The first morning of our Alaskan fishing trip, we decided to go out on the salt water and try out halibut fishing. We were fishing in the Cook Inlet just south of Kenai, Alaska. We had been told that the halibut fishing was great, and yes, there were tons of pictures of one hundred and two and three hundred pound halibut all over the fishing lodge, but you never really know what you are getting into.
The lodge that we stayed at (Deep Creek Fishing Lodge, owned by Steve Moe and his wife Vivian) has two 28 foot boats that they use on the salt water for halibut. These boats are awesome to say the least. Below is a picture of the halibut boats so you can get a feel for what I am talking about. They are perfect for halibut fishing and the potentially nasty Alaskan weather too.
Once we started our journey just a mile away to the launch site, things got really interesting. I have used many launch ramps before, but nothing quite like the deal they got going in Ninilchik, Alaska. Basically, you trailer your boat down to the “launch site” and take your boat off your car trailer. Then the crew down there completely takes over. What they do is they use a crane that has a trailer hitch on it, and they back your boat up into the water. Next, you start your engine and pull off the trailer and away you go.
Here is a video of the Ninilchik launch ramp for small boats:
It was wild to see, and amazingly quick and easy. The same deal when you pull your boat out later in the day. And the total fee for this service is $55 per day.
Once we got out about 20 miles, we started our day halibut fishing. The deal was each of us had our own pole. Our captain Skye and Jeremy did a great job of loading up our hooks with weights and bait all day long. The halibut bait that we used was cod fish, herring, and octopus. The fishing line was pretty heavy duty. The leaders were about 30 feet long and the final portion was some 300lb test line. So I wasn’t too worried about anything every breaking free on us. Here is a picture right before we started catching halibut.
We were fishing in about 180 feet of water, and there was about two knots of current. So we all had some considerable amount of fishing line out. But, within a few minutes of dropping down our poles, we started noticing that something was beginning to bite on our halibut poles. My pole was the first to go off, so I began reeling it in. After a few minutes, and not too much of a fight at all, it was a false alarm, just a couple pound cod. But we pulled it overboard, and the deckhands began cutting it up and said we could surely use it for bait for the halibut.
It wasn’t too much longer until some of the other fishing poles went off, and this time it was halibut action. Some of the halibut that we caught were between 20-50 pounds. No 100 pound halibut today, but we limited out our 2 halibut per person within two hours, and that was pretty good. The weather was starting to pick up with some relatively heavy winds and some light rain and moderate seas, so we decided to call it a day right after landing the final fish. And back in we went to put our boat back on the trailer.
A super great day halibut fishing, and I was most excited about being able to bring a ton of fish home and share it with family and friends, and especially my wife who told me to make sure to come home with some halibut or else… Here are some more fishing pictures from the day we caught all the halibut in Alaska.