When I think of Homer, Alaska, I think of all the incredible adventures offered in the great outdoors! From kayaking and bear viewing to hiking to glaciers and camping in forestry cabins, Homer offers so much to outdoor enthusiasts. Above all, our favorite outdoor adventures is fishing Homer, Alaska. With Homer being the Halibut Capitol of the World, it only makes sense to experience what it’s like to fish these bountiful waters! Here, we explore fishing opportunities, choosing a charter, and preparing for your trip.
Alaska is widely known for its iconic scenery and abundance in wildlife. This is especially true for fishing opportunities. When planning your fishing in Homer, Alaska, you may be wondering what species are available to target? You may also be wondering what type of charter is right for you? Here, we explore your options so that you can make the best decision!
#1: Halibut Fishing
The most sought after fishing in Homer, Alaska is for halibut. This meaty fish ranges in sizes from 5lb to 200+lbs and can be quite the challenge anglers are looking for when reeling! Most anglers prefer this fish, above all, due to it’s steak like texture and opportunity at an abundance of meat from a single catch.
Click here for more information on Homer Halibut Charters.
#2: Salmon Fishing
Second to halibut fishing, anglers seek to include salmon fishing within their charter. Fishing Homer, Alaska gives you the chance to target king salmon (Chinook), silver salmon (Coho), and reds (Sockeyes). We also have a pink salmon run ever two years. While this specie isn’t usually desired, they are the best for smoking and canning to prepare dips and salmon sandwiches!
Since different species of salmon run at different times of the year, it’s important to pick dates according to the species you want to target. Unlike other fisheries, Homer has a year round king salmon run. There is a year-round migration of feeder kings in the winter and two main migrations for king salmon migrating to the rivers. These are in May thru the beginning of June and end of July- September. For silver salmon, we start to see their migration mid-July thru September. Reds are usually caught dip netting or migrating up to the Kenai and Kasilof rivers in May thru June.
Click here for more information on Alaska Salmon Fishing.
Homer offers a variety of rockfish species to target. The most sought after of the species is Alaska’s Yelloweye rockfish. If you’re unsure of what this species looks like, it’s also called Alaska’s goldfish! With its bright orange body and big yellow eyes, these fish can range up to 20+ lbs! Due to conservation, ADFG regulations only allow anglers one per trip. While this regulation limits anglers for yelloweye, each angler is still is allowed a bag limit of five per trip that can include other species like black rockfish and are equally yummy! Due to the location of where these fish reside, you’ll most likely be booking a long range combo and plan to spend a full day on the water.
Click here for more information on Rockfish charters
Fishing Homer, Alaska gives you the opportunity to target two species of cod- Pacific Grey Cod and Ling Cod. Ling cod is the preferred fish for most anglers due to size and excitement with reeling one in! If you haven’t seen one before, you may think they are quite the creature when you reel one in! With the ability to weight up to 30+ lbs, ling cod are feisty and fierce. Most of all, they are extremely tasty! Due to conservation, charters allow anglers one per day.
While Pacific Grey Cod is not at the top of the list for most anglers, those from the East Coast know this fish to be the best fried fish and chips around! This fish is abundant and can be included on any charter booked! The best part is that there is not a limit on this species of cod, so get ready to reel!
Explore Alaska and Book Your Fishing Trip Today
You’ve done your research and you are wanting to add fishing to your bucket list! With several charters to choose from, we understand it can get overwhelming. Here, we discuss what to look for when booking your charter and insights on which trip is best for you.
Research by Reviews
Nothing is more important to operators than customer reviews! Every charter company in Homer strives for best reviews. We do so to give researchers, like you, insight on how we operate and how other’s experienced us. Use this to your advantage and read reviews of at least three to five different companies! In addition to reading the 5-star great reviews, read the bad ones too. This gives you the chance to see what went wrong and most importantly, how the company responded and improved their process. It’s nearly impossible to get it right for each and every customer we see every season, however a company’s response and their initiative for change will tell you the kind of operation they are!
Inquire Directly by Phone
It can be intimidating to call a company and not really know what you’re asking about, we totally get it! Despite this, we encourage you to do so and if you’re new to this kind of experience, let them know that! By doing so, whomever is answering the phone can guide you towards the best options and give you the most accurate information from start to finish. This will also give you a chance to experience the first step to their customer service, with the inquiry and booking process, to decide if this is the operation you want to charter with.
Types of Charters
With fishing Homer, Alaska, there’s a variety of day trips to choose from. Below are the two most popular options to consider:
3/4 day charter: this is the best option or those who want to spend a short amount of time (4-6 hours) on the water and then get back to land! This is also ideal for larger families with small kiddos who just want to experience being out on the water and not highly focused on targeting larger fish or full limits. Realistically, this trip is centered around time, so if you are looking for larger fish and full limits, then consider a full day charter instead.
Full Day Charter: full day charters usually consist of 6-10 hours off-shore (depending on single species or combo trip) and gives you the chance to spend more time targeting limits. Full days truly gives you the most experience and the best chances at targeting nicer fish and reaching limits.
There are two things to keep in mind- single species trips vs. multi-species trips, when booking your trip. Multi-species trips will naturally run longer, as you are looking to hopefully reach limits on a variety of species. So think 8-10 hours off-shore. If you are an avid angler and wanting to target all of what Homer has to offer, this is the perfect option.
Single species trips give anglers the opportunity to focus on a priority fish, such as halibut and you can expect closer to 6-8 hours off-shore. By selecting this trip option, you strengthen your chances at larger fish, as you are providing the captain more time to focus on one species and not worry about reaching various specie limits.
When fishing Homer, Alaska, there are a few suggestion that we highly encourage anglers to consider to ensure the best experience possible. Below we dive into our top 5 insights that can be helpful to your trip planning.
Make sure you have all fishing licenses! In addition to an Alaska sportfishing license, if you are targeting king salmon, you also need a king salmon stamp. For winter time fishing, if you are salmon fishing and crabbing, you’ll also need a crabbing permit. Making sure you’re equipped with the right licenses and stamps is vital.
Nothing is worse than being sick all day! For those who are prone to sea-sickness, prepare ahead of time by talking with your doctor on the best route to take. This way you can show up relaxed and ready to reel fish in all day!
Dressing appropriately and in layers can be a lifesaver. Alaska’s weather is always changing. One moment, it’s beautiful and sunny, and the next windy and chilly- especially on the water. Dressing in layered clothing and always having rain gear handy can provide a better experience. Don’t forget warm socks and sturdy boots/ shoes. While shoe style isn’t a huge deal, it’s best to have a sturdy shoe or boot that can get wet, dirty and is slip resistant.
Lunches and Beverages
Most charters do not include lunches and beverages on board. For me personally, I am a snacker and love to eat on a boat. So having a prepared lunch and snacks goes a long way for my personal experience.
Lastly, it can be hard to tell what industries are appropriate to provide a tip in and I am here to let you know that this is one of them! At D&G Charters, I can personally assure you that our crew work hard to create the most memorable experience for you each and every time. In addition to a memorable experience, we strive to provide meals you can share with loved ones over and over again! When you have an exceptional experience, such as this one, it’s customary to provide a tip to the crew. Though industry standard averages around 20% of your trip cost, the amount is not vital to making our crew feel appreciated for their time and efforts. I would like to say this goes for any charter you book as well!
With tips and insight on fishing species, picking the right trip and being prepared, you’ll be ready in no time to hop aboard! With so many options to choose from, always remember that you can call and inquire. Allow us to help you pick the right fishing experience and focus on the excitement of your upcoming vacation today!