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Writing a Fishing Top Question about Alaska topic?

Fairbanks, Alaska
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Writing a Fishing Top Question about Alaska topic?

I know the "Top Questons about Alaska" is pretty full but I was thinking that with the help of some of you Alaskan Anglers we could put together a pretty good post. Any thoughts?

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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1. Re: Writing a Fishing Top Question about Alaska topic?

I think that is a grand idea, especially since some of us seem to only know as much as we've had to research for our own trips (like my tidbit posted elsewhere about Sept in Talkeetna).

Fairbanks, Alaska
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2. Re: Writing a Fishing Top Question about Alaska topic?

That was a good part of the reason I thought of this.

Estero, Florida
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3. Re: Writing a Fishing Top Question about Alaska topic?

Links to salmon run times and different areas to get charters for different kinds of fishing.

Suggestions for locations/timing for shore fishing, what type of gear is typical and what kind of crowds to expect. Some discussion of local etiquette may be beneficial. Suggestions/links for tackle shops in each area.

Information on how to handle a situation when a bear approaches while you are fishing, fighting a fish, or have fish on a stringer.

Information on proper disposal of fish carcasses.

Estimated costs for fish processing and shipping vs processing and boxing w/ dry ice to include with your luggage.

Links to salmon fish count stations and updated fish regs for each fishery

Info on typical halibut charters vs overnight charter available out of Homer

Discussion about difference between average fish size of full and half day halibut charters.

Info on what to expect from combo charter vs straight halibut charter.

Info on salmon shark fishing

Info on pond fishing at different locations around the state.

Info on trophy trout locations and the regulations that govern them.

Discussion about required licenses and allowable types of baits in different fisheries.

Info on how the different derbies work and when they are.

Link to ADN outdoors fishing section.

Estimated costs for various types of charters and info on typical tips for crews.

Last but not least, favorite recipes.

This is some of the info I have had to garner the hard way through the years.

Edited: 19 January 2011, 00:53
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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4. Re: Writing a Fishing Top Question about Alaska topic?

WOW that is a lot of stuff for someone to research and write about. Do you have content to share from your past trips?

Chugiak, Alaska
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5. Re: Writing a Fishing Top Question about Alaska topic?

OK, I'll take a stab at all that:

Salmon run charts for 2010:

alaskaoutdoorjournal.com/Sonar/kpcharts.html

Charters that I've had good luck with:

Seward:

Alaska Saltwater Lodge

http://www.alaskasaltwaterlodge.com/

Inn and Out Charters

http://www.innandoutcharters.com/

Homer:

Alaska Coastal Marine

http://www.alaskacoastalmarine.com/

Anchorage Daily New Fishing page

http://www.adn.com/outdoors/fishing/

Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game

Sport fish page

www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/statewide/index.cfm

Fish Counts

http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/FishCounts/

Fishing Reports

www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/FishingReports/

Licenses and permits:

sf.adfg.state.ak.us/statewide/licpermit.cfm

Sport Fishing Regulations (currently 2010)

www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/statewide/reghome.cfm

Fishing with Bears

…state.ak.us/Statewide/regulations/bears.cfm

'Suggestions for locations/timing for shore fishing, what type of gear is typical and what kind of crowds to expect.'

That's tough because it can vary so much. I suggest going into B&J in Anchorage and asking questions when they aren't super busy. Very helpful folks, but you may have to wait a while to get one to have time to explain a bit.

'Information on how to handle a situation when a bear approaches while you are fishing, fighting a fish, or have fish on a stringer.'

The smartest thing to do is cut the line and move away, be it back away from the water, or farther into it. You should plan on being able to do both. You don't want the bears attributing people to free and easy fish. You can literally cut the line- always handy to have a knife when fishing, or you can wrap the line around your reel, point the rod at the fish, and yank to snap it. Depends on your line as to how hard that would be.

'Information on proper disposal of fish carcasses.'

According to Fish and Game:

'When done fishing for the day, anglers should clean their fish at designated fish-cleaning stations, or at home. If using a designated fish-cleaning station, anglers should chop the remains of their fish into many small pieces and throw these pieces and the entrails far out into deep, fast-moving water so they don't wash back up onto shore. Do not leave entrails or other fish waste on the bank or in shallow water. Another option is to bag up fish waste and dispose of it at home.'

'Estimated costs for fish processing and shipping vs processing and boxing w/ dry ice to include with your luggage.'

Prices to FedEx

captainjacksalaska.com/seafood/pc/processing…

Price to ship home

Extra piece of luggage varies per airline- $20 for Alaska Air

Fish box = roughly $20

Gel packs = $3 for each large

Total= $50 for small box - $65 for large box

'Info on typical halibut charters vs overnight charter available out of Homer'

Not sure if a typical halibut charter is a full day six pack (six people to a boat, on the boat from 8 am to 5 or 6pm), but assuming it is, there are also charters that go overnight. Alaska Coastal Marine does this on a large boat with bunks below where you can grab a nap while traveling from one fishing hole to another.

An overnight trip affords you the possibility of catching two days limit of halibut (four) as opposed to a 'typical' charter that you will get two fish per person on at best. This is because the boat goes out at 4pm, you have until midnight to get your first two fish, and then you can get your next two before 6-7am when the boat heads back to shore.

You have to factor in the fact that rarely can 35 people (what a full boat holds) fish at the same time, so you will have to take turns which means some standing around and waiting without a pole in the water. Also, you could catch a small fish and throw it back, but that still counts as a turn, so it'll be to the back of the line again. If the seas are too big to go farther out, you can end up in chicken holes the entire trip. Four chickens are still better than two, but a six pack could lend you better results since they are only trying to get the limit of six people instead of 35.

'Discussion about difference between average fish size of full and half day halibut charters.'

Often the half day charters (and sometimes a lot of the 'big' boats) will just take you to 'chicken' holes- spots with smaller, but a greater number of fish. You may only see 10-15 lb halibut. If you are ok with that, that's fine, just don't go expecting to pull your limit of 45lb fish.

'Info on what to expect from combo charter vs straight halibut charter.'

A combo charter allows you to fish for salmon and halibut. If the salmon at hitting well, you can catch your limit quickly- sometime with folks that have a harder time hooking the fish, it takes longer and can cut into the halibut fishing time. If there are four people on the boat that want o fish halibut more than salmon, they could affect the Captain's choice on when to give up on salmon and head for the halibut waters.

'Info on how the different derbies work and when they are.'

Halibut derby in Homer

http://homerhalibutderby.com/

Seward Silver Salmon Derby

…seward.com/events/details/seward-silver-sal…

'Estimated costs for various types of charters and info on typical tips for crews.'

Most six pack charters are around $265/person - about the same out of Seward or Homer for halibut, combo, etc.

Tips depend on how well the crew took care of you, how many there were, etc. I've been on a six pack with just the Captain as the crew twice and both did a great job. We tipped around 15%. On the larger boats, I've tipped about $10/crew member. I've seen folks not tip at all. It's like anything- you tip according to what level of service you feel you received.

Chugiak, Alaska
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6. Re: Writing a Fishing Top Question about Alaska topic?

Can't help much on river fishing since I've done that only once. I could tell people to be VERY CAREFUL to mind (very tiny, so as not to be noticed) signage when going dip netting as to where the 'mouth' of a river is and exactly how far one must be from it, but most people here won't be able to dip net anyway. That's not from personal experience or a $200 ticket or anything. *sigh*

Edited: 19 January 2011, 07:16
missouri
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7. Re: Writing a Fishing Top Question about Alaska topic?

This is great info...thanks so much.

Hmm...I was going to book an overnight halibut for my husband and some other kind of sight seeing for me, but the thought of having to wait your turn to fish does not sound like any kind of charter fishing we've ever done...

Maybe will just try for an all day.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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8. Re: Writing a Fishing Top Question about Alaska topic?

Delta . . . the halibut fishing charter we did out of Ninilchik (Afishunt) only had around 8 or 9 people on the trip and nobody had to wait to fish. With that being said, once we caught our individual limit of two fish, the poles were taken away and we became spectators until everyone caught their two . . . or until the tide turned and fishing conditions were not conducive for catching the halibut. In our group's case, we were maxed for all fishing, in about 2 1/2 to 3 hrs. I think the longest anyone had to sit and watch was probably an hour, but she kept the first two she hooked. Many of us threw back the smaller sized early catches in order to have the opportunity for larger fish.

p.s. We also did not do a "full day" charter as that seemed to be overpriced if you can only catch two to keep. Our charter company worked on the tide cycle rather than a specific timeframe (half day 6a-12n or 12n-6p, etc). I think we went out at like 10a based on the tide for that day. As I said, we were back early cuz the fishing was good.

The other side of that decision coin, was when we did King Salmon fishing out of Soldotna. We did the afternoon half day and with a one fish limit per person, in our boat of four fishing, my hubby was the only one who caught a keeper. The wife of the other couple caught a small (non-keeper) fish but since it bled, she had to keep it and she was done fishing. For two of us, 5 hrs on the water, and no fish. If we had been out on a full day charter, perhaps our chances would be been better, but then the other two who caught fish would have been bored sick sitting and waiting/watching.

Edited: 19 January 2011, 15:02
Estero, Florida
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9. Re: Writing a Fishing Top Question about Alaska topic?

Tiger did a good job, thanks, didn't have the time to answer all those areas last night and just did a stream of issues that came to mind.

Here are some links to guides I have used and been happy with. Some of them have best fishing times and links to fish counts in their area.

There is some pretty good guided fishing out of the WIllow area that not many take advantage of. We fish either silvers or kings, depending on time of year, on the Deshka and the Little Susitna. Seems to be a lot less people there and we like that. I have found that some rivers in the Kenai sometimes allow for 2 kings per day.

http://www.ifishalaska.com/index.html

http://www.akfishermanschoice.com/index.php

I have done the overnight halibut trip out of Homer for the last 3 years and although you have to wait sometimes for your turn in the rotation, the wait isn't long and the bite in the chicken holes usually comes fast. Most folks tire out and keep their 2 chickens pretty fast and the wait times get even shorter (2 minutes). After midnight, they anchor in a big fish (but slower fishing), calm spot and few people fish and there is no waiting. Me, I can't sleep when there is fishing to be done so I am usually up all night. Downside of that trip is there are very few lingcod or yelloweye caught so once you get your 4 halibut, you are done. Last year, there were silvers running and I got 4 of them to top off the cooler with after I boxed my halibut. Upside is that the overnight is about the same price as a day charter so you get 4 fish instead of 2 for another $10 - $20.

http://www.alaskacoastalmarine.com/sent.html

http://silverfoxcharters.com/overnight.htm

Talkeetna

mahaysriverboat.com/alaskafishing-mahay.com/…

Seward

www.saltwatersafari.com/fishing-charters.php

Anchorage

alaskanoutfitting.com/fishing/eklutnatailrac…

Fishing regs. check back the week before your trip as they can change anytime, especially with respect to numbers allowed and whether you cans use bait or not

…state.ak.us/Statewide/regulations/scregs.cfm

When I get more time, I will try and add whatever else comes to mind. fwiw, I usually only get 5 pounds of dry ice for a 50 pound fish box and as long as fish are frozen overnight by processor, they arrive in Florida with me still frozen solid and it is much cheaper than shipping. I usually use miles to travel business and they allow me to take boxes up to 70 pounds.

The tidal limitations do not impact Homer / Seward areas like they do in Ninilchik/Soldotna but the bigger tides (full/new moon) do require more weight and those 2 pound weights get heavy pretty quick pulling them up from 150 - 200 feet of water. If you can, take some salmon bellies with you, seems to help me attract the bigger halibut and they usually don't come off as easy as the herring do.

off subject, but this is what my wife and kids usually do in Homer when I am out getting our annual halibut allotment

www.akcoastalstudies.org/guided-tours.html

Edited: 19 January 2011, 18:26
Estero, Florida
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10. Re: Writing a Fishing Top Question about Alaska topic?

One other thought on the derby tickets, they have to be valid for the day you are fishing which means that on the overnight charters, you have to either buy two or pick the day you want it for, which should be the second day since they work the chicken hole the first day and fish for bigger fish after midnight.