My First Pacific Halibut
This summer the husband and I took a halibut charter in Homer, Alaska. The drive wasn’t horrible, only about 3 ½ hours and through just a few construction zones. We arrived in Homer with nearly clear skies, and even though it was the middle of the week it was quite the hopping place. The Homer spit has several restaurants and shops to browse about while waiting for our charter to leave. The Homer Spit is a piece of land about 4 ½ miles long located along the Kenai Peninsula that juts out into Kachemak Bay and boasts the longest road into ocean waters in the world.
|Still not tired of seeing mountains|
|This place was the bomb|
We decided on a charter that would allow us to get our double limit. Two fish per day for each of us, a total of 8 fish. We boarded our charter and boated out about 2 ½ hours into the Alaskan waters. The boat ride out was great not even a sprinkle of rain. We arrived in our fishing spot, or drift, and got in line to drop our lines. We drop our lines as the boat drifts along the shelf and once we reach the end of the drift, we pull up our poles and prepare to move to set up another drift. Halibut are bottom feeders and can grow into several hundred pound monsters, although we didn’t bring anything over 50 pounds home. After we had both caught our two fish we retired to our sleeping bunks ready to get up in a few hours and catch our limit the next day. The next morning we got up around 4, and headed out to catch our last fishes.
Now, reeling in a fish is an exciting experience, reeling in a fish with a 3 pound weight from a depth of 300-600 feet can be quite tiring. The beginning when the fish snags your line gives a nice adrenaline rush, but after five minutes that wears off and you’re in for a marathon of reeling. I swear my right arm is permanently affected and a size larger after all that reeling. Did I mention the reeling?
|The boats fish haul, getting ready to fillet|
While we were out in the ocean, we saw several Humpback whales and hundreds of sea birds. The sea birds hang around both the whales and the boat for an easy meal. The fishing was a lot of fun, as you can see below I decided to filet my own halibut. Now, my fillet was a little choppy, but by the time I was done I had half of the charter watching me… no pressure! I appreciate the crewmember that taught me how to fillet my first Pacific Halibut and for loaning me his awesome cut proof glove. Can you imagine filleting a fish on a rocking boat without a cut glove on? Overall, it was a good charter experience, and a fun crew. Looking forward to next season already!
|Generous crew member who taught me how to fillet a halibut!|