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Thread: Cooler size

  1. #1

    Default Cooler size

    So, a few guys I work with decided to do a halibut charter this weekend. We are curious on what size cooler we would need to take to fit about six halibut's worth of meat. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

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    I guess that depends on if you are out catching 300 pounders or 10 pound paddles... Not to be a smart ***** but the size you need could vary by quite a bit. Good luck and I hope you need a 200 quart cooler!

  3. #3
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    I would bring 2 or 3 coolers. That should be plenty.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  4. #4

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    You can also kind of estimate that you are going to get about 40% of fillet weights of what you catch. Some people say about 50%, but I like to be conservative.

    So if you plan on catching 6 halibut that average 20 lbs. you'll probably have about 50 lbs. of fillets to deal with. With room for ice that's a lot of room. You're always better off having too much cooler space than not enough.

    And if you're fishing out of Homer your captain can call Coal Point when he gets in and they will vac-pack and freeze your catch for you. It's very, very handy. I do it myself when I just don't feel like dealing with it. I just fillet them myself then have them do the rest. No muss, no fuss.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  5. #5

    Default I guess I should have gave more info.

    We are fishing a charter out of Seward. We are military, so we set everything up with the military base down in Seward. So if any of you have done that and know a good guestimate, I would appreciate it. I know I am taking two 48 quart coolers. Thank you for those that gave advice. I think I am going to have them do the freeze pac down there so I don't have to mess with it. Will let you all know how it goes.

  6. #6
    Member Ronster's Avatar
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    I think the name of the place is "the fish house" in seward. The charter will fillet them out for you and you can take the bag to the fish house to be vacuum packed and frozen. Pick the fish up as you are leaving town and you probably wont have to fill the cooler with ice (at least I didnt and I made it all the way back to Fairbanks). I packed a 150 qt cooler and we packed it with 6 20ish pound halibut, 9 silvers, 12 rockfish, and a ling if that gives you any ideas.

    Good luck on the charter!

  7. #7
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willyum10 View Post
    We are fishing a charter out of Seward. We are military, so we set everything up with the military base down in Seward. So if any of you have done that and know a good guestimate, I would appreciate it. I know I am taking two 48 quart coolers. Thank you for those that gave advice. I think I am going to have them do the freeze pac down there so I don't have to mess with it. Will let you all know how it goes.
    If your going to fish with the military charter, one cooler should be just fine. They seldom catch big fish and the average halibut is 12-15 pound range. The nice thing is the price is much cheaper than the local charters and the service from dock to freezer is priceless. Hope you get lucky and get bigger fish, but don't be disappointed if you don't. Also, since they fish so many folks on the boat, I wouldn't get too picky with trying to get bigger fish bacause you may come back empty handed. Good Luck.

  8. #8

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    I'd just take one cooler, but prepared to buy one or several of the foam-lined Wetlok boxes in Seward if you exceed capacity. They're relatively cheap compared to coolers, and will always be useful later if you need to fly fish. The fish houses are likely to have them on hand, but a phone call can confirm or at least identify local sources.

  9. #9

    Default Thanks for all the advice

    I just wanted to say thank you for all the advice. I have asked a few questions on here and have got nothing back. Once again thank you.

  10. #10
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I'd just take one cooler, but prepared to buy one or several of the foam-lined Wetlok boxes in Seward if you exceed capacity. They're relatively cheap compared to coolers, and will always be useful later if you need to fly fish. The fish houses are likely to have them on hand, but a phone call can confirm or at least identify local sources.
    The Army Resort also has the same boxes at a discount from down town. They will even ship it for you if you wish. That Resort and its staff is a 10+ Star resort IMO. They also rent equipment if you forget something for cheap. You will have lots of fun. BTW the Chilli Cheese Fries at the Bar there are do die for.

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    Default extra coolers always

    one cooler full of ice, one cooler full of beer and ice. Hope that on the way home both are full of fish. The only bad thing about having someone process your fish is the cost. We brought home 300lbs of filets last year at 1.50 a lb had to break out the credit card. It never hurts to have an extra cooler (of beer) with you, also never know when someone is going to invite you to a potluck and beer seems to be an acceptable sub for a dish.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by chico99645 View Post
    The Army Resort also has the same boxes at a discount from down town. They will even ship it for you if you wish. That Resort and its staff is a 10+ Star resort IMO. They also rent equipment if you forget something for cheap. You will have lots of fun. BTW the Chilli Cheese Fries at the Bar there are do die for.
    I'm glad to hear that, both the availability and the attitude. I worked with the outfit on a couple of projects back in the '80's and that was certainly the spirit and the quality of gear then. Good to hear that's managed to survive down the decades.

  13. #13
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeL View Post
    one cooler full of ice, one cooler full of beer and ice. Hope that on the way home both are full of fish. The only bad thing about having someone process your fish is the cost. We brought home 300lbs of filets last year at 1.50 a lb had to break out the credit card. It never hurts to have an extra cooler (of beer) with you, also never know when someone is going to invite you to a potluck and beer seems to be an acceptable sub for a dish.

    At the Army Resort, the Fishhouse is Free to clean your fish, the commercial grade vaccum sealers are free, you just buy the bags at 2.50 for 10 and the freezer use is free. They even supply filet knives and will show you how to filet or you can tip the well paid deck hands to filet them for you. Its a wonderful place for the Military and Retiree's.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by chico99645 View Post
    Its a wonderful place for the Military and Retiree's.
    There's just not enough of that stuff to go around, is there.

    Hats off to them and those they serve, bot the rec unit it and the people who use it and serve us.

    The military is so poorly paid from all I've seen, I wish there were a lot more "deals" like this around. Their families deserve more than the paltry paychecks, and in this case they get a little of it back.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by pike_palace View Post
    I would bring 2 or 3 coolers. That should be plenty.
    For the serious meat slayer who needs a lifetime of use, I recommend a commercial half tote. They hold ice really well, and you can fit a ton of fish/ice in them. Bigger fish too. Easy clean up and they are tough as nails. Many of the charter/commercial boats use them.

    But, the downside is that they are $490 each.

  16. #16

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    who said deckhands are well paid??? you don't have to tip them but it is greatly appreciated as you would in a restaurant. with most captains and deckhands the filetting is part of the deal so you could have them clean the fish for you and then take it to the military reesort and vac-pack it yourself you will save money going that route. best of luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    There's just not enough of that stuff to go around, is there.

    Hats off to them and those they serve, bot the rec unit it and the people who use it and serve us.

    The military is so poorly paid from all I've seen, I wish there were a lot more "deals" like this around. Their families deserve more than the paltry paychecks, and in this case they get a little of it back.
    Look at a current pay chart for both the enlisted and comissioned folks and add in there allowances for housing, COLA, etc. I think you would be shocked to see how much they get paid). And add the fact the allowances they recieve are tax free as well. I'll guess a married E-5 with 4 years in the service stationed in Alaska and living off base is making an easy 50K a year when you add all there pay and allowances together. And if they were smart enough to buy a house they can deduct the mortgage interest from there income while not paying taxes on the housing allowances they receive. Best of both worlds
    Retired Air Force and still proud of it.
    Tennessee

  18. #18

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    That would be great if he got to stay home for a year, much less two. Private contractors to our government are paying employees waaaaaaaaaay over $100k a year in the sand box, and they get decent follow-up medical support if they're hurt. the families of our service men stay home as single parents for up to a year at a time while their loved ones are in harms way, then get to fight their way through the military medical administration for years or lifetime afterwards if they're hurt.

    Nah, no dice. Service personnel at $50k a year have the short, dirty end of the stick.

  19. #19

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    When I was an E-4 in Alaska, I thought I was the luckiest dude in the world...

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