Halibut 101: “5 Things You Should Know”

DYK?… prime summer halibut fishing season in Alaska spans well into the end of August—and (in some regions) through September!

Planning a trip this fall? Or, dreaming of fishing in Alaska next summer? Read below for our latest blog edition: Halibut 101. We’ll cover 5 things you should know about saltwater fishing for Halibut in Alaska…from FAQ’s on where to go, when to go, and more!

catch of the day

#1 WHEN TO GO

Q. “What month should I plan my trip to Alaska if I want to catch halibut?”

Short answer:  
End of May through end of September.

Long answer:
In general, Alaska’s halibut season runs year-round but varies depending on what region you’re fishing from. In Southeast, peak fishing begins in June and is optimal through the end of September. In the Southcentral fisheries of Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound, and Resurrection Bay, you can reliably find a decent-sized catch throughout the entire summer starting at the end of May.

#2 HOT SPOTS

Q. “Where is the best fishing spot?”

Short answer:There is no “right” answer, but we often suggest flying into Anchorage and heading down to the Kenai Peninsula and embark from the community of Seward.  

Long answer:  
We can recommend fishing hot spots across the state, like, Homer: “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World!” But, many visitors opt for longer all-species combo day trips in Kenai Fjords National Park and primarily target the Halibut in the open waters both to the west and east, just outside of Resurrection Bay. The Seward area offers the most variety of nearby attractions and convenient access to other sightseeing. Often, we arrange itineraries for families who are looking for guided kayaking, nature float trips, bird watching tours, or hiking excursions that can be easily combined with their fishing adventures.

The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground

Check out this video from our friends at the Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council to get a glimpse “Alaska’s Playground.”

#3 BARN DOORS + MORE!

Q. How big are the halibut up there….really?  

Short answer:
An average summer halibut will typically weigh in around 20-50 pounds. The most delectable-sized catch, coined “chicken” for a tasty reason!

Long answer:
Alaska halibut can range anywhere from a few pounds to record-size “barn door” catches of 400+lbs! This is all part of the allure and excitement of this type of fishing—you just never know what you might have at the end of your line!

#4 ALL IN A DAY

Q. How long does it take to catch a halibut?

Short answer:
Usually, just a day! We offer our guests the opportunity to experience all-day species combo trips out of Seward from early July through the end of August. If you’re a more extreme fishing enthusiast, then we’ll probably recommend staying at a full-service fishing lodge for a multi-day package.

Long answer:
On day charters, you’ll leave by early morning to allow for travel time (approx. 1-1 ½ hrs) to get out to the prime fishing waters. Trips span from a half-day (6 hr) to full day (up to 10 hrs). In addition to catching picturesque views of acres of mountains, glaciers, and coastline along the way—depending on how long you’re out on the water—this area produces a variety of other species such as Alaska giant yellow eye (red snapper), Ling cod, Black Bass, Silver salmon and other rockfish. On the way there and back visitors frequently see sea otters, harbor seals, and a variety of whale species.

#5 WHAT TO BRING

Q. What’s included in a day fishing charter?

Each charter operator is a little different. Some will include lunch. Others will give you advice on where to grab your own brown bag to bring aboard. Most include your tackle and gear, as well as processing (cleaning and packaging) and will even offer to ship your fish home for you! All anglers are responsible for picking up their own fishing license beforehand and dressing for the weather.

Looking to plan your own adventure next summer?

Need a hand? Contact us.

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