Friday, September 3, 2010

Halibut Fishing With AFISHUNT Charters

Today was a fun day of halibut fishing in the Cook Inlet with AFISHUNT Charters out of Ninilchik. John & Sharon have a great operation with their RV park and fishing charter business on Alaska's famed Kenai Peninsula.

Timed with the tide, we were scheduled to depart camp at 9:30am and were out on the water by 10:30. Given their location, they bus guests down to their other office location on the water. We were then boarded up on the fishing boat and launched by tractor.

Our captain Alan and deck hand Zach did a great job to take care of the seven of us. Between coaching us through casting (getting your bait and five pound lead weight to hit bottom at a depth of 170 feet), rebaiting our hook (when the little buggars steal your half fish bait), helping decide what are worthy keepers and then bringing in the two per person limit . . . they were kept very busy. Especially busy since the first line in the water was the first fish on line; a 120 pounder! (photo above) Expectations were set high, but after than fish was in the boat the biggest we saw were in the 20 to 25 pound range with a lot of catch and release between 10 and 17.

David won the prize for most sent back to the ocean at nine. (This photo is of his first keeper.) I only had to throw back one before catching my two including the second largest (third from the right at 25 lbs. When we got back to the shoreline, the crew then filleted and prepared our fish for whatever we wanted done with them. For us, the four fish produced 34 pounds of fillets and fish cheeks.

Perhaps the coolest thing that we saw on our fishing trip was two orcas on the way back into shore. They swam towards the boat, surfacing several times before heading off away from us. I did snap a quick photo, while David was able to catch the action on his video camera (which we'll post when we get home).

All in all, it was a great trip. They prepared our fish to ship home including overnight FedEx'ing. We figured it was a great activity that produced close to a $750 retail value of Alaskan halibut fillets for around $550 including the fishing charter, packaging, flash freezing and the shipping. Not that we went fishing to stock up the freezer, but it's nice to know that the catch pretty much paid for the outing.


  1. Looks like that was an awesome time! Were the fish hard to reel in, being as big as they were? Think my arms would be aching!

  2. Wow - seeing the Orcas must have been awesome!!

  3. I was ok reeling my two in, although it is tiring. David on the other hand must have reeled in at least 20 times with all of the releases he did plus to rebait when they stole his off the hook. His one arm and wrist was tired and sore last night and this morning.

    As for the orcas, that was very cool especially since on our whale tour in AK back in '06 we "only" saw humpbacks.

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