area.

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    Default

    thats a good idea stid i think i might have to do the cordova run for a dive this summer how far is hinchenbrook from cordova

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    A little over 30 miles or so. I'm sure you could get into some good fishing closer. Maybe around some bays on Hawkins Island. When I fished Hitchenbrook I ran from Valdez.
    Cordova is an awesome trip and would be worth it just to visit.

    Steve

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    I lived in Valdez for 3 years. During that time I had a 17' Avon inflatable with a 55hp outboard. I went to Jacks', Galena and Sawmill bays several times.

    The general rule where the wind is concerned is; be back in the Port by noon or plan to stay in whichever outer bay you are in until about 10pm. One can almost set a clock by when the wind comes up there.

    The wife and I always carried gear and food/water to make an extended trip out of it if weather kept us from returning to port. Your boat is sufficient as long as you are prudent in your decision making and confident in your boating skills.

    The wind can rise in what seems an instant at times and it can get nasty in Valdez arm and narrows for sure, the port can be darn unfun.

    Get a good synopsis of the weather and have a safe and enjoyable trip.

  14. #14

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    I have an 18' Lund with a 60 horse Mercury on it and I go out to the back of Galena every year. I have also been in a friends 16' and would not go that far in it. I run on the side of the bay and cross at the Narrows. You also might look at the cabins in Shoups and Jacks Bay. They are a nice stop over for a family.

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