Boating and Fishing in Homer

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Boating and Fishing

Homer is a major commercial fishing port (especially for halibut) and a popular destination for sport anglers in search of giant halibut or feisty king and silver salmon.

Fishing Hole. Near the end of the Spit, Homer's famous Fishing Hole, aka the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon, is a small bight stocked with king and silver salmon smolt (baby fish) by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The salmon then head out to sea, returning several years later to the Fishing Hole, where they are easy targets for wall-to-wall bankside anglers throughout summer. The Fishing Hole isn't anything like casting for salmon along a remote stream, but your chances are good and you don't need to drop $800 for a flight into the wilderness. Fishing licenses and rental poles are available from fishing-supply stores on the Spit. Homer, AK.

Quite a few companies offer charter fishing in summer, from about $250 to $350 per person per day, including bait and tackle. The pricing is usually based on how many different types of fish you're fishing for.

Central Charters & Tours. Central can arrange fishing trips in outer Kachemak Bay and Lower Cook Inlet—areas known for excellent halibut fishing. Boat sizes vary considerably; some have a six-person limit, whereas others can take up to 16 passengers. The company also conducts non-fishing tours of Kachemak Bay and Seldovia. 4241 Homer Spit Rd., Homer, AK, 99603. 907/235–7847. www.centralcharter.com. Tours from $59, fishing trips from $135.

Homer Ocean Charters. Locally owned and operated, Homer Ocean Charters has been in business since 1979, setting up fishing, sea-kayaking, and sightseeing trips. It also offers water-taxi services and bare-bones cabin rentals on Otter Cove. 4287 Homer Spit Rd., Homer, AK. 800/426–6212. www.homerocean.com. From $200.

Inlet Charters. Try Inlet Charters for fishing charters, fish processing, water-taxi services, lodging, sea-kayaking, and wildlife cruises. Homer, AK. 800/770–6126. www.halibutcharters.com.

Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby. Anyone heading out on a halibut charter is advised to buy a $10 ticket for the derby, which ends with the season in September. First prize for the largest halibut is $10,000, plus 50¢ per ticket sold. In addition, more than 100 fish are tagged; anglers who catch them win cash or other prizes worth up to $50,000. Food for thought: in 2013, the angler who caught the fish bearing the $50K tag hadn't bought a derby ticket. Homer, AK. 907/235–7740. www.homerhalibutderby.com.

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