Homer is the halibut capital of Alaska, and this longtime charter company offers a blue-chip way to get to the fish. They have high-quality boats, experienced captains, and enthusiastic crews—as well as an inside line on finding halibut, rock fish and silver salmon. But they also offer a variety of other ways to enjoy the waters off Kachemak Bay, from wildlife cruising to paddling a kayak or hiking in Kachemak Bay State Park.
Decades of Expertise
Homer Ocean Charters has been in business since 1979 and—as a serious stamp of approval—is the preferred vendor of Holland America, which is known to vet its tour operators quite thoroughly. The owners, Roark Brown and Diane Borgman, have served on both the Homer Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Tourism Industry Board, so they have a deep appreciation for customer service. And with more than 30 years of experience on the water, they know the tides, currents and feeding patterns of the fish, not to mention those of the birds and sea otters, too.
If you choose one of their fishing trips, your ride to the fishing grounds offers a spectacular, photo-op-ready experience in itself. You’ll get views of the remote shorelines, mountains, and volcanoes of Kachemak Bay. It’s not unusual to see otters, pods of whales and other sea life along the way.
Comfy, Queasy-Proof Boats
Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a first-timer, it’s easy to appreciate the boats the company owns for fishing. Its Bay Explorer and the Sea Hawk both feature twin diesel engines (for speed and reliability), and carry 18 and 10 people respectively. The boats are really stable, too, making them great for first-time anglers, folks who tend toward seasickness, or anyone who just wants a gentler ride. The bigger boats also mean more crew, so you’ll have the captain and at least one deck hand to help with baiting hooks or landing fish. They also have a six-passenger boat, the Diamond Cape, available for halibut, salmon and rock fishing charters; though smaller, it’s still a wide, stable boat.
All their boats feature heated cabins and flush toilets—a nice perk that not everyone offers—plus top-of-the line gear, from lures to rods and reels. And when you land your dream halibut or king salmon, the crew will fillet it for you, and even arrange for your catch to be vacuum-sealed, frozen and shipped to you back at home.
Cruising for Views
They also do more than just fishing. For instance, they offer yacht charters—using the plushly comfortable, 60-foot Ocean Limits—departing Homer for three to five day cruises. Three private cabins with private bathrooms are available for your group of up to six guests. All meals, fishing, cruising are included.
Water Taxi to Adventure
If you want to get dropped off for a longer stay—whether to camp, hunt or just take a long hike—they also offer a full water taxi service. They can drop you anywhere in the bay: at hiking trail heads and camping spots in Kachemak Bay State Park, on clamming beaches or at fishing areas like the Tutka Bay Lagoon salmon hatchery. For these trips, they use the water taxi Bay Link, a landing craft that can also carry gear and kayaks if needed.
They can also take you to their own cherished destination: Otter Cove Resort, a group of four cabins that gives you a perfect remote Alaskan getaway experience. Otter Cove has a dock, beautiful beach and opportunities for guided kayaking tours, or kayak rentals for experienced cold-water paddlers. Half day, full day and multiple day kayaking tours are available. Otter Cove is surrounded by Kachemak Bay State Park and has a trail that meets the Sadie Knob trail for a great day of hiking into the State Park. With their years of experience in this area, the folks at Homer Ocean Charters can set you up on whichever trip will help you experience the magic of these waters.