Our Frequently Asked Questions
Our vessels are all non-smoking. Due to USCG requirements marijuana in any form is also not allowed onboard.
- Please bring warm clothes in layers as well as Rain jacket, pants, etc. A typical July day might be 80 degrees but it also might be 45 degrees. It might start rainy and end sunny, or start sunny and end rainy. There can be splash due to chop
- Motion Sensitivity Medication if you are prone to seasickness
- Any required medications
- Food drink, snacks. Alcohol is allowed on board but please do not bring glass or hard alcohol.
- Ideally rubber boots, or waterproof shoes. The deck can get wet and slippery from washdown and ocean spray
- Your fishing license or harvest card if under 16
- Sun screen
Our boats pickup at Ramp #6 and Float EE on the east side of the Marina. As you are coming down the spit turn left on Freight Dock Road just as you see the Homer Marina. After passing the boat ramp turn right and park near the bathrooms. Please collect your belongings for the day and make your way down Ramp #6 and Float EE. A downloadable map showing parking, ramp #6 and float EE can be downloaded here:
It is important that you purchase your fishing license in advance. There are many ways to do this. Nearly every grocery store and sporting good store sells them. You can also get them right on the spit at The Tackle Shack. However the most convenient way to get your fishing license is online at Alaska Department of Fish and Game
If you do need to purchase them locally in Homer the closest location is the Tackle Shack and it is open at 5 AM.
The Tackle Shack
3815 Homer Spit Rd # A,
Homer, AK 99603
Motion sickness can happen to anyone. It is also a reality on these trips. We work very hard to find big fish, lots of them and the calmest waters we can find.
If you find yourself to be a person getting carsick or air sick you should consider taking precautions. Many people will take dramamine (ideally the night before) and we’ve seen a high number of our customers the past few years using ear patches.
Our attentive staff will be keeping a close eye on all our guests and please let us know if there is anything we can do to help.
Yes, all of our boats have a flushing toilet onboard.
We never ever “promise” fish. At the end of the day it’s still fishing, even in Alaska. However, that being said, limits are the norm on our trips, and it’s more of a question of how big will they be? Sometimes they’re huge and sometimes they not as big, but even our smallest fish are often the biggest fish someone has ever caught.
Our long range trips are the best opportunity to catch the biggest fish around. Lets face it, if those fish were 10 minutes offshore they’d be fished out quickly. On our long range trips we are targeting trophy halibut, trophy rockfish, and maybe even pulling up a record-breaking lingcod. This opportunity, realistically speaking, does not exist to pull up a 200 lb halibut, or larger, without running out to these fishing grounds. At the same time, putting in that effort does not guarantee one. We do our best to catch limits everyday, put you on the best fish possible, with nice limits of fish.
It is 100% up to the angler to decide whether to keep a fish or retain it as part of the daily bag limit. We must also keep in mind though that while 1 fish can be of any size and as big as you want, the other fish must be under 32″ or whatever the current regulation is set by NOAA. There is no waiver in this federal regualation.
If you catch a 40 lb halibut and would like to release it and try for a larger one, that choice is entirely yours. Our Captain and deckhand will help provide advice and guidance but the ultimate decision is yours.
Yeah, it’s true, but not 100% of the time. Halibut live on the ocean floor and have no problem at all living in 600 feet of water. In addition, Cook Inlet has some of the biggest tidal movements in the entire world. When the current is really ripping it requires a lot of weight to keep the bait on the bottom. We typically won’t fish with more than 4 lbs. If more than 4 pounds is required we’ll usually drift fish with much lighter weight jigs. Then once the current slows down, we can anchor up and start using chum bags, weights and circle hooks. As the current continues to slow it will eventually reach “slack” or almost no current at all. As the current slows down we will continue to move to lighter and lighter weights until we are fishing with 1 lb or less. However, the current will eventually pick up speed again and we’ll have to increase our weights until we are no longer able to keep the weight on the bottom. At that time we’ll either be done fishing and headed in, heading for a different species like rockfish, or we’ll start drift fishing again.
We have caught huge halibut in as little as 30 feet and we’ve fished for halibut as much as 400 feet! On average though, most of the time we are fishing between 70 and 200 feet.
There is no minimum age requirement on our boats. We have had great experiences with anglers as young as 10 and difficult ones as well. Keep in mind that unless your group is booking the entire boat the Captain will be doing his best to give everyone on the boat the best experience possible. We will leave it up to your best judgement to understand how well your child will do on the excursion.
Limits for halibut are set by NOAA as halibut are a federally managed fishery. They do change each year but have more or less normalized. Mostly what changes what the maximum size can be for the “little one” and if there are any Tuesdays that we are not allowed to fish during the summer.
Rockfish and salmon are managed by Alaska Department of Fish and Game and have separate limits from Halibut.
General Halibut Limits:
Daily limit is 2 fish per person.
– Closed Wednesdays
– No Annual Limit
– 1 Daily Fish Must Be 28″ or Less
Daily king salmon (chinook) limit is 2 fish per person. Daily silver salmon (coho) limit is 3 fish per person.
There is a landmark called “Bluff Point” which is approximately 1/2 way between Homer and Anchor Point. If fishing north of this landmark, which is closer to the salmon spawning grounds, the limit is 1 King per day instead of 2.
Rockfish limit is 5 fish per person. Only 1 of the 5 rockfish may be a bottom-dwelling species which is known as nonpelagic. Nonpelagic means this fish pretty much spends in life only on the bottom and more or less in one small area. Non-pelagic examples are: yelloweye, copper, quillback, and China rockfish.
In addition to 1 nonpelagic, angler are also able to harvest 4 pelagic rockfish such as Dark, Dusky, Yellowtail, Widow and Black Rockfish. These fish hang out higher in the water and often in schools. It’s not uncommon to have the entire boat reeling these fish in simultaneously when we find a big school of them. It’s really exciting.
Lingcod are very diffcult to target consistently. So in order to manage expectations we like to treat lingcod as an extra fish. There is a very good chance of catching a lingcod anywhere we are fishing for rockfish. Lingcod must be at least 35″ in order to keep them. They are extremely good eating but also very low in yield. Only about 20% of a lingcod remains after filleting when compared to 60-65% for a halibut.
Lingcod may only be kept after July 1st.
Your catch will be filetted on the way back in to Homer from our fishing grounds and given to you so that you can take it to one of the many fish processors located in Homer. They will do one more cleaning step, portion according to your requirements, vacuum seal and freeze for you to pick up later. Or you can take it to any number of other fish processors in and around the Kenai Peninsula if that is more convenient for you.
Homer Fish Processing
1302 Ocean Dr,
Homer, AK 99603
Phone: (907) 235-1997
We do our absolute best to not modify or downgrade a trip, change equipment or crews, cancel a trip entirely, or make any changes to the fishing trip you’ve signed up for. However, your safety and comfort is our #1 priority and there may be times when extenuating circumstances require a change. If we are required to make a change we will let you know as early as we absolutely can.
It is our policy to only cancel trips the morning of and not the night before. Weather in Alaska changes rapidly and what we see on land isn’t always the conditions off at sea where we fish. In cases where a long-range trip has been booked we will always convert to a downgraded excursion if possible before canceling altogether. When forced to downgrade we refund the difference of your booked trip.
Fishing in Alaska goes from 0 to 100 in the blink of an eye. We catch fish, and lots of them, every single day from the moment we put the boat in the water to the moment we pull it out for the winter. There is also something awesome to catch in Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet. Peak season for fishing is from mid-June to September 1st. Peak season for tourists is from July 1 to August 15th.
We start fishing in May and by June the season is in full swing. We receive a daunting number of phone calls every day and it doesn’t slow down until we hit September. So we do our best to get you all the information you need including licenses, boat meetup times, confirmation emails, what to bring and more. If you do have questions, by all means please contact us. If it is not absolutely urgent we would appreciate an email during peak season. If you call and we are not able to answer please leave us a message and we will definitely get back to you. We are notified of any voice messages several times a day so we will definitely return your call.
Our fishing excursions are definitely very physical and require at least an average level of fitness. We are reeling up big fish and as much as 3 lb to 4 lb weights throughout the day. We strive to get every angler that wants to fish with us out on the water and will help you in every way that we can, however, your safety and that of the crew and other anglers is our top priority.
Please keep in mind that our long range trips can put us more than 2 hours away from port should you have a health related issue. We ask that you please disclose any health related issues that you might have prior to boarding the boat. If you have questions about this, please call us. We will be happy to answer any questions.
Ah yes, everyone’s favorite question, how much do we tip?
It’s a great question. First an foremost, any gratuity at all is incredibly appreciated but is never required. You will receive our 100% every time with or without a gratuity.
Like most service industry jobs, a 15% gratuity is very much appreciated by your crew. The job they do for you begins several hours before you arrive and doesn’t end for several hours after you’ve disembarked. Mostly it involves making sure the boat is in perfect and clean condition when you arrive. Taking amazing care of you while you’re on the boat, filleting your catch, teaching what they can about our fisheries, and making sure all the fishing equipment is in perfect order every single day after every single trip. After the trip, a thorough cleaning of the boat, rinse down and inspection of equipment, replacing any lost or broken tackle or gear, regulatory book keeping and more keeps them occupied after your trip is over.
A 50% deposit is required to secure the reservation. The balance is due 30 days prior to your excursion. This deposit does not include taxes which are collected with the remaining balance. The deposit also does not include the 7.875% required sales tax which is also collected with the remaining balance.
There is a 20% cancellation fee once a reservation is made. If cancelling within 30 days of the excursion the entire booking is non-refundable. We will make every effort to rebook your trip. This may include posting availability to our website, informing other charters that we have seat availability on certain days should they need it and more. If we are able to rebook your seats you will be issued a full refund minus the 20% rebooking fee.
No shows and last minute cancellations (less than 30 days), will not be refunded.
If weather conditions or a mechanical problem require us to downgrade or cancel the trip you will be refunded the difference in price for a downgraded trip or a full refund if the trip is cancelled entirely. When you book your excursion you are committing to a downgraded trip if weather requires it. Our full cancellation policy can be found on our dedicated cancellation policy page.