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  • Hoonah Has "Big" Halibut

    Not alot of people know that we have some really nice ,big halibut over here in Icy Strait near Hoonah.I run Charters all summer out of this little Native Village and cater to alot of cruise ship clients.
    Late last summer,we had friends and family out for some fishing and what fishing we had.
    I just wanted to show the biggest fish that we did not release last year caught by my Brother-In-Law, Steve.Him and his folks(From North Dakota) and my sister,Leah were here for a week and we had good weather,lots of whales and plenty of fishing.

  • #2
    Originally posted by fishoonah View Post
    Not alot of people know that we have some really nice ,big halibut over here in Icy Strait near Hoonah.I run Charters all summer out of this little Native Village and cater to alot of cruise ship clients.
    Late last summer,we had friends and family out for some fishing and what fishing we had.
    I just wanted to show the biggest fish that we did not release last year caught by my Brother-In-Law, Steve.Him and his folks(From North Dakota) and my sister,Leah were here for a week and we had good weather,lots of whales and plenty of fishing.
    WOW, there something more in Hoonah than just 'Hoonah Honeys.'

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    • #3
      Yep... Hoonah (Icy Strait Point) is also the only developed port on the Inside Passage cruising route that can offer a 4-hour halibut fishing excursion too... Can you imagine the damage that will be done if a few million cruisers all want to drop their $200 and expect a fish like that?

      Just out of curiosity, how did that fish taste? Judging from the blood in the photo, I'm guessing she wasn't completely bled out, gutted or gilled on the boat. How long between live in the water and freezer? Personally, I don't care for the meat when the fish is that big, nevermind all the little chickens I know won't be around anymore from that fish.

      Y'all DID eat the whole thing, right??? At least the otoliths on something that big and old would be impressive!

      -Case
      M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Is this like a...

        ... "come over here and help us wipe out the big mommas" thread? Dude, save some fish for Alaskans. In other words; SSSSHHHHH!

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        • #5
          heck that things only a 100yrs old or better......i still don't understand why every one keeps killing the big old momma's & slowly wiping out the breeding stock......kinda like cutting your own throat isn't......& yes i used to charter & fish in s.e., but the big ones where off limits........

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          • #6
            you might remember that

            Guys this isn't the only big Halibut in the ocean, I get where your coming from with save the big ones eat the little ones but if he wants to keep his big ones good for him, just say congrats and when you catch a big fish like that you can be proud you let it go.
            "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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            • #7
              Broken Slack-Cutter Alert!

              (Mike takes off his Moderator hat and tosses it in the corner) Wow, guys! Have any of you ever kept a big halibut? I'll bet you have. Nothing wrong with that at all. Yes, I understand the (relatively recent) shift toward releasing the larger females, but I don't have a problem with occasionally keeping a large fish. Let's cut this guy some slack...

              As to the comment about this being a 100-year-old fish, is that true? I know rockfish commonly live to be over 80, but I don't believe that is the case with Pacific halibut. According to THIS ARTICLE by the International Pacific Halibut Commission, the oldest halibut officially verified by otolith measurement was a 55-year-old male.

              Most sport fishermen I know are hoping for "The Big One", and should not be blasted for keeping one now and then. On the other hand, I do applaud those who release these larger fish, and I support that too.

              -Mike
              Michael Strahan
              Site Owner
              Alaska Hunt Consultant
              1 (907) 229-4501

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              • #8
                When I read the post I interpreted "I just wanted to show the biggest fish that we did not release" to mean that they did release other big fish :confused:. DEFINATELY not wanting to step on anyone's toes but I can't remember ever seeing a halibut (or any other kind of fish - kings especially) charter ad NOT showing the biggest fish they had caught. I thought that's what enticed people to use the charters? just my .02$

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                • #9
                  Honestly Mike, no, I've never kept a big momma

                  Originally posted by fishoonah View Post
                  Not alot of people know that we have some really nice ,big halibut over here in Icy Strait near Hoonah.I run Charters all summer out of this little Native Village and cater to alot of cruise ship clients.
                  Having lived in Homer and on the Kenai for over a decade, caught lots and lots of halibut, I never felt the need. I know that they don't taste good. I know that they are wormy. I know that a picture isn't worth precluding the reproduction of thousands more halibut.

                  I also think that this post appears to be little more than a way to round up business. "I run charters...", "...cater to a lot of cruise ship clients.". In a day when Alaskans in Southeast are being cut back on their halibut take (something I would never have believed could ever happen when I lived there), it seems awkward at the least to be waving people to come on over and get their piece of the action. Yeah, I know the feds regulate halibut, and that the resource belongs to everybody, yada, yada, yada, but when it comes down to whether Alaskans get their halibut now and in the future, or that tourists take home boxes of dry, wormy old momma halibut and the picture to go with it, I favor that Alaskans get it.

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                  • #10
                    Two things here from me guys: First I live in Fairbanks and after shucking out pretty big dollars for a charter out of Valdez for an annual halibut fishing experience I will keep those big ones every time. I have caught several over 100 pounds and one over 200 pounds and I love the meat. Maybe if I had ready access to 20 pound fish any time I wanted them I'd release the hogs too but the fact is most of us don't have ready access to all of the smaller fish we want all year round.

                    The second point is that I have read that the vast majority of fish spawned come from middle sized fish anyway and that the size of the spawner doesn't play that big of a factor in the resource.

                    If I am wrong on that one I'll gladly eat my words but I remember a few years ago when they changed the halibut derby in Valdez to a target sized fish rather than the biggest one that was what they decided.

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                    • #11
                      It's for the meat.

                      I only fish for the meat. That said; if I catch one 100-150 pound halibut, I am done for the 1-2 years and have enough to give away usually to friends.

                      If I catch 3-4, 40-50 pounders, I am done for 1-2 years in the same manner.

                      I don't keep the little chickens less than 30 pounds.

                      That said: Is it better to kill one fish, or possibly three females?

                      Patriot Life Member NRA
                      Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
                      Life Member Disabled American Veterans


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                      • #12
                        Halibut

                        The majority of Halibut over 25 pounds are female. Male halibuts rarely get over 35 pounds. I think the oldest female halibut was 32 years old. So you guys or going to release all the fish over 25 pounds because you want them to lay eggs right! The Valdez Derby is for the largest fish. Several years back we did the small fish thing. Every week a number was picked for a targeted weight. At the end of the season a winner was picked from all the people who entered the derby. This type of derby was stopped because the department of fish and game said we where not having an impact on the size and numbers of large fish that we available. At that time sport fishing was taking 4 million pounds of fish and commerical with by catch was over 60 million pounds. My guess that what will happen is the state or IPHC will have every one get a halibut ticket and you will end up recording the date, area, and number of halibut you are taking. Once they get that info they will then come out with a seasonal bag limit. They are already talking about doing that on charter boats.

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                        • #13
                          Research

                          I think there needs to be more research. Captandd stated that males don't grow over 25 pounds. One source I read quolted that fish don't spawn until they were in the 56-58" range. Last night I found one site that said males rarely grow over 100 pounds. ADFG on an info sheet said that 50% of halibut are not sexually mature until they 5-8 years old. There seems to be a lot of different information out there.

                          Patriot Life Member NRA
                          Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
                          Life Member Disabled American Veterans


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                          • #14
                            One fish or 2

                            I agree with Dave. I would rather take 1 fish over 100 lbs and have enough to eat for the year than to take at least 5 20pounders to get the same. Like it was stated not all of us have easily accessable means to get those smaller ones anytime we feel the want or need. Not being a boat owner (and someone who is extremely reluctant to use charters) I have to be able to work out timing and such with friends who do own boats. Now most of my friends prefer to take 15-30 pounders because "they taste better" but when your limited on the amount you can get per year IT ALL TASTES BETTER!!!! I look at ALL fishing with the same attitude. If I'm fishing for fun I release everything. If I'm fishing for food, the more I can get with the least output of resources the better. I mean if I can fill my fish freezer with 1 fish and have more time to go after other foods for the freezer I'm all for it.

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                            • #15
                              I must say sayak

                              seems to be correct on the appearence of the original post. While I as much as others appreciate the stories and pics on this site, if I wanted to see an add that is what I will search for. The original post seems too much like "fishing for clients". If I'm wrong I appologize. It just seems like "trolling" to get more business in the area.

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