Alaska Halibut Fishing Charters
Alaska's halibut are called “barndoors” for a reason: The largest sport-caught halibut tipped the scales at 455 pounds. While that grandma was a rarity, you can expect to catch lots of "chicken"-fish in the 20-50 pound range-and feast on their sweet, firm meat. You "jig" for these bottom-dwellers out on the ocean. Better yet, it’s pretty easy to take a crack at these fish. Your best bet is to book into a full-day charter: Expect an early departure and hour or more of boat travel before you get to a prime ocean spot. Then, cast away and
get ready for the wrestling match of a lifetime. Some charters include your tackle and gear in the price, and some even will help clean, package and ship your fish home.
About $250+ per person.
When to Go
You can fish for halibut year-round. Peak times vary depending on where you are.
Where to Go
Some hot spots for halibut—all saltwater—are very close to Anchorage while others are nearly off the grid—places that are cool to visit, but you might only go if you had a mandate—like fishing for halibut.
- Seward: Just a 2½-hour scenic drive south from Anchorage, Seward is the gateway to nearby Kenai Fjords National Park. Fish the deep waters of the North Gulf Coast, about an hour and a half by boat from Seward harbor. Sea lions, sea otters, puffins, porpoises, ducks, humpbacks, and orcas may wait en route. Many guided charters spot whales while fishing. Come August, compete for $100,000 of prize money in the annual Silver Salmon Derby. Seward is also a picturesque seaside town with a bustling harbor and quaint shops.
- Whittier: Less than two hours form Anchorage, this port city offers good halibut fishing in Prince William Sound, and into the Gulf of Alaska. You can also fish for rockfish and, after July 1, lingcod.
- Homer: A 5 hr drive or 1 hr flight from Anchorage. "Alaska's halibut capital" is the gateway to Kachemak Bay, one of the richest bays in the world. Homer is off the cruise circuit and appeals to more independent and adventure-minded visitors. Enjoy views of mountains and volcanoes and keep an eye out for whales, thousands of shorebirds and other marine life. Limit catches (two fish) are the rule, not the exception.
- Port Protection: Fish near Prince of Whales Island, at the edge of the Alexander Archipelago. The salmon hit here first before migrating further north.
- Ketchikan: This is a great spot to take a halibut charter if you're cruising the Inside Passage, as it is included in many cruise itineraries.
- Yakutat: While this town in the Southeast is remote, the halibut aren’t. You only have to ride about 10-15 minutes out onto the water to find the big boys. Also a great spot for salmon fishing, as well as hiking and even surfing.
- Elfin Cove: Tucked on the north shore of Chichagof Island in the Southeast, this off-the-grid spot has no roads—only boardwalks—but some big halibut, tucked in its inlets close to shore. You can also fly-fish in streams and rivers for dolly-varden, trout and pink and coho salmon.
- Unalaska/Dutch Harbor: This port in the Aleutian Islands is mostly known for commercial fishing, but there are definitely enough recreational charters if you want to come find a 200-pound halibut, which are common here, and can be found pretty close to shore. The Aleutians, accessed by the Marine Highway, are great for independent travelers, with lots of birding and outdoor recreation in state parks, too.
What You Need
Not much. While a lot of anglers prefer to bring their own gear, plenty of charters will supply you with good gear, and even your fishing license. Just be sure to ask about gear before you leave home. If you’re fishing in Alaska solo, you can get a license online or pick one up at outdoor-gear stores or even in many supermarkets.
Port Protection View All
Spend three exhilarating days in remote Alaska fishing for monster Kings, shiny silvers and tasty halibut, not to mention mammoth lingcod and rockfish. Troll the waters of Prince of Wales Island with expert guides from Underdog Sport Fishing. They know the area, have a passion for fishing, and will show you the Alaska of your dreams.
Seward View All
When in Seward, head out on the water with Alaska Northern Outfitters on their comfortable 46-foot catamaran – the Sea Quest — for an epic day of fishing for halibut, salmon, lingcod, and rockfish. It’s the only charter vessel in Seward with an upper viewing deck. This lets you sightsee or have lunch on the upper deck while watching the action below. . Inside you’ll find a large and heated interior, indoor seating for everyone, tables, and ...more
Profish-n-sea Charters, out of Seward, offers salmon and halibut fishing with friendly, experienced Alaskan guides. Trips last a full day; you’ll motor 2 to 2.5 hours from Seward to the Gulf of Alaska, Montague Island, and other outer-coast hotspots. Profish-n-Sea knows the three keys to catching fish: boats, knowledge, and gear. That’s why the boats are always clean, the gear sharp, and the crew friendly, helpful, and fun.
Kenai / Soldotna View All
Don’t miss this opportunity to go fishing for Alaskan salmon in beautiful rivers. This easy, one-day trip departs from Anchorage; you’ll drive over mountain passes and along the Cook Inlet to the Great Alaska Adventure Lodge where you’ll have lunch. Then it’s out to the confluence of two rivers with the lodge’s expert guides, where you’ll cast your line for famous salmon — king, sockeye, silver, or pink, depending on the season. Or choose a one-day ...more
Ketchikan View All
You’ll find out why Ketchikan is famous for salmon with Captain Jared of Rainy Day Charters. Leave the cruise ship crowds behind for an authentic Alaskan experience, surrounded by water, wilderness and wildlife. It’s a perfect excursion for a half-day in port, even better if you have more time to fill your entire box with fish.
Ketchikan is known as the “salmon capital of the world,” and this uniquely personal tour is your chance to angle for these iconic Alaskan fish — as well as huge halibut. You’ll board an intimate fishing boat — complete with top-quality fishing and rain gear, as well as heaters, snacks, and beverages — close to the Ketchikan cruise terminal. And, since this is a private charter, it will be only your group on board!
Baranof Fishing Excursions offers classic Alaska fishing experiences from their private marina in downtown Ketchikan. They provide everything you need from rubber boots to expert guides, for an extraordinary fishing adventure!
Homer View All
O’Fish’ial specializes in saltwater halibut and king salmon charter fishing experiences out of Homer, as well as Long Range trophy fish hunts. Owner Chad has spent countless hours with seasoned Alaskan fishermen who shared time-tested advice – and their fishing hotspots – with him. He combines this knowledge with a customer-service focus and passion for sharing all the excitement and adventure Alaska fishing has to offer.
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.