You’re wondering where is the best halibut fishing in Alaska? Well, you’ve come to the right place to find out, because I know exactly where to fish for the best halibut, and it’s backed up with statistics and facts. In short, it’s at the Highliner’s Lodge in Southeastern Alaska, now let me tell you why.
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The Highliner’s Lodge
A man named Steve Daniels had a vision to open a fishing lodge that would have the greatest fishing in all of Alaska. In fact, the very name of his lodge, Highliner, which means quite literally “the best of all fishermen”, was no accident. Daniels knew the location he had chosen for his lodge would soon prove to be the Shangri-La of halibut fishing in Alaska.
You see, Daniels had been fishing professionally for over 25 years and had a wealth of knowledge about when and where to fish in Alaskan waters. The location of his lodge prompted the now-famous motto, “Closest to the Fish!” The man wasn’t wrong.
He could back up his words with evidence from the National Marine Fisheries Service and also the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Not only was fishing in his waters superior to other popular fishing spots due to the sheer volume of fish, but also due to the size of the fish, weighing in at 40lbs as a rule, not the exception.
I don’t know if you’re very familiar with halibut, but that’s a huge catch! Not only that, Daniels’ customers enjoyed fishing several halibut during their excursions, making for a highly successful business. But Daniels wasn’t done, and his vision became more grand. Find out more about Highliner Lodge.
The Emerald Island Mothership
Determined to get even closer to the fish, Daniels conceived of a notion of placing his lodge on the water, a floating fortress, if you will, in order to cut down on the couple hours it takes to go from shore to fishing waters. That way, his customers could fish for two hours longer, thus increasing their catch overall. You can imagine how overjoyed this must make these hardcore anglers.
There are many yachts in the area who do something similar, offering some side-trip fishing with little charter boats, but Emerald Island is the first and only “mothership” outfit that’s 100% focused on fishing with full-sized charter boats.
Daniels’ business boasts their halibut is up to three times the size of those caught in Sitka, Homer, or Seward. They also claim their customers have taken home a whopping 120lbs of halibut from a single haul, with an average trip length of only 4 days!
They also state that less boats, fewer than 12, are registered to charter fish in Pelican as compared to the 285 registered boats in Sitka.
In other words, the waters of the Emerald Island are not over-fished.
Halibut’s Natural Migratory Path
The International Pacific Halibut Council (or IPHC for short) has broken up the waters surrounding Alaska into zones. The Highliner’s Lodge and Emerald Island are both allowed to fish in Area 3A and Area 2C according to the IPHC.
The natural migratory path of halibut is from the West to the East, and Highliner’s and Emerald Island are to the east, which means the halibut are coming to them.
But that’s not all. If I were to show you a map of Alaska fishing, you’d be able to see there is much fishing in the West, and also more to the Southeast of the state, but the entire 400-mile stretch of Area 3A, the very zone Highliner and Emerald Island are allowed to fish, is virtually unfished.
Unfished waters plus a low volume of charter boats to fish them equals an enormous haul of halibut 40lbs and up per fish!
No other lodge or fishing company can boast this. Daniels’ vision of having the best fishing in Alaska has appeared to come true. His business is somewhat isolated, but in being on the halibut’s migratory path, it would appear they have first pick of these enormous fish.
Let’s Recap This Fabulous Data
- Steve Daniels began with a vision and 25 years of commercial fishing experience.
- He chose the Southeastern Alaskan city of Pelican to base his Highliner Lodge and enjoyed fantastic fishing
- He opened the Emerald Island, a mothership base to get his customers closer to the fish
- His business is on the natural migratory path of halibut
- The zone he fishes, which according to the IPHC is Area 3A, is virtually unfished
- Only about 12 or less charter boats fish these waters, giving a greater fishing haul than Homer, Sitka, or Seward
- His average single halibut is about 40lbs
- His customers regularly score a haul of about 120lbs of halibut per stay at his lodge
- If this isn’t the best halibut fishing in Alaska, then I don’t know what is!
Conclusion – The Best Halibut Fishing in Alaska, Hands Down
Fishing at Highliner Lodge and Emerald Island is absolutely the best halibut fishing in Alaska, and I daresay, likely the entire world. Where else can you fish and find halibut upwards of 40lbs? I’m gonna go ahead and say nowhere.
If you’re not fishing out of Pelican and Steve Daniels’ establishment, then you’re not fishing for prime halibut, that’s for sure. Why waste your time and money with inferior halibut from Sitka or Seward when you could go home with a giant haul of halibut? Friend, there is absolutely no reason at all.