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Homer Boat Harbor on the Spit.

Homer Boat Harbor on the SpitView All Sizes

JOURNAL : September 1, 2010

Halibut Fishing near Homer

Kenai Peninsula > Alaska > United States

Series Halibut Fishing near Homer

After a successful venture fishing for silver salmon on Kenai River my dad and I drove down to Homer and the Spit to try our luck halibut fishing.

Along the way we got to see what the Kenai Peninsula is all about — lts of rugged natural beauty and an occasional human outpost.

Shops out on Homer Spit

Shops out on Homer SpitView All Sizes

Homer and the Spit

Near the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula is the quaint fishing town of Homer. The only highway down through the peninsula will eventually pass through this town and end at the adjacent geographic oddity known as the Homer Spit. This narrow, 4.5-mile finger of land houses the Homer Boat Harbor. Along each side of the main road are seafood restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques selling arts and crafts and jewelry, and adventure tour companies. You can book scenic seaplane flights, fishing expeditions out into Kachemak Bay, and wildlife viewing tours of the surrounding area. The town of Homer and its Spit are must-see destinations when visiting the Kenai Peninsula.

Catch of the Day - 2 Halibut Each

Catch of the Day - 2 Halibut EachView All Sizes

Fishing for Halibut

We booked a couple of seats aboard Jackpot and their half-day halibut trip. The charter boat heads about 45-minutes to one hour out into Kachemak Bay. All around are the stunning mountain peaks of the Kenai Peninsula and mainland Alaska.

Halibut are not picky, so for bait we used fish heads and tails on a meter-long leader attached to a heavily weighted line. The bait sits on the bottom and tantalizes the scavenging fish. The hardest part of hauling up halibut is the depth of the water. Each time a tug was felt or we had a suspicion the bait had been stolen the long line had to be reeled up from the bottom. After awhile my arms were very tired. But it was worth it...

Jackpot, the charter boat and its Half-Day Halibut Trip

Jackpot, the Charter Fishing BoatView All Sizes

Kachemak Bay and Mountains

Kachemak Bay and MountainsView All Sizes

About Halibut

Halibut are a strange-looking flounder-type fish. Early in its life it swims like a normal fish and has an eye on each side of its body.

Cleaning halibut fish, fillet

This fellow filleted fish fast!

As it matures one eyeball travels to the other side and the fish begins to live and swim along the ocean floor like a magic carpet. Its topside is usually a mottled brown or grey to match the texture of the bottom where it feeds. The underside is a stark white to help camouflage it from predators underneath while it swims above in the water column.

These greedy fish eat just about anything they can find so it was no surprise we were catching them right and left. A limit of two per person prevented us from clearing the ocean of all halibut.

Halibut is a delicious fish with a clean, subtle taste. It goes well on sushi, or sautéed, fried or grilled. Although I will eat most fish raw, I prefer to cook halibut in a little olive oil, butter and garlic. Yum!

Homer and Kachemak Bay

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