Hey, everybody. Can I get some opinions from all of you please?



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  • Hey, everybody. Can I get some opinions from all of you please?

    I am coming to Alaska for 8 days in the first/second week(s) of August. I will be staying in Sterling but I want to rent a car and do a 1-day combo trip for rockfish/lingcod/halibut. This, to me, sounds like the most fun and the best value. So, I just wanted some ideas from all of you so I can help alleviate some of my concerns about where to fish and which captain to fish with. I have spoken to one captain and I had a pretty good feeling about them and where they fish out of but I wanna keep their name and location quiet so I get some less leading responses. With that in mind, here goes:

    1) The combo trip is of utmost importance. I really want to try to hook into some of those big lings/rockfish only Alaska has to offer. I am sure I can catch quality halibut in many places but I will have to rent a car to get wherever I go and I really want to experience the combo trip. I have read stories where some captains will sign you up for a combo trip and change it to a halibut-only trip at the last minute because it is less work. With all of the effort i will be putting into the trip, I want a captain who loves the ling/rockfish side of it too.

    2) Location is only important with regards to trying to keep my travel within 100-miles each way. I know Ninilchik is about 60-miles from Sterling while both Homer and Seward are around 90-miles. Of course, the less travel the better.

    3) Quality of the fish definitely matters. I want to go where the best fishing is. I may not get up to AK again so i really want to make this memorable. I have heard the lingcod(which is the type of fish i am most excited about catching) is better in some places than others. I have also heard there is a two-fish per person limit on lingcod around Ninilchik and Homer while Seward has a one-fish limit. True?

    Finally, I just want to have some fun. I love people and I love to fish and want to fish with someone who has that same outlook. I will pay a little more for the right service if it makes a difference.

    Anyway, sorry for such a long post and thanks in advance for any responses I get. Have a great day and God bless!

  • #2
    A couple of thoughts on the combo trip deel. Most charters target halibut first, silver salmon second, and lings and rockfish are ancilary species. The variety and quantity of fish caught will vary tremendously day to day based on weather and how active the bite is, or isn't. If the boat limits early on halibut, then the captain will go after other species, if the captain has to hit several spots to get he buts, then there just won't be enough time in the day to go after everything thats out there.

    Whether Seward or Homer, you're looking at a 2-3 hour boat ride to get out to the lingcod locations, so ~1/2 the day is going to be used up for just running the boat. Honestly for what you want, I'd say will likely be much happier if you go for a long range overnight trip. Because the captain won't be spending so much time running the boat, a 2 day overnight trip is more like 3-4 day trips, so enough time to target all the species, and enough time to run out the better fishing spots that the day trippers don't/can't hit. For a trip of a lifetime, I'd say the extra expense of the overnighter will be well worth it, and likely the only way to get the fishing experience you are after.

    It's a tossup between Seward and Homer, I fish Seward more often as it's closer to me, and I've had great day trips where we've caught halibut, lingcod, silver salmon and rockfish, but it's a long day and alot of work to get all those species. The downside is the screwy limits and open/closed fishing waters. Rockfish are 4 per day but only 1 per day is a non-pelagic, and once there is a lingcod on the boat, no fishing inside Reserection bay, which means you won't be able to catch silvers on your way back in. The biggest problem I have out of Seward is limiting on non-pelagic rock fish while trying to get ling cod and halibut.

    Ninilchik is pretty much a halibut/salmon only option.

    I'd strongly consider a six pack boat over the larger boats for day trips. It takes more time to get 12-16 people limited out, which means less time to go after the other species. Also have realistic expectations. Getting 2 halibut, 1-2 lings, 4-5 rockfish and maybe some silver salmon in a day trip is a tall order.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


    • #3
      Can't speak for Seward, but ninilchick is a non-starter. No ling or rockfish out of there to speak of, unless they run all the way PAST homer to fish, so what's the point of that?
      There may be some folks doing ling/rockfish charters out of homer because they didn't get a halibut share, but then if you caught a nice halibut you couldn't keep it.
      Best bet would be to book a charter that likes to run all the way to the ling grounds to fish, make it clear that you really want to fish lings and rockfish, and then hope the weather cooperates.
      You might get in touch with Bruce on the Seaflight, he likes to catch everything.
      If gas continues to rise you can expect to pay a bit more for a ling trip.
      Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"


      • #4
        I second what HomerDave and Paul said

        Here is a list of the Homer Charters and what each does or doesn't offer.../John



        • #5
          It ought to be mentioned that if it is just you, your options are a bit more limited. That is, there probably isn't anybody who will book just you for a specialized or combo trip. Usually, if you are wanting a lingcod combo (which is also typically halibut/lingcod), the captain wants 3-4 people to make that reservation. You may wish to search this site for Seward and Homer charter recommendations, then start calling those folks to see what sort of bookings they currently have, and where you might join a trip that fits what you're interested in.
          "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.


          • #6
            I would give Captain Steve a call he fishes out of homer and is a really nice guy that targets what you are looking for. He is very good at targeting bigger halibut and ling cod. He runs a six pack boat and has good quality equipment. His boat is also the one that currently holds the record for ling cod at 82lbs so he knows how to fish them. You will not be disapointed with him.
            Here is a link to his web site http://www.captainstevesfishinglodge.com/index.htm


            • #7
              Thanks, a lot guys. Tony, you hit the captain I have been talking to right on the head. Steve is the guy I am hoping to go out with. Thanks again.


              • #8
                If it were me, I would want to fish the north side of Montague Island, where at least two of the top ten lingcod came from - possibly the Stockdale Harbor area; it is a long run out there I hear. My personal preference for that sort of thing would be a boat not less than 35 feet (bigger than a 6 pack) for additional stability in weather/seas - thereby minimizing the potential of the trip being nixed or shortened up.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TerryT. View Post
                  Thanks, a lot guys. Tony, you hit the captain I have been talking to right on the head. Steve is the guy I am hoping to go out with. Thanks again.
                  You will not be dissapointed I have known Steve and his brother for a long time and both are really great guys.
                  Good luck


                  • #10
                    My Brother used to work with Steve and his brother when they worked for Ninilchik Saltwater Charters. Steve and his crew are a good bunch of guys. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone.
                    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

                    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson


                    • #11
                      i don't do no 6-packs

                      Let me put this another way:

                      been there/done that. 6-packs are too small; with any weather, expect slow, and rough rides - and get blown off the water/canceled regularly to begin with. I don't care if Jesus is the captian.


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