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Thread: Seward Charters

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    Default Seward Charters

    I'm planning to come up in late August-early September (approx Aug 23-Sept 10) and am considering a one day charter out of Seward. If we do it, we would like to get the whole package, halibut, lingcod, rockfish, silvers, whatever is hitting. It would be my son-in-law and myself. He lives in Anchorage. We are on a fairly tight budget. After splitting the catch with him, I would like to get my share back home to MN. I could either ship or take it as checked baggage.

    What is my realistic expectation to catch at that time of year? Is there much difference between doing it early (shortly after arrival) vs later (shortly before departure)? We will be flying to/from Anchorage.

    What are the limits on silvers, buts, etc?

    While I know the scenery is spectacular, and I would enjoy seeing whales, I'm not interested in just a boatride...

    Are there any of you who keep a boat in Seward, who would consider cutting us a deal? We can do our own processing as my son-in-law has freezer space, and vacuum processor. We're both ok with cutting.

    Thanks in advance for any pointers.

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    Member jkb's Avatar
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    I would do it early as the halibut will start getting harder to find in mid sept.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
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    I would consider booking a charter towards the beginning of your trip, good weather days and silvers seem to both be more plentiful in August. August should be a good time to catch any of the species you are after. Generally any of the reputable charter companies will clean your fish for you as part of the charter cost and work with one of the processors in Seward who will vacuum pack, freeze, and ship your fish for you. I would consider this option if you live out of state, in my opinion the pure convenience is worth the additional expense. For information on limits I would look at the ADF&G web site and consult the current regs, limits on lingcod and silver salmon vary depending on the distance and direction traveled from Seward. As for paying an unlicensed guide/"friend" to take you out fishing you can search this forum as that topic likes to be hashed out on a regular basis.

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    OK, who is going to be the first to bringup that kind of arrangement? I'm waiting...........................
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    I appreciate the input. I admit I have not thoroughly researched this, as saltwater fishing is new to me. I have never done it before and I think it would be fun to do it in Alaska. I was under the apparently mistaken impression that I would have to rent the whole boat for the two of us, but it appears that we could get on a charter with others? If so, that is what we would do. So, if you have any recommendations regarding economical charters, I would appreciate them. Also, for an ignorant firsttimer, what would be some good questions to get answered.

    Thanks!

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    You can charter a boat for the two of you for a set rate generally, but the cheaper option would be to go on an open boat where you would fish with others than just those in your party. This will generally run $250-$300 per person for a full day of combo fishing with a good guide service. I would ask about the size of the boat, accomodations on the vessel, capacity of the vessel including how many people will typically be fishing with you. Also consider asking about how they split the day up on a combo trip, salmon four hours and halibut four hours or fish one until the limit is caught and then move on? Ask what you should bring and what you should leave at home including any questions about tackle. Most of the good outfits will have much of this information on their websites. As far as recomendaitons I would search Seward fishing on this forum, the same couple names will generally keep popping up.

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    Member ADUKHNT's Avatar
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    Call Swelly at Swell Time Charters. He is a great Capt and will not steer you wrong with the advise he gives you. I went with him last yesr and he put us on the exact fish we requested and gave us realistic expectations of what we would chatch. He is not the cheapest in the harbor but if this may be a once in a lifetime experiance how do you want to remember it?

    http://www.swelltimecharters.com/
    I have such a hard time trying to decide which outdoor activity to do every chance I get!! Living in AK is a mental challenge

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    Good answers. Thanks! Around Seward, what is the usual policy if the boat is not filled w/ customers, but only partly filled? For example, if my son-in-law and I were the only ones booked on a particular date. Does that ever happen? Would we be responsible for the other four unfilled slots? Would it be cancelled on us? Or would we go out, at the pre-agreed rate, and just have the two lines?

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gramps View Post
    Good answers. Thanks! Around Seward, what is the usual policy if the boat is not filled w/ customers, but only partly filled? For example, if my son-in-law and I were the only ones booked on a particular date. Does that ever happen? Would we be responsible for the other four unfilled slots? Would it be cancelled on us? Or would we go out, at the pre-agreed rate, and just have the two lines?
    It's very doubtful that you and your S-I-L would be the only 2 on the boat... But if by some strange twist of fate you were, the price should be the same.. Most Charter Capt's/Owners interact with each other.. to insure the boats go out full... One thing no one has mentioned to you yet is the fact there are 2 basic sizes of Charter boats based on the number of passengers they haul... the Smaller 30ft (+/-) boats are "6 pacs" they are only licensed to haul 6 paying passengers.. the Larger 45', - 60' boats will haul a dozen or more... because you state you've never fished in salt water before, you might be more comfortable on a bigger boat... BUT.....
    I think your fishing experience would be much better on a 6 pac.. where the Capt and possibly a deck hand can give you more personal attention.... Google up Seward Salmon or Seward halibut charters, check out the various web sites.. correspond directly with a few of the advertisers, Or google up Seward AK chamber of Commerce and they should be able to give you a list of charters....../John

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    We can handle rough seas. I have chartered on the Great Lakes, so I know that rough seas are part of the deal. I just carry dramamine in case its needed. I think a 6-pack would be better also. I just wasn't familiar with the customs in AK. I assume if we got bumped to a more expensive boat, the agreed rate would prevail. When they leave Resurrection bay, do they typically head toward Whittier or along Kenai Fjords? Thanks for goods answers. You guys are great!

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gramps View Post
    We can handle rough seas. I have chartered on the Great Lakes, so I know that rough seas are part of the deal. I just carry dramamine in case its needed. I think a 6-pack would be better also. I just wasn't familiar with the customs in AK. I assume if we got bumped to a more expensive boat, the agreed rate would prevail. When they leave Resurrection bay, do they typically head toward Whittier or along Kenai Fjords? Thanks for goods answers. You guys are great!
    gramps...
    I can't really speak for the Seward Charters, today... I chartered out of Homer for xx years... you can't really afford to run a charter boat with half a load... so if and when that happened, we'd call around to other operators with similar boats, similar styles, and we would move the clients to another boat giving that boat a full or nearly full (profitable) load... In my experience The receiving Captain/Boat never argued price, but accepted the clients at what ever price they were originally booked at (usually minus 10%)...
    as to which way do they head once outside the bay.... depends on too many factors to try to determine at this time..../John

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    The only charter that I have been on out of seward we made it only a couple miles out of the bay and everyone agreed to have the captain turn around and we fished for rockies in the bay. The weather can make it or break it on occasion so keep that in mind.

    You can save quite a bit of money by vac packing and taking your fish home as checked baggage. It is well worth the time IMO.

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    I, too, would suggest the early time frame of your visit. Out of Seward, it's not uncommon to get all the fish you mention on a single charter, though I would suggest you book a "combo" charter. Some outfits will accomodate you saying you want "multi-species," though they typical booking would be a combo.

    If booking in August with a reputable outfit (try Crackerjack and/or ProfishNSea first, can't beat the quality all around) it's doubtful you won't get the boat you book on - most quality boats are pretty full through July/August down there. Depending where you go to fish, limits for halibut would be 2, lingcod 1 or 2, rockfish 4, and silvers 3 (you can keep 6 silvers inside the bay but that eliminates the ability to keep lingcod...involved regs there).

    And start calling soon, the two outfits I mentioned are booking now I guarantee it. See if they have a combo already set up with 4 or less people you can get on. They both have a 6-pac boat and a larger boat. Shoot for the 6-pac if possible. Good luck!
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

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    Hi gramps, thought I'd add my two cents in here.

    I've chartered out of Seward for over ten years and pretty much what everyone is saying is correct. Most charters will simply transfer you to another boat/business if they do not have enough passengers to make the trip economical. Crackerjack, Pro-Fish & Swelltime are really great companies though.

    One thing to remember is there are no guarantees. Weather, where the bite's hot, and your crew are all variables as to how your trip will go. As for multi-species/combo trips, the limit for silvers changes inside and outside Resurrection Bay. Three silvers is the limit outside the Bay, typically where your boat will fish for halibut, and inside the Bay the limit is six silvers. If you catch a Lingcod, outside the Bay, you cannot return inside the Bay and fish at all except to return to port. So if you plan on buying a Silver Salmon Derby ticket don't fish a combo/multi-species trip. A great resource for everything is at http://www.seward.com and Fishing Licenses/Current Regulations http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/

    Hope that helps! Tightlines,
    CaptainAlicia

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    Alicia what is the name of your charter?

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    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Lesea Charters. She has been around Seward for a long time and knows how to catch halibut and salmon. Her dad has been fishing Seward as long as I have. So she knows where to go!

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    Not to be the naysayer of Seward, but my grandad did a charter out of Seward through the Fish House in 2004 and to say his trip was horrible would be an understatement. I'll leave it at that.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    GRAMPS...Looks like the fishing charter advice is well covered, being on a budget I agree completely with bringing your fish home as luggage, also agree that having everything done and shipped for you is really nice if you can afford it, but you said you were on a tight budget...so, yeah, I've been bringing fish home as luggage for 15 years straight, only had them lose it for one extra day once, and the fish was fine.

    Remember that you have a 50# limit...you can get fish boxes in town, usually cardboard with thin foam liner, or just waxed cardboard. These are fine IF you fish get there when you do, and if you are on Alaska airlines they will keep them frozen if a plane is missed or delayed. But, I use coolers...a 36qt cooler will NOT go over 50 pounds if you pack it full, but a 54 qt cooler will, so you will need a scale, I just use my fish scale to weigh this "luggage", otherwise you will have to take some fish out and give it to the airlines people (NOT a problem when I fly out of Valdez!). You can inflate some ziploc freezer bags to take up any extra space, or use bubble wrap. Also, have the fish frozen as flat as you can to help it lay nice and not nick your vacuum bags up, and to keep it frozen while you fly. You CANNOT put any ice in with the fish, you can use those frozen gel paks or dry ice, but you shouldn't need either if your fish is frozen. You also need to have an idea of how many packs of each species is in each cooler/box, you will have to fill out a small form and attach it when you check in at the airlines.

    I don't know if the Charters in Seward do that, but if you don't keep any lings, I think you can get your halibut out of the bay, then go back into the bay for silvers and keep 6.

    Have fun!

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Gramps
    Cap'n Ron certainly has some good suggestions.. I've been out of the game for 11 yrs so some things have probably changed ...
    it used to be customary for the Deck Hand to clean/fillet your catch and altho this was included in the price of the charter, a tip was always hoped for... I would assume that cleaning/filleting is still included in the cost of the charters out of Seward, but again, I been gone awhile, so I suggest you ask.. As Cap'n Ron pointed out, you can pay a commercial processor to vacuum pac and freeze your fish for easier transport, or you can probably freeze and package your catch at your daughters home... Perhaps your Daughter and SIL have a vacuum packer (every AK household should have one).... You can buy the fish boxes at most major grocery stores in Anchorage.. your only choice is coolers or fish boxes, anything else and the airlines won't accept it for shipment... Fish leaving AK frozen has a good 3 to 5 days to reach it's final destination.. as long as it stays cool it's alright... Over the years I shipped considerable amounts of fish for clients, and one Son & family live in Texas (every family has a black sheep or two) and we regularly send them "care pkgs"... Have a good trip...../John

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