Photo Credit: Bob Kaufman

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.

Typical Price

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.

Near Anchorage

  • 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.

Southeast, Alaska

  • 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.

Southwest, Alaska

  • 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.

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Port Protection View All

4 - 7 days

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.

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Homer View All

$195+ 3/4 to Full Day Excursions

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. 

Season: Year Round $300+ 6 hrs+

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.

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Ketchikan View All

Season: May 15 to Sep 15 $200+ per person 4-8 hrs

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!

$200+ Fishing, $100 Wildlife Viewing 2 hours - Full Day

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.

$249+ Day Trips 6+ hrs

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!

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Kenai / Soldotna View All

$295+ per person Half-Day to Full-Day

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

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Seward View All

Season: Apr 28 to Sep 03 $295+ Full Day

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.

Season: May 09 to Sep 06 $199+ per person Full-Day

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

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