Alaska Halibut Fishing in Yakutat

Alaska halibut fishing rallies anglers from all over the world in pursuit to bring home the moist, flakey texture of halibut that are abundant in Alaskan waters.

Why Alaska Halibut?

Pacific halibut are among the largest fish swimming in Alaska and are the largest member of the flatfish family. An average halibut is about 25 pounds, and the Alaska state record is 459 pounds. So these fish get BIG! Halibut are a firm, white-meat fish, and are among the highest-quality table fare of all the fish species. They are strong, fun to catch, and produce a lot of edible meat. On average, about 2/3 of a halibut is boneless fillets, making for lots of meals to be enjoyed all year long.

Halibut migrate from deep water in the winter, into shallower water in the late spring, where they stay until late fall growing larger. They feed on herring, salmon, octopus, cod, and probably just about anything they can fit in their mouth. It’s during this time period that anglers target the species. In many coastal communities around Alaska, halibut are targeted in 100- to 400 feet of water. Tides are generally large in Alaska, so that many charters and private sportfishermen are most productive as the tide weakens. They find that the two hours on either side of slack tide is generally the time to catch them.

Halibut are highly olfactory based, so setting up on anchor and putting out a scent trail is always a good way to ring the dinner bell. It’s not unusual to wait for a few hours without activity until the halibut finds your bait, and then experience steady action. Other times it seems that the ocean floor is littered with hard-pulling flatties, and the bites happen as soon as the bait or jig gets near the bottom.

Fishing Methods

Two methods are generally employed to catch halibut: bait, weight and wait for a bite or jig. It’s our general experience that scent brings the fish to the boat and jigs entice them to bite. It’s also generally accepted that pounding a jig on the bottom sends off a sound wave that also brings halibut in to investigate.

Since Alaska halibut can reach huge proportions, anglers generally use stout rods, big reels and strong lines. When fishing bait—which is usually herring, salmon parts that are legal to use like heads, cod, and octopus—many anglers use large circle hooks and heavy weights to hold the bait on or near the bottom. It’s not uncommon to see 16/0 circle hooks and 16- to 20 ounces of lead employed when fishing for these oversized predators. When fishing jigs, 12- to 24-ounce jigs, either lead head with grubs or long, thin slabs of metal, are the most commonly used lures. Both techniques require stout rods and strong reels. Halibut are apex predators and will chase and smash a jig with ferocity.

Yakutat Bay

Yakutat offers a premium location to fish for halibut and the charter captains at Yakutat Lodge know how to put you on the fish. Fishing is done within 15 miles off the dock, which makes for a very short boat ride to the fish. This is usually not the case in most ports around Alaska.

Alaska halibut fishing is done in Yakutat Bay, which is normally a fairly calm body of water, making it very well-suited for novice ocean anglers and those that are prone to seasickness. Halibut can normally be found in 80- to 150 feet of water which makes fishing and bait checks a manageable task. Many locations around Alaska demand feature deeper water fishing spots, which can be difficult and tiring to fish for these oversized bottom dwellers. 

The Yakutat Lodge | Fishing Alaska | Yakutat AKYakutat Lodge also knows how to help you catch other types of bottomfish when out on the saltwater. Yakutat Bay holds lingcod, which are aggressive, predatory fish that are awesomely ugly and marvelously delicious. It also holds several species of pelagic rockfish, and catches of large, black rockfish are common. These additional species provide added action and excellent table fare.

 

Added Bonus

A tertiary bonus to fishing in Yakutat Bay is the chance at catching a king salmon. King salmon roam the waters around Yakutat, and while not a guarantee, when they are present they can often be caught. The largest salmon species in Alaska, king salmon are on many angler’s bucket-species list, and are both rewarding to catch and excellent to eat. While bottom fishing is typically done on anchor or while drifting, fishing for king salmon is most typically done while trolling.

Come to Yakutat Lodge and experience Alaska halibut fishing for yourself! Enjoy the variety and bounty of our near shore saltwater fisheries. You won’t have to endure a long boat ride, big seas, strong tides or deep water. Rather you can catch limits of delicious fish that pull hard and are amazing to catch. We will provide all the tackle and bait, teach you how to catch these varied species, fillet the fish and pack them up for you to take home and enjoy for the rest of the year. See you here!

How to Fish for Steelhead

 

Steelhead fishing on the Situk River is nothing short of adrenaline-drenched chaos. These sea-run rainbow trout are near the pinnacle of sportfish in Alaska, and once hooked, you will soon understand why. Their Olympian-like athleticism, strength, agility and endurance will leave even the most seasoned with an ear-to-ear grin. There are a wide range of techniques and lures that anglers use, and it pays to have a variety of presentations in your tool kit so that you can be prepared to find the hot offering. Learn the best methods of how to fish for steelhead on the Situk.

Continue reading “How to Fish for Steelhead”

Shows & Expos We’re Attending in 2020

January 16-19, 2020 | Sacramento, CA

International Sportsmen’s Expo
View more details here
Cal Expo
1600 Exposition Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95815

January 22-26, 2020 | Puyallup, WA

Washington Sportsmen’s Show
View more details here
Washington State Fair Event Center
110 9th Ave SW
Puyallup, WA 98371

Continue reading “Shows & Expos We’re Attending in 2020”

Steelhead on the Situk

Yakutat steelhead

Yakutat Steelhead on the Situk River

Steelhead trout are among the very top of the gamefish list for many coldwater anglers. They aggressively attack fly and lure alike and fight with amazing athleticism and power. They grow to substantial sizes — a 15-pound steelhead in the Situk River is not uncommon; the Alaska state record was caught in 1970 and was an amazing 42 pounds, 3 ounces. 

Like Pacific salmon, steelhead are anadromous. They are born in freshwater and head to the ocean to grow, spending most of their lives in the ocean, and returning in either the spring to spawn and return back to the salt chuck, or coming back in the fall to overwinter, spawn and head back to the sea. In general, they live about three years in freshwater before migrating to the sea, and then spend an average of another two years in the saltwater before heading back to the river of their birth to spawn. Some steelhead return to spawn multiple times within their life. 

Continue reading “Steelhead on the Situk”

Shows & Expos we’re attending in 2019

March 21-24, 2019 | Scottsdale, AZ

International Sportmens Expo
View more details here
WestWorld of Scottsdale
16601 N Pima Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

February 6-10, 2019 | Portland, OR

Pacific Northwest Sportsmens Show
View more details here
Portland Expo Center
2060 N Marine Dr
Portland, OR 97217 Continue reading “Shows & Expos we’re attending in 2019”

A Day Fishing With The Yakutat Lodge

Have you ever wondered what a day up at the Yakutat Lodge is like?

Have you wondered what time your day starts, what the menu is like, how long you are on the river or ocean for, what the travel time is to the fishing holes? Well, wonder no more. This blog is here to answer all your questions. If you have others be sure to contact fish@yakutatlodge.wpengine.com for all the answers and booking inquiries.

What time do you wake up?

Typically, the clients are asked to be at the lodge at 6:00 am to have breakfast – so they would be waking up around 5:00 am.

Do you have breakfast at the lodge restaurant? What is it usually?

Yes, we have a full breakfast menu running from 6:00 am – 11:00 am. There is always a daily special – which is different each day. Typical breakfast is choice of Bacon, Sausage, or Ham with Eggs, Toast and Hash Browns

Continue reading “A Day Fishing With The Yakutat Lodge”

Fishing Season Kicks Off | April 2018

It’s been a very eventful first few weeks of being open. The steelhead are on the lines in good numbers. It’s been great to see new and old faces returning to the lodge.

And it’s only the beginning. Expect to see more photos and updates as the season progresses.

If you are interested in booking or for any inquiries please email fish@yakutatlodge.wpengine.com or call 1-800-YAKUTAT (925-8828). Continue reading “Fishing Season Kicks Off | April 2018”

We’re Officially Open!

It’s Been A Great Start Already!
We officially open Friday, April 6th, 2018

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How To Plan Your Fishing Trip To Alaska

FISHING EQUIPMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

Fishing vest, hip boots or neoprene waders, good quality rain gear, gloves, insect repellent, polarized glasses, waterproof bag, hook sharpener, needle-nose pliers or hemostat, leader clippers, knife, an appropriate assortment of high quality swivels, weights, hooks, new line, extra spools and reel oil or WD-40.

HOW TO GET THERE

There are daily scheduled jet services to Yakutat. Though there are many options, the most common way to get there is to fly Seattle-Juneau-Yakutat on Alaska Airlines flight #61 in the morning. Or Anchorage, Cordova, Yakutat on Alaska’s evening flight #66.

WEATHER

Yakutat’s climate is characterized by mild, rainy weather. Average summer temperatures range from 42 to 60 degrees, while winter averages 17 to 39 degrees. As part of one of the northernmost rainforests in the world, Yakutat gets some of the heaviest precipitation in Alaska. The weather in Yakutat is wet. Don’t forget to pack your rain gear and clothes that will keep you warm at 40 degrees!

THE YAKUTAT LODGE

The beautiful thing about Yakutat Lodge is that trips are tailored to the desires of the visitors. Fishing is always included in your package, so you can divvy up the number of days between the river and the salt. Or you can choose to tour and see some of the majestic Gulf Coast on trips like the flight-seeing tours of the Hubbard Glacier. The lodge is rustic, and rooms are clean and comfortable, each with a private bath. All rooms accommodate up to four persons. The full-service dining room offers a variety of items, including a daily breakfast of your choice and a full dinner of anything on the menu.

The Yakutat Lodge is the closest lodge to the Situk River and other fishing hot spots. Fly-outs literally originate from the front door, with offered packages that include fishing. They prepare, fillet, freeze, and box your catch in custom fish boxes. They’ll even prepare any trophies for shipment to your favorite taxidermist.

For more information or to book your next trip to join the Alaskan Fishing Team call 1-800-YAKUTAT or (907) 784-3232. You can also e-mail us at fish@yakutatlodge.wpengine.com with any questions. We look forward to seeing you at The Yakutat Lodge!

Experience the International World of Fly Fishing with The Yakutat Lodge

The Yakutat Lodge is going international to connect with fly fishers worldwide.

We will have our team at the International Experience the World of Fly Fishing. This event is a 2-day event being held April 14th and 15th  2018 at the Event Forum Furstenfeld in Munich, Germany. You can find us on the ground level at booth #34.

The event showcases products like oil paintings, hand painted fly boxes, clothes, Echo Rods, Splitcane Rods, Flies, BFC rods, reels, lines, accessories, fly tying materials, hackles and feathers, sunglasses, elastic tungsten and many more related products and services etc. in the gifts & handicrafts, sporting goods, toys & games industries.

For full event information please head to the website http://www.erlebniswelt-fliegenfischen.de/index.php/en/ and if you have any questions or would like to connect with the Yakutat Lodge email fish@yakutatlodge.wpengine.com.

We hope to see you there!