Alaska Fishing, Alaska Halibut Fishing in Homer, Fishing Halibut in Homer Alaska

Alaska Fishing for Pacific Halibut with Alaska Fantastic Fishing Charters out of Homer Alaska.

The Great Homer Alaska Pacific Halibut Hunt

As a Coloradoan, I am an experienced big game hunter, but not an experienced big game fisherman (large trout don't count). When speaking of big game fishing in Alaska, you're talking about halibut, not salmon. Even though king salmon may very well reach 60 to 90 pounds in weight, halibut that size are commonplace. In fact, halibut weighing more than 100-200 pounds, sometimes weighing up to a hefty 400 pounds, are not unusual.
Without question the "halibut fishing capital of the world" is Homer, Alaska, located at the southern end of the Kenai Peninsula. It is a small sport and commercial fishing community, and the home of more than 100 sportfishing charter boats. Based on a recommendation from a colleague, I reserved a spot on the Halibut Hunter, captained by Bruce Warner. It was later that I became aware of the captain's enviable record of guiding fishermen on trophy halibut trips.
It was early August, about 7 a.m., and the boardwalk in front of the docks was already buzzing with activity. This particular day we left two short of the usual six fishermen for a full day (eight to 10 hours) at sea. Captain Bruce fit the image I had conjured up -- a large, bearded man, but soft spoken. He indicated that our halibut trip would be 32 miles into the Cook Inlet, and off we went.
Once we reached our destination, the captain checked the G.P.S. readings and consulted the fish finder. Satisfied we were in the right spot, he dropped the anchor in 180 feet of water and passed out the rods.
The ocean's surface was flat, and the sight of snow-capped volcanos of the Alaska Range in the distance, reminded me of a warm spring day in the Colorado mountains. I was ready to fish!
We received instruction on how to handle the heavy-duty fishing gear with 130-pound test line and a hook that was half the size of my hand. The bait we used was herring, octopus and salmon heads. As we dropped our lines in the water, the captain instructed to us hold the equipment tightly. When the fish strike, they take off very quickly.
It wasn't long before the halibut started biting. we cranked up several small fish right away -- 15-20 pound class -- which Bruce promptly released. We wanted "keepers" for our halibut trip.
I will never forget the big bite! I had just dropped my bait in the water, and almost immediately could feel a halibut playing with it when it just took off.
I gripped the rod with all my might when the halibut went under the boat. Bruce took the rod from me and followed the fish to the other side of the boat when I then regained possession of the rig. This halibut was a big one!
While I was playing the line, Bruce asked if I had entered the halibut derby. Unfortunately I hadn't, especially as I discovered that the fish I had on the end of my line could be worth $30,000. Oh well, I couldn't dwell on that thought! I had a fight on my hands, and as the sweat poured off me (yes, in Alaska), I kept wondering if I would ever land this fish.
Twenty-five minutes later, I could see the halibut in the clear waters. It was huge!
As the big fish came to the surface the captain readied the harpoon reserved for fish this size. It's a critical time when the fish comes near the boat, because timing is of the essence when harpooning a moving target in the water. As the harpoon pierces the fish it is secured to the boat with a rope. Capt. Bruce drove the harpoon "home" and maneuvered into position to hoist the giant fish onto the back of the boat. The halibut was well over 150 pounds.
This scenario was repeated several times that day. The smaller halibut (under 100 pounds) were gaffed, rather than harpooned. By 3 p.m., we had reached our limit, with the average weight of our fish being more than 100 pounds each!
On our way back to the dock, we radioed ahead for extra help to unload our heavy catch. It didn't take long for a large crowd to gather around when Bruce hung our catch outside the charter office.
The day wasn't over yet, as the captain still had to fillet the fish. After filleting, we had our fish vacuum-packed and flash-frozen at a nearby processing plant for the trip home. I think there is no better quality fish than halibut, and at twenty dollars a pound at home, the halibut trip fare was quite a deal!
Halibut season in Homer runs from late May through the month of August. Advance reservations are advised, and for a truly big game fishing experience with an outstanding professional fishing charter company, I highly recommend that you take a Halibut fishing charter trip with Alaska Fantastic Fishing Charters CALL 800-478-7777.


Capt. Bruce Warner on his Alaska halibut fishing charter boat the Halibut Hunter in Homer, Alaska

The F/V Halibut Hunter in the Homer, Alaska boat harbor.

Alaska halibut fishing was a rewarding experience for Dennis Macy of Colorado, here with the day's catch

divided by 50 percent
= 350 lbs boneless fillets
X $20 dollars per pound
= $7,000.00 store value

Another successful "Halibut Hunt" in Homer, Alaska. Three fish averaged 226 lb each.

Going home at the end of a great day of Alaska halibut fishing on the Halibut Hunter in Homer, Alaska


Someday they'll lay me away cause I'm stinkin'
When I hear the gravel rattle on the lid of my coffin,
I don't want to be layin' there thinkin'
That I should have GONE FISHIN' more often!

Capt. Bruce Warner

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