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Old March 19th, 2007, 02:11 AM
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Default best port for salmon fishing trip in alaska

as our may alaska cruise is fast approching hubby and our friend have decided that they would like to do a salmon fishing trip in one of the ports. So I am looking for help one which one would be best. We hit Sitka (6:00p) Skagway (8:30P) Juneau (3:00p) I included depart time as to help maybe with info so you would know how much time we have in the ports. Is it best to book through the cruise line or on our own. I do know that is a loaded ? for most. In the carribean we know which ports to do on our own and not but this is our first time to alaska and are traveling with another couple. Any info would be much appriciated as your prior infor helped me narrow the other aspects down and get those booked already. thanks
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Old March 19th, 2007, 09:46 AM
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grammiedo,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
as our may alaska cruise is fast approching hubby and our friend have decided that they would like to do a salmon fishing trip in one of the ports. So I am looking for help one which one would be best. We hit Sitka (6:00p) Skagway (8:30P) Juneau (3:00p) I included depart time as to help maybe with info so you would know how much time we have in the ports. Is it best to book through the cruise line or on our own. I do know that is a loaded ? for most. In the carribean we know which ports to do on our own and not but this is our first time to alaska and are traveling with another couple. Any info would be much appriciated as your prior infor helped me narrow the other aspects down and get those booked already.
Of those ports, I would choose Juneau. In Skagway, the rail excursion to Summit Lake on the White Pass & Yukon Route is a "must" and Sitka also has a lot to offer with the Russian heritage and the raptor center. Juneau has a considerable variety of attractions, but nothing that stands out as in the absolute "must-see" or 'must-do" categoy.

Norm.
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Old March 19th, 2007, 02:28 PM
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Contact venders, and determine if in the timeframe for fishing???

I agree, schedule where you have the most time.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 12:25 PM
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BQ always says to schedule according to where you have time. That's good advice. Any true fisherman, however, will also want to schedule your excursion where the best odds are of catching fish... don't fish where there aren't any!

Of the 3 ports you listed, I'd rank them like this:
1) Sitka - this is my favorite place to fish in SE Alaska. Great variety, good availability, etc. You didn't say when in May, but for early season King Salmon, you'll want to be out on the coast - Sitka is probably the best bet.
2) Juneau - this is the port where I fish the most, since I live and work here. In most years, May will be slow fishing, but the chances of picking up a 40lb. King salmon are worth the wait for many. We don't have the biggest salmon in South East, but we always have fun here.
3) Skagway is usually my last choice for fishing. There are only a few rivers with major runs near Skagway, so unless you're timing a sockeye run, fishing is quite limited here.

No matter where you choose, find an independant charter operator. Go to the CVB for each port city and find a list of vendors. The ship tours will always add 30-60% to what you'll pay. Booking independant is safe, reliable, and gives much added value to your tour.

Have fun!

-Case
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 12:43 PM
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Case,

We are planning a cruise to Ak June 2,2008. I have been to Ak before, the rest of our group has not. I talked my son into going this time. He is a devout fisherman. He is really interested in fishing for Salmon/and or Halibut. What are the chances for June 5? Thats when we will be in Juneau also can you recommend someone in Juneau (not with Princess tours.) I really want this to be special for him.

Any and all information is appreciated

Bandrews
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 04:20 PM
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While there are NEVER any guarantees, June 5 should be getting into the good King Salmon fishing in Juneau. Last year was a bit tough that early, but this year is "supposed" to be better, according to the biologists. The longer of a charter you book, the better your chances will be. Most 1/2 day trips are 4-hours, but don't overlook the 6-hour option either.

From Juneau, most charters will require at least an 8-hour trip to fish halibut. If your port time allows this option, you'll probably need to book a whole boat for yourself... spendy, but it would sure make for a special trip. If you book a longer trip, be sure to ask what the captain serves for lunch. Some boats are just sandwiches and snacks, and some boats really try to go all out with a BBQ grill, etc. (Then again, when I grill on the boat, it cuts into my fishing time, so I'm a fan of a good wrap or sandwich!) ;-)

A charter fishing trip NOT affiliated with Princess Tours... that's a bit tough because just about everyone in town runs trips (at least on occasion) for Juneau Sportfishing, and they're the broker who works with Princess. The few TRULY independants left in town even run a Juneau Sportfishing trip on occasion to fill in slower days. By contacting the boat directly, however, you're likely to get the straight story and a substantial savings over what the ships charge.

My personal favorite charter companies that you can contact directly are (in alphabetical order so I don't show my bias):
Alaskan Marine Adventures, Black Dog, Harv & Marv's, Hi-Time, Lucky Dog Adventures, and Wolverine Charters.

You could also contact Bear Creek Outfitters or the Professional Mariners' Group, but they're not the charters directly - just booking agents that do have vendor contracts with several other cruise lines (just not Princess).

Have fun!
-Case
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 05:46 PM
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Thanks Case,
I will contact these companies and see what I can work out with them in Juneau. If not will go with the 4 hr. trip offered by Princess. I just didn't think 4 hours would be long enough, but will settle if I can't make other arrangements.

Thanks Again,
Bandrews
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Old March 25th, 2007, 01:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandrews
Thanks Case,
I will contact these companies and see what I can work out with them in Juneau. If not will go with the 4 hr. trip offered by Princess. I just didn't think 4 hours would be long enough, but will settle if I can't make other arrangements.

Thanks Again,
Bandrews
I just had another thought too. If any of the independant vendors don't work out and you do have to "settle" for the Princess trip, the vendor will be Juneau Sportfishing. I don't think you can request a specific boat on the ship, but when you're met at the dock and are getting on the Juneau Sportfishing bus, you can always request a specific boat then. There's never a guarantee, but Juneau Sportfishing can often juggle boats a little.

-Case
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Old March 25th, 2007, 02:04 PM
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Great !!!!

I now have the Son all excited about this. The mention of Alaska fishing and his eyes light up. He has won many Bass Tournments, a few kingfish in the Gulf of Mexico, but never fished Alaska. Its been a dream of his. He had a friend that moved to Seward from Texas. He and his wife lived there for 8 years and my son always wanted to go, but his career was just too demanding. This will be a dream come true for him.

Thank you so much for your information.
Bandrews
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Old March 29th, 2007, 08:34 PM
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For early season salmon fishing, Sitka can't be beat. For the best prices, avoid all the middle men and contact an individual local, not an over priced monster lodge. Good Luck! Here's my recommendation - www.wildsalmonfishing.com
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Old March 30th, 2007, 10:09 AM
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Thanks AKAngler,

Even more options, thats great. Our ship does not stop at Sitka, but maybe we can charter a boat from our port to Sitka.

Thanks for the information.
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Old March 30th, 2007, 01:56 PM
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What boat would you request from Juneau Sportsfishing? My hubby is fishing with them in July?
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Old March 30th, 2007, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coder01
What boat would you request from Juneau Sportsfishing? My hubby is fishing with them in July?
Let's see if I can remember all the Juneau Sportfishing boats that accepted requests last season... (in no particular order, except my memory!)
Can Can, Rum Runner, Popeye, Huntress, Dutchess, Lucky Dog, Bumble Bee, Merlin, Three Eagle, Islander...

Now, before the flames begin (or are we being civil this week, BQ?) I'm obviously biased... the Can Can is my favorite, but each boat has a slightly different "character", and all boats (and their crews) will show you a good time.

Capt. Chris drives the Rum Runner. He's got an academic background in marine biology, substitute teaches in local schools, and seems to always be taking classes an the local U to earn a higher degree. His boat is very comfortable and warm inside, but I've always thought it was just slightly cramped if too many folks went outside (like to catch a fish.)

Popeye is about the same size as the rest of the boats in the fleet, but it "feels" like a larger boat, especially when you're out back fighting a fish. The captain is an older gentleman who keeps all of us "younger" folks in line when necessary!

Huntress and Dutchess spend almost every waking moment out on the water fishing. They're operated by a team of younger guys who have the time and energy to really dig up fish from nowhere. If the fishing is slow around town, these guys almost always produce fish.

Lucky Dog was a new boat last year. I didn't get to meet the captain, but I've heard some great reviews from folks who went with them last season. He's got his own website and books independantly this year.

Bumble Bee was also a brand new boat last year. She's beautifully finished inside with lots of shiny teak. If you're a "boat" person, and appreciate a gorgeous wood finish, see this boat! Capt. Barry has been around for quite a while, and seems to run trips at a slightly slower pace, while always catching just as many fish as the next boat.

Merlin is driven by Marv (or is it Harv?) of Harv & Marv's Outback Alaska. If you want to fish like your winter's food supply depends on it, get on the Merlin. His whole family lives on an island that is in no way attached to Juneau... they grow their own produce, hunt deer and moose, and fish for just about everything they eat. Great folks living a very unique lifestyle.

Three Eagle is another "slower speed" tour. I'm not talking about how fast the boat goes... there are just other priorities on this boat besides catching as many fish as possible. Safety always comes first on every boat, and I think safety comes first, second AND third aboard Three Eagle! Everyone who fishes with Capt. Tommy has a great time. He's one of those captains who have been around since the glaciers were formed.

Islander is one of the biggest, most comfortable boats out there. They move a little slower than some of the younger guys out there, but when noone else can find a fish to catch, everyone in the fleet turns to pay attention to what the Islander is doing. Ole and his wife retired from commercial fishing.... how do they fill their time? Sport Fishing!

As I said above, you'll have a GREAT time on whichever boat you're lucky enough to fish from. This is just my 1 paragraph take on each one. On busier days, Juneau Sportfishing will book a tour on just about every boat in town. Remember, the cruise ship won't have a clue if you request one boat vs. another. Make sure you're talking to Juneau Sportfishing directly (either on the phone or when you board their shuttle bus) if you're going to ask for a specific boat.

Have fun!
-Case
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Old April 15th, 2007, 01:07 AM
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Default Cost of Having Salmon Shipped home

All your info has been very helpful. Hopefully this will be the last question before we leave on May 5th. If my husband catches a salmon does anyone know an approx. cost of having it shipped home? or how would find out I believe he has decided to book through the cruise line this time since it is our first time to alaska and since it is early season he is going in sitka. thanks so much for all the info i really appreciate it.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: Cost of Having Salmon Shipped home

Pack & Ship pricing will vary a bit, depending on: which port, where you're shipping to, how much fish you ship, what you want done with it, etc.
Last year from Juneau, Fresh/Frozen fillets were around $1.50 per pound, smoked salmon ran $3.00 per pound, and cold smoke (lox) was near $7.00 per pound. The big expense, however, is the shipping. Fresh/Frozen and Lox must be shipped via FedEx Overnight shipping... rates vary by how many "zones" away from Alaska you live. Smoked salmon was a more popular option because it can be shipped second-day, so while the processing is a bit more, the shipping is a bit less.

As a general rule of thumb, most of my customers have spent an average of about $60 to get 5-10 lbs. (net weight after processing) of fish home.

In Juneau, there are 2 main facilities used for your custom processing. One company has you take your fish with you on the shuttle bus and the driver drops it off. This is great to show off your fish, but I've seen the shuttle so loaded down that people have to step on/over your fish to board the bus. The other company has a cooler on the dock where the boats tie up. Your captain will bag and label your fish and place it in the cooler for pickup by the processor within a few hours. Ask your boat captain which facility they use....

Oh, I almost forgot: Jerry's doesn't can fish or make jerky. Alaska Seafoods can do more things with your fish, but it really depends what you like best!

-Case

Quote:
Originally Posted by grammiedo
All your info has been very helpful. Hopefully this will be the last question before we leave on May 5th. If my husband catches a salmon does anyone know an approx. cost of having it shipped home? or how would find out I believe he has decided to book through the cruise line this time since it is our first time to alaska and since it is early season he is going in sitka. thanks so much for all the info i really appreciate it.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 12:33 AM
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thanks so much for the info it was really helpful on what to approx. expect to pay. all you info has been so useful thanks so much we really appreciate it.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 02:25 PM
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I was researching the same thing for a group I am taking to Alaska in June 2012. I am a travel agent and want to make sure they have the time of their lives! I'm also all about saving them money. How did your fishing expedition go in Juneau. Any things I should advise my clients about? THANKS!
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Old August 24th, 2011, 10:03 PM
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Do you stop in Ketchican ? It's supposed to be the salmon capital of the world.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 10:54 PM
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I too remember lots of fishing in Ketchican, how many people are going on the fishing excursion?
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