Early season butts

traveler

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From what I understand, the halibut bite gets better as the summer progresses, at least to a point. We had a charter on June 17 last year and while we did well, the cappy did remark that the fishing wasn't up to snuff yet. Looking at going even earlier this year, possibly a butt trip on the 7th. Too early? Or not likely to make much difference from 10 days or so later?
 

Old John

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From what I understand, the halibut bite gets better as the summer progresses, at least to a point. We had a charter on June 17 last year and while we did well, the cappy did remark that the fishing wasn't up to snuff yet. Looking at going even earlier this year, possibly a butt trip on the 7th. Too early? Or not likely to make much difference from 10 days or so later?

I can't speak for Seward, Whittier, or Valdez, but for lower cook inlet The Adult halibut migrate out of cook inlet into much deeper water to spawn in late Summer - (Sept). They usually spawn in Jan and Feb, and by April will begin showing back up in lower Cook Inlet. July and early August are considered the peak period for Halibut in Lower Cook Inlet. Early June should work fine, for you with an experienced Capt.
 

Anythingalaska

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As others mentioned, as a general rule halibut migrate to the deep ocean in the winter time, and will migrate back into the shallower and inside waters during the summer time. Atleast as far as southeast goes, the month of June is not too early to start catching halibut. Of course I would still set about 30-40 fathoms atleast.
 

FishGod

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Fishing your hole before you get there
In Cook Inlet, spring temperatures can really dictate how productive the fishng will be. I've had some great days in late May when the water temperatures are right and the hooligan and sandlance are present in large numbers.
 

traveler

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We'll either be going out of Seward or Homer, more likely Seward at this point. Might early season be better out of one or the other?
 

FishGod

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For the last two years, the large schools of baitfish (hooligan, herring, and sandlance) have been late showing up in Cook Inlet due to the cold and late springs that we've been having. We never saw any "large" schools of baitfish the last two years until well into June. The early baitfish numbers seemed alot better out of Seward and Whittier, near Montague Is. I would lean towards Seward if fishing early in the season, but as mentioned earlier, it depends on the May/early June water temps this up coming year.

Some early June fish out of Seward;
http://www.profish-n-sea.com/fishingreport/index.asp?perPage=5&page=4
 

T.R. Bauer

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I think you will have a good day if the captain does his job and the weather cooperates out of Seward in early June. My biggest halibut ever was caught in May just before Memorial Day on the flats to the southeast of Cape Puget on a beautiful sunny day with flat seas.
 

traveler

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well, we booked with Crackerjack in early june...I've heard a lot of good things about Andy's operation and really look forward to fishing with them.
 

bkmail

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Andy will work for you, he is a great guy. You made a smart choice, good luck.
BK
 

NeverLand

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Any of the better known charters should do a good job for you. I've had good luck in mid to late June. The weather tends to be better later in June than early. I run out of Seward and go to Prince William Sound. I have a couple of ledges that I fish, one at 100' the other is about 175'. Generally, the earlier in the summer the more shallower the halibut are. A good rule of thumb is look for a ledge off the capes that is about 40 fathoms. Harris Bay is another good area. Same rule as PWS, 40 fathoms off the capes. If you check the ADFG reports you will notice that the halibut fishing usually improves as June progresses.
 

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