View Full Version : 2018 Fish/Sight Seeing Trip

Rich M
05-25-2017, 07:08 AM
Can anyone help with some comments or recommendations?

I'm from Florida and trying to plan a 2018 week-long trip to the Kenai Peninsula - figure the short schedule does not allow for a lot of hopping around. Also having trouble getting responses cause I'm asking about 2018 and the 2017 season is just starting. Most places have said to contact them in November.

Priorities are:

Halibut (50# would be nice)
Salmon & grayling (just because)
Glaciers - calving, hiking
Wildlife - whales, puffins

The questions:

When should we go? May, June, July, August?

Is it a good idea to take the train from Anchorage to Whittier or Seward and make base at either? Train ride sounds nice.

any recommendations for lodging?

any recommendations for a halibut charter - port/boat/captain? This is a must for me.

any recommendations for salmon - should I do a halibut/salmon combo charter in case the halibut trip is cancelled?

any recommendations for a glacier cruise calving thing - are there any smaller boats with less folks on them?

been seeing things about kayaking trips - a good idea?

are there any glaciers that are better to hike (less folks)?

any glaciers to hike with grayling streams/ponds nearby? (I make it out to be like going to the FL Keys and not catching a snapper or two - they are everywhere)

Any other suggestions - this is another one of life's "only gonna do it once" things for me.

05-25-2017, 07:58 AM
I'd be happy to help out and have several ideas for you.

If you go to Homer...North Country Charter and Falcon Charters are the ones I use personally and recommend for halibut. Generally mid-late May to mid September is the best time. You can get into Coho salmon late July thru August. Ling Cod season opens July 1 and can be fun.
July and August are good for Coho and Halibut in Seward. I don't have a specific charter service to recommend there, most are good. I've had good service from The Fish House in Seward, but they have a lot of boats and it can different depending on what skipper you get. Seward is better as a multi-species trip and the beauty of the area is great.
If possible, stay in Anchorage or drive to Talkeetna and do a Mt. Denali flight-seeing tour. Get one with a glacier landing if possible. It's unforgettable!
P.M me and we can do some planning, etc.

05-25-2017, 02:57 PM
If it were me, I'd hop a plane and head to Kodiak for the fishing trip. I've fished out of Seward, and its 75% boat ride to a chicken hole, and about 25% fishing.

Kodiak is 10% boat ride and 90% fishing.

Last July:



Several years ago hunting blacktails on Kodiak:


Trip Dad and I made a few years ago:


Tim McCoy
05-25-2017, 03:14 PM
I usually take a stop at Sitka on AK trips. Similar to what Buzz described. When the Halibut come in, its a short ride to them and the salmon are close too. We'd play wherever, Keni, Susitina, King Salmon, etc, then make a two day stop in Sitka to finish the trip. If I was someplace where it is already all close, like places on Kodiak and I am sure others too, no need for the Sitka stop. Just a thought, but it has worked well for us.

05-25-2017, 03:48 PM
Yep, there are better places than the Kenai for halibut fishing, salmon too. But you can still get into good fishing there plus do the glacier things and train rides, etc. I lived on Kodiak for a number of years and the fishing can be good there, it just depends on how much you want to spend on travel and accommodations, and getting the fish processed and back home.

Rich M
05-25-2017, 04:12 PM
Good stuff guys - thanks.

Nice fish pics!! :cool:

Colorado Cowboy
05-25-2017, 05:24 PM
Good stuff guys - thanks.

Nice fish pics!! :cool:

Yep same here. I am planning a trip up there in our rv next summer for a couple of months.

05-25-2017, 06:11 PM

I have a brother in law that has guided here for 25 years. I've gone up twice for 8 day long all fishing trips. This company can package everything you need together and will modify stuff based upon your needs. Lastly world class food at the Cooper Landing lodge.

05-25-2017, 07:44 PM
Winter king charters out of Homer. Owner/operator Rex Murphy. He doesn't have a website that I know of, but he's a member of the charter association. Great guy, nice, custom boat with twin 4 strokes, so no smelling diesel fumes all day. He will put you on fish, and you'll likely see all the wildlife you could imagine while on his boat. Have fun

07-27-2017, 03:49 PM
I lived in AK for 4 1/2 years. I'm friends with a guide named Boo Kandas. He does halibut out of Homer/Deep Creek I believe and salmon on the Kenai. I haven't done a halibut trip with him but we were 3/4 on kings in a 10 hour trip (2nd week of July). You'll be able to catch some reds that time of year as well. We used to go halibut fishing out of Valdez on the Dan Orion and always caught several over 100#, but I've heard that he's gone downhill since I left 5 years ago. Halibut Grove is the name I hear out of Valdez now. Silvers out of Valdez in late August is a good time too.

I'd scratch May and June. A lot of the glacier cruises and charters don't open until mid to late May. The reds may start running in June, but July would be better timing and you can keep lings on your halibut charter after July 1 as stated above.

I do agree that there are better places to go out of for halibut and salmon than the Kenai. Salmon is all about timing too and it varies some year to year.

Glacier cruise out of Seward is nice.

I don't know how much you are going to move around, but the bus ride in Denali is great. Make sure to eat at Moose's Tooth in Anchorage and Double Musky in Girdwood for me if you have a chance.

07-28-2017, 12:02 AM
A couple of things to keep in mind; Halibut fishing in most coastal areas around Alaska has been restricted somewhat. If going out on charter boats, you'll have a seasonal limit of 4 fish...2 per day. One can be any size and the other has to be under 28" (about 7 pounds) You can't fish for halibut on charter boats on Wednesdays. Non-charter boats can catch 2 per day of any size, fish everyday and have no seasonal limit. Our federal scientists at their finest!!

On a positive note; wj 1983 above is spot-on...the Double Musky and Mooses' Tooth are both excellent!!

Rich M
07-28-2017, 06:32 AM
Great information - thanks guys!