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Old 07-08-2021, 05:42 PM   #1
Mahigeer
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Alaska trip 6/28/2021 part two. Long w/many pictures.


ALASKA TRIP 6/28-7/3, 2021 Part TWO




THURSDAY, JULY 1ST, 2021 CONTINUED



Every day at 4:30 PM we had different appetizers setup for us before the 6:00 PM dinner.

1-Tonight was Chinese egg roll and I believe pot stickers.




2-We also had a different soup. Looked like Gumbo



3-Followed by a salmon dish. I remembered too late to take a picture.




4-Tonight’s specialty desert.







FRIDAY, JULY 2ND, 2021




5-Egg dishes, pretty much every day for breakfast.




6-Comparing to other days this day was not too bad, as far as sea conditions.


We were trolling for pink salmon, but only got one. Noting close to the last time.



7-So much greenery and trees on various islands.




8-Is this what is called a “bloody deck”?


This fish had a commercial rig in its mouth with a 16/0 hook in its gill.



9-We ended up the day with our limit every day. We had many 48” and 50” fish.

We actually ran out of pink salmon as bait, but we had our limit of halibut.

After that we decided to go pink salmon fishing as bait for last day’s halibut fishing.
However, at the same spot as in the past, we hooked one and lost some. It was very slow fishing.

We were back at the dock by 3:00 PM.



10-Salad as a starter tonight.




11-With chicken, etc. as the main dish



Spent most of the night packing and disassembling the rods, except the electric one.






SATURDAY, JULY 3RD, 2021



The last day of the trip.
As usual we went after halibut. On the last day, even if weather permits, and salmon are around, only halibut fishing is done.



12-Our capable captain who lives in San Diego when he is not working in Alaska.




13-We caught a small rock fish, but it was released.


After we had three halibut in the holding tank, and there was time, the captain suggested to go to a deeper site and really put to the test the electric reel.
We went to a spot about 230 feet deep.
There we put salmon head with some body meat on the electric reel.
The captain said that with the head and a bait that big, fishing will be slow, yet the hooked fish would be big.

Boy was he right!!!

After seeing the rod tip move, I slowly started the reel. The captain said to come up very slowly. It was obvious this was a big fish.
Once at the (6) meter depth, I had to reel in the fish manually. Nice and slow.
Once on the surface, the captain harpooned the fish. Then he used a very big hook tied to a short rope which was tied to the boat and a long gaff to hook the fish.

I was holding the rods, so the other two anglers plus the captain pulled the big fish into the boat which was a struggle.
Once the fish was in the boat, the captain started beating the fish with a club to kill it fast.

High fives all around. It was a group effort to land that fish.



14-The rig that caught all the halibut. We used a 3 lbs. ball sinker attached to the left swivel. I added the wire line with the red shrink tube to make the attachment to the mainline swivel easier. The small flashing light should be helpful in the deep dark water.



15-The last fish of the last day and the biggest of the two trips. Estimated 196 lbs.


I missed the chance to land a smaller (66”) fish last year. But that is different story.



16-To make sure this fish was measured correctly, the tail was against the vertical wall and the end of the nose was marked on the floor.



Pictured with captain is a very hard working manager of the lodge.

The large fish was measured 3/8” short of 72”. Thus, in order to keep it I had to pay $390.00, plus maybe several hundred for shipping.



17-We had three fish already before hooked into the monster. Very slow beginning, then it picked up when the scent trail was established.


I brought home two boxes of 50 lbs. each with me at the cost of $140.00. Some 25 lbs. of fillet and the big fish (estimated per a chart, 196 lbs. live weight and 147 lbs. dressed weight) will be shipped separately.


We were back by 11:00 AM this day. After a tasty B.B.Q lunch we were taken to the airport about 3:00 PM for the 5:00 PM flight out of Gustavus.



18-Leaving Gustavus airport.




19-Scenery between Gustavus and Juneau.







20- If you ever wonder what it looks like inside a cloud. Here it is.





21-Now we are on top of the clouds.










22-Back to clear sky.








23-This is the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau.







24-A town in Juneau.





25-I don’t know why, but this display related to Star Wars was at the Juneau airport.




26-Similar plane that I took to Alaska.




27-Scenery between Juneau and Anchorage.




28-Once more we are flying above the clouds.










29-They had an actual Alaskan bush plane in the lobby at the Anchorage airport.






30-Time to fly to LAX.

Last year, I spend the whole night at the Seattle airport. This time, I got to sleep on the plane to Los Angeles.
A much better arrangement. Less luggage too.


Arrived at LAX around 6:00 AM and had to call my brother to come with his SUV, due to the two large boxes of fish and my check-in bag.
He got one box to divide among relatives, and I will be giving away a lot of fish to others.



THE END




P.S.
The two lessons that I learned on this trip were:
1) If there is a next time, I will try very hard to go with friends, so the boat trips would be with known people. Everybody else at the lodge was with friends as a group. I met all of them, and they were very nice people.
You never know what kind of people you get to go on the boat. My first trip at Cedros Island was similar.
The SOF crew really let me down.

2) Find out when salmon is running, so you are not paying for full day of fishing and getting half day.
Bad weather cannot be predicted, but salmon runs are more regular.






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Old 07-09-2021, 08:27 AM   #2
jruiz
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Give Sitka a try late August or early September. Limits of larger cohos almost daily and limits of halibut. Go with an outfit that at least mooches as an option. My preference is is one that trolls and once you get a hookup, the rest of the boat starts mooching. I agree with at least getting one friend to go with you to offset any douchebagerry.
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Old 07-09-2021, 10:39 AM   #3
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Congrats on your catches! I liked seeing the techniques used. Somebody is in the doghouse for allowing the storm surge to sink a boat. The pixie spoon is popular in Valdez for getting the reactionary salmon strike.

Sorry to hear about the lame company you shared on the boat. Your added business probably helped keep SOF's rate down, a shame they failed to inform you of their cancellation.

Consider Cook inlet in late August. The biggest kings come out of the Kenai River, and although the riverboat method sounds unappealing, Cook's inlet has much variety and potential for trophy fish. Farther Nth than Juneau, the area gets less rain.
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Old 07-09-2021, 05:14 PM   #4
Mahigeer
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Thank you gents for your kind comments.

The SOF is not on this board to defend themselves, so I keep it short.
But the fact is that I made my reservation based on their picking the date.
Last year we got there on July 20th, and the Coho salmon fishing was great.
Boy, am I going to let them know when I see them at the end of the month at East Cape.
I don’t care to be on the show or not, it is just better to fish with friends.

I have been looking at Seward. A boat name Puffin sounds promising. It is a small “cattle boat”. They point out that captain is not the only person with comfortable seat. I guess the 3” foam bench seats have been a problem. They have different outings at different dates. Halibut only, or halibut and salmon, etc.

So far I have not found the same all-inclusive package operations in Seward. I have to fly to Anchorage then rent a car to drive to Seward. Currently I could not find a car available. Some trucks for $2500.00 for a week was available. WOW. I found a hotel at walking distance to the boat ramp. Therefore, the car will be sitting most of the day, all week. There is a train operation, which I have to check out, but how do I transport all the luggage and hopefully box(s) of fish to the train station and the airport?

Lastly, the puffin makes large fillets of the fish on board, but there is a place almost next to hotel, that vacuum packs and freezes the fillets. I have to see if they will store my catch for a whole week.
Lastly, I have to trust the fish processing place not to cheat me of my halibut fillets.

At Anglers Inn, I have come to know them and feel comfortable about handling my fish.
However, (and there are always however), I have not heard about my big fish being shipped to me. No call from the manager either yet. Even though I called the part-owner of the operation yesterday.

If anybody here has information about the inclusive packages at Seward, please let me know. Thanks.
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Old 07-09-2021, 06:34 PM   #5
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Epic adventure!

Thanks for sharing👍🏻
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Old 07-10-2021, 05:47 AM   #6
Mahigeer
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Glad you liked it.
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Old 07-10-2021, 11:19 PM   #7
JohnMckroidJr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahigeer View Post
I have been looking at Seward. A boat name Puffin sounds promising. It is a small “cattle boat”. They point out that captain is not the only person with comfortable seat. I guess the 3” foam bench seats have been a problem. They have different outings at different dates. Halibut only, or halibut and salmon, etc.

So far I have not found the same all-inclusive package operations in Seward. I have to fly to Anchorage then rent a car to drive to Seward. Currently I could not find a car available. Some trucks for $2500.00 for a week was available. WOW. I found a hotel at walking distance to the boat ramp. Therefore, the car will be sitting most of the day, all week. There is a train operation, which I have to check out, but how do I transport all the luggage and hopefully box(s) of fish to the train station and the airport?

Lastly, the puffin makes large fillets of the fish on board, but there is a place almost next to hotel, that vacuum packs and freezes the fillets. I have to see if they will store my catch for a whole week.
Lastly, I have to trust the fish processing place not to cheat me of my halibut fillets.

At Anglers Inn, I have come to know them and feel comfortable about handling my fish.
However, (and there are always however), I have not heard about my big fish being shipped to me. No call from the manager either yet. Even though I called the part-owner of the operation yesterday.

If anybody here has information about the inclusive packages at Seward, please let me know. Thanks.

Ten yrs ago while working on marine pilotage I spent a month in Anchorage. The road from Anchorage to Seward is good. Seward to Los Angeles is a 61 hour drive or skip Canada and use the Alaska Marine Highway from Bellingham, WA. Alaska is expensive, but amazingly the two Costcos in Anchorage had the same prices as the lower 48.
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Old 07-11-2021, 07:07 AM   #8
Mahigeer
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Thanks for your input and tips.
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Old 07-13-2021, 03:39 PM   #9
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What a trip congrats on the big halibut. Thanks for taking the time to share
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Old 07-13-2021, 06:45 PM   #10
Mahigeer
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Thanks Robert.

I am back to Baja with the crew of Stoked On Fishing at the end of month.

Fishing the East Cape.

Report to follow.
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Old 07-16-2021, 11:52 AM   #11
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Great report. Sorry to hear about the negative experience with the other passengers and your rod leash. That big halibut you got at the end was something to see. I look forward to the baja report in a few weeks.

P.S just out of curiosity how is the larger fish packaged for shipping? Do you have to purchase and/or ship a cooler to alaska for them to fill and ship to you? What is the approximate yield of a fish that size in %?
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Old 07-16-2021, 05:18 PM   #12
Mahigeer
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Thanks for the encouragement to do more reports like this.

The fish handling is an important part of these trips, so this is as good as any time to go into detail on that for everyone who wants to know.

The after catch: Usually once we are at the dock, the captain makes big fillet of the fish. It gets put in a large tub and it is transported to the lodge. There the skin is removed and it is cut to smaller portion. I think they remove some bones too. Then fillets are vacuum packed and fast frozen. The fish gets divided into four and put in boxes. The last day the special boxes with some insulation are labeled with angler’s name and transported to the airport. Each not weighing more than 50 lbs.

All this is included in the package price.

Upon checking-in with the Alaska Airlines staff, they charge the appropriate fee and put a tag on the box. Angler gets a receipt for each box.
The fish travels with you to the final destination, providing you are staying overnight before the final destination.

Last year, I was not sure I could fit my luggage and a box of fish in Camry which my wife drives. Thus, I asked them to ship it. Big mistake. After sending to the wrong city, it went back to the lodge and finally arrived in LA. It was still frozen, so I was relieved.

This year, I was taking with me two boxes already before the Saturday catch and the big fish. The manger told me they could have it ready before I leave, but it could have been (3) more boxes. He said he could ship it. So far I have not received it. The excuse is the lack of phone signal at the lodge to call me. Yet he texted me to tell me the signal issue!!!!

There is a chart that estimates various weight of Pacific halibut. If the length is 72”, the live weight should be approximately 196 lbs. The dressed weight (all none edible sections removed) should be approximately 147 lbs. The big fish would be processed same as the smaller ones.
According to the manager (if I heard right) there should be another 28 lbs. in addition to the big fish.

Here is a post I made after last year’s trip:

http://www.bigwatersedge.com/bwevb/s...aska+trip+part



I hope I answered the question.
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