What I remember most about Homer, Alaska, is the beautiful scenery and the Halibut fishing. We have been to Homer, Alaska two times over the past few years. It is a very popular tourist destination and the Halibut fishing is usually spectacular. We are also going to give you some information on the variety of fishing charters available. We have learned a lot over the years about choosing a fishing charter.
We drove from Soldotna after fishing for Sockeye Salmon in the Kenai River to Homer, which was about an hour and a half drive. We stayed at a VRBO and it was wonderful. It was a home on the hill where we could see the entire Homer Spit. I highly recommend a place with a view.
The Homer Spit is a 4.5 mile piece of land reaching out into Kachamek Bay. There are plenty of toutisty shops to buy souvenirs, eat wonderful seafood meals, and book fishing charters or flyout bear-viewing trips.
There is so much to see along the Spit, and as you walk down the street you can tell when the charter boats arrive from a day of fishing. They hang the Halibut on hooks for viewing and picture taking. All the tourists gather and admire the BIG Halibut. There is one place along the Spit called Buttwhackers where you can actually watch them clean the fish. It is usually very entertaining.
When we went to Homer on our second trip, it was the first time we had fished on a charter boat in Alaska. We booked with a company who had a large boat that accommodated about 20 people. The price was $175 per person for a 1/2 day trip-not a bad price! Since the trip was only a 1/2 day, we were only able to target smaller Halibut.
We used the charter’s equipment, including rods and 4 lb. weights at the end of the line and bait. We were fishing at approximately 300 ft. That’s a long way to be reeling in very often. We were instructed to set the hook and reel in the line when we felt a bite. After we caught our two Halibut, we were done. We sat and watched the rest of the people catch fish and chatted.
Everyone caught their limit except for the people who appeared green and were getting sea sick. There were quite a few. We always take Dramamine to prevent sea sickness. I highly recommed it, especially if you don’t know if you get sea sick. The boat captain is not going to turn around and take you home if you get sick.
The crew tagged our fish and allowed us to take pictures before they filleted them and put them in bags. There are a few processors you can take your fish to have vacuum packed, frozen and boxed to be able to take home. Don’t forget to tip the crew. A standard tip is 20%. Note: See our blog on Tipping your Fishing Guide.
We were in Homer, Alaska, in Mid – July. We got lucky with weather and it did not rain. However, when out on the ocean, it can get chilly, so I recommend dressing in layers and taking a warm jacket with a hood and a rain jacket. I usually wear rain pants to protect my clothes from water and fish slime.
After taking a charter with about 20 people, we decided to try a charter that we could rent for just our group. Of course it was a little more pricey, but we felt like we would have a better fishing experience. We used better equipment and less weight on the line. We enjoyed the conversation with each other as well as with the captain and deck hand. Of course we caught alot of fish and it was what I consider real fishing.
We have also taken Charters with up to 4 other people we didn’t know. We have always had a good time on the smaller charters no matter who we are with and have not been on a big party boat with 20 people since. When we go to Alaska to fish, we really want to fish and not go for the tourist experience.
It really depends on how much money you want to spend, how many people are in your group and what kind of fishing experience you want to have. We prefer the more personalized experience. Also, when you go out on a smaller boat with fewer people, you may be able to fish for other species of fish and not just have to target Halibut.
Homer is a nice place to visit for a family or even a friends getaway. There are so many things to do and see including a winery, Bear Creek Winery and Lodging. I have never been there, but it looks fun.
There is also a place along the left side of the road as you enter the Spit where you can catch Silver Salmon as they rush in from the ocean during the incoming tide. People line up on both sides with their fishing poles to catch these fish. It’s called the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon aka “Fishing Hole.” I caught one, but it was foul hooked so I had to let it go. You have to yell “Fish On” so everyone knows to move their lines to prevent a tangled mess.
We have always enjoyed visiting Homer, Alaska. The fishing is fantastic!