Seward Halibut fishing is some of the best heavy tackle action you can find in Alaska. Fish weighing well over 200 pounds are caught every year, and monsters twice that size have been wrestled to shore in the past. These guys are as delicious as they are dangerous, and make for the ultimate challenge for any ambitious food fisher. As a flatfish, they also lack a swim bladder, so can be safely pulled from the depths and released unharmed.
What to Expect From a Seward Halibut Charter
The very best Halibut fishing Seward can get you on is along its remote coastal stretches. Even “short range” charters usually run for 8 hours and 10 or 12-hour “long range” trips are common. These go 50+ miles from town in search of the biggest fish. It’s well worth the long journey when you’re battling twice your weight in flaky white meat, though!
Most of Seward’s Halibut are caught around deep-water reefs and craggy outcrops. They can live as deep as 2,500 feet but you can also find them in less than 50 feet of water at times - Halibut are an incredibly adaptable species.
You can target Halibut all through Seward’s charter season, which usually runs May through October. If fighting the fish isn’t enough for you, Seward holds a Halibut fishing tournament every June. Competitors weigh in their best catch every evening for the whole month, and the heaviest fish wins one lucky angler $5,000!
You’ll need some seriously heavy tackle to bring big Halibut to the surface. 400 pound monofilament leaders bear the brunt of the battle, with beefy circle hooks and live or cut bait to tempt them in. Live Herring and Salmon belly strips are both great bait choices, as are Squid and Octopus. When the fish are in shallower water, you can also enjoy jigging for them. Metal and plastic jigs are both highly effective, mimicking the Squid and fish they feed on.
Need to Know
You’ll need a saltwater fishing license before you can have a go at battling these brutish bottom-dwellers. You can buy your license online or from approved vendors locally. Preparation is essential to these long fishing trips. Get plenty of rest the night before, bring along food and drinks to keep you going, and pack some warm clothing even in summer.
If you suffer from seasickness, always be sure to take Dramamine ahead of your trip. You’re going to need every ounce of your strength to bring in a big Halibut, and you don’t want to start feeling sick halfway through the battle - or as soon as you leave the shore!