A year ago today my brother Rick and I went deep sea fishing out of Seward, Alaska. My brother made a surprise visit last summer to see my new place in Anchorage and to tick off another state off his list – Alaska! He just came off a European tour and he was tired. My brother is a the Video Director with Earth, Wind & Fire and an avid photographer. He captures city life and cityscapes with his lens and I can’t resist the wildlife and landscape photos.
Disclosure: This post not only has some great fishing Alaska stories, but also Affiliate Links that I earn commissions from. This is how I make a living and keep this little blog running. Thank you for supporting me! I appreciate it. Much love, Kristi.
After a few days of rest and drinking all the coffee that had Anchorage had to offer, we set out on an adventure into the Kenai Peninsula. He wasn’t convinced at first that we needed to go fishing. What kind of sister would I be if I didn’t take my big brother fishing while he was here?!?
A Little About Fishing in Alaska
Fishing starts early and you have to check-in to your fishing vessel by 6am. Mind you, most coffee shops don’t open until 6 or 630am! You can bring snacks and drinks on board as you will be out on the water for at least 8 hours, depending on what fishing charter you book and what species of fish you are after. We booked a multi-species fishing charter with Ninilchik Charters. That means we were fishing for Silver Salmon, Halibut, Lingcod, and Rockfish for $350 per person. Each fish uses a different fishing pole, bait, and is at a different location in Resurrection Bay and the Gulf of Alaska.
I caught the first fish of the day and the largest on the boat too! This was my
first and only Lingcod I have ever reeled in. He sure put up a fight!
Alaska Fishing Regulations
Current 2018 Alaska Fishing Regulations: Alaska restricts Halibut fishing on six Tuesdays in July + August as well as ALL Wednesdays throughout the season. That means if you want to catch halibut, do not book on those days! These regs change at a moment’s notice, please verify the latest regs on the state’s website. You must have a valid Alaska Fishing License to fish on any charter boat or to fish in any waters in AK. Alaska takes fishing VERY seriously whether you are a resident or a tourist. They have the right to seize your rod, your truck, your house, and everything else you own if you do not play by their rules. Seriously, get the license, read the regs and keep fish in Alaska for years to come.
Fishing Limits Per Angler
Halibut: 2 per day and 4 total per year. Daily limit is regulated to 1 halibut under 28″ and the 2nd can be any size
King Salmon: 1-2 per day depending on location. No more than 5 annual for saltwater. Most King Salmon are catch and release ONLY for the 2018 fishing season.
Silver Salmon: 3-6 per day depending on location
Rockfish: 4 per day
Ling Cod: 1 per day
Grey Cod: No Limit
Fishing in Alaska is Not Easy
Captain Jamey Penca did a great job with sailing out of the protective waters of the bay to our first fishing hole of the day for salmon. It takes a lot of strength to pull in fish after fish. Some of these fish weigh 40-75+ pounds, especially the halibut. Then add in pulling them up through the water and you definitely get your workout in. I have a bum shoulder and had to take my time – crank a few turns on the reel then rest and do a few more.
I have to give it to the crew on the Arctic Endeavor – they took care of each and everyone of their fishermen on the boat. They were there to bait the line, help us reel it in if needed (they cannot hook the fish though or it is their fish), and get that heavy sucker into the boat.
When someone would yell Fish On it was like music to my ears! It is like an adrenaline rush like no other for me. I am just as excited for someone else to land a fish as I am for myself. I was a fish cheering fiend out there! I will admit, I was a bit nervous taking my brother out to do one of my favorite things in Alaska. What if he didn’t catch a fish? What if he hated it? What if he went overboard? What if I did?
It took my brother a little bit to settle into the fishing routine of getting your line out, slowly reeling it in to attract the fish, then jerking the rod to secure the fish to the hook. Then reeling that bad boy in as fast as you could. I jumped up and down when he caught his first fish! I was so damn excited for him! I breathed a little sigh of relief after that first fish and knew he would do just fine. It might have taken Rick a second to get the hang of it, but after awhile it was like the times we spent fishing the small pond on our grandparent’s farm back in Indiana when we were little.
We both landed our limit of both silver and pink salmon!
He had a blast!
Seriously, this smile says it all!
Look at that smile! I love seeing him so happy!
I caught this Goldfish Rockfish just a month before on a charter with my Uncle Dwayne.
Tipping out the Crew
Something that I didn’t know at first is that you should tip out the crew. They cut up the bait, then bait your hook, teach you how to fish, help you land the fish, take photos to show all your friends and family, then filet the fish for you on the way back to the dock. If you have more, give more. A good rule of thumb is $20-25 per deckhand, typically 2-3 onboard. The Captain can take tips, but rarely does and gives them to his crew.
This is my happy place – in Alaska fishing 🎣. So glad Captain Jamey helped hold up this halibut – too heavy for me 😂. Great day with @ninilchikcharters! #girlswhofish #fishon #fishing #alaskafishing #travelalaska #thealaskalife #akfishing #alaskafishing #rockfish #travelalaska #akfish #girlswhofish #fish #fishinglife #fishinggirls #fishingaddict #girlswhofish
Getting the Fish Home
You have a few options here. If you will still be vacationing in Alaska, go to Captain Jack’s and have them process your fish and freeze it. They will also ship it anywhere in the world for you. They are worth every dime. Make sure you have someone at home to receive that box and get it into the freezer right away.
Since we were headed back to my place in Anchorage, the deckhands had our fish in a heavy-duty bag that went right into the large cooler I brought with us. I practiced my filet skills on all the different types of fish and used a FoodSaver, then froze them. We have fish boxes that you can purchase at the stores here that are insulated and have gel pacs. Note that you cannot ship nor take dry ice on airplanes.
Rick took home salmon, halibut, rockfish, and lingcod in a fishing box with him on the plane. Flying first class as its advantages when you are checking a 75# fish box!
*Most planes departing from Alaska have a fish freezer on them. Plus it is -40 degrees outside of the plane while you are flying. Seattle also has a fish freezer that you can check-in your fish boxes if you have a long layover.
Fishing in Alaska is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, one I can’t wait to do again and again and again when friends and family visit me.
Special thanks to my brother for putting this video together of our photos and videos.
It is our first collaboration, certainly not our last!
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