The best way to catch halibut & rock fish in a day! Offered April 15-June 20
Full-Day Halibut Fishing Charter Seward, Alaska
On a Miller’s Landing Full-Day Fishing Charter for halibut you can enjoy the economy of paying for a halibut charter and are also given time to harvest your daily limit of rock fish as well. We spend all day focusing on catching and retaining nice-sized halibut, yellow eye, and black rock fish from our custom built boats. Our catch records are among the best in the Seward area! We do these trips daily from April 15 – June 20, before the silver salmon arrive. Note that Halibut fishing is closed to commercial operators on all Wednesdays, and we expect all Tuesdays as well for the 2020 season. If you’re planning to visit during these dates, know that we have other tours available in our Best of Alaska fishing/sightseeing/kayaking tour or half day salmon/rockfish options. For more information on Fishing Licenses and Regulations, see our page at this link.
With departure times at 6 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. daily, we’re here to take you out for world-class sport fishing – in a gorgeous location to boot! Many of our fishing spots near Seward have views of the fjords, glaciers, rookeries, and feeding/nesting grounds for whales and sea birds. Some halibut fishing charter departures can be booked to include a fully guided kayaking day trip to the glaciers, for those in your party not interested in fishing, but wanting to stay with the group.
Filet of your fish at a private hanging station back at the landing for photos is included in your adventure. We also include our custom and made in the USA fishing rods from Thrasher Rods and all hand tied gear in house!
Our method of fishing is different from many other halibut charters, and it’s worked well for us for over 35 years. We normally drift over our fishing areas and then pull up, then move back over them and drift again. Although we do drop anchor sometimes, we generally don’t anchor and sit in one spot all day. While this method is popular and productive, an attentive guide is able to locate where the fish are on the structure while drifting, as opposed to sitting, chumming, and hoping the fish come to you before your anchor drags or boat swings in the tide change.
It allows us to use lighter tackle, which means that instead of 3 lbs. of lead or more to get to and stay on the bottom, we only have to use 1 lb. When fishing on a drift, you must constantly be watching your gear, as the depth often changes while the boat moves over the structure. You catch fish all through the water column, on the way down at the start of a drift and on the way up, which is something you miss when sitting at anchor. This means that you are actively engaged in fishing; your rod is not sitting in a holder all day while you wait for something to happen, and most of our clients find this a highly rewarding experience. Feel the fish bite with the rod in your hands, hook the fish yourself, and reel it up! While it sounds obvious, this is not always an industry standard for halibut fishing charters in Seward.
Our method of fishing can be costly for an operator. Gear can get hooked on the bottom more frequently while drift fishing, mismanaged lines can get tangled, and it’s harder for the captain who has to control the rate of drift, one reason why other operators don’t make this a common practice. Anchoring can be incredibly fruitful, and it makes a lot of sense – we do anchor and chum. Our clients often comment that they caught fish all day long, often the result of this extra effort.
Generally, we fish between 100 and 450 ft. with an average of about 300 ft. It takes about an hour and a half to two hours to get to the best fishing grounds, and we often travel west when most of the charter fleet heads east. This allows for faster travel to the grounds, a more diverse catch, protected fishing areas, and gorgeous scenery. The Kenai Fjords National park is accessed only 30-45 minutes from where we typically fish. We often encounter whales and other sea life while fishing, and we always slow the boat down to take a closer look at wildlife. It’s a stunning environment in which to spend your day, rain or shine. Book your Seward halibut fishing adventure now!
What to Catch:
Pacific Halibut is the most desired and largest fish of Alaska’s sport fisheries. They are plentiful in our waters throughout the season and can be caught May-September. Sport-caught Halibut usually range from 20-50 lbs, although larger fish are not uncommon. People frequently ask about the size of the halibut we catch, but that question is impossible to answer from day to day. We commonly catch fish over 100 lbs, but we commonly catch average-sized Halibut as well. It’s up to you to listen to your guide, attend your line, and do your best to maximize your catch! We’ve caught 156lb Halibut on Salmon rods while fishing for Rockfish, with a tiny little hook and skimpy piece of herring. We’ve also caught 300lb Halibut on whole Salmon carcases threaded with circle hooks at 400′. Nobody can forecast a day of fishing, but we work as hard as we can to make it a success.
Ling season opens July 1st, and they aren’t actually Cod at all! Lings are members of the Greenling family, and in some cases their flesh is naturally tinted green or blue, turning white when cooked. They eat a great deal of clorophyll, lending the fish its unusual tint. Minimum legal size is 35 inches, but we won’t keep them unless they’re over 36 inches. These fish can grow to over 80 lbs. They look like prehistoric sea monsters, and are apex predators, often shunning bait and going instead for an actively worked jig. Lings can be caught at almost any depth, but we catch most of them at 30-275 feet. Many people prefer the moist, succulent, white meat of Ling Cod to Halibut. Lings are often caught pre-season and must be released prior to July 1st.
Black Sea Bass
Black Bass are both exciting (usually) and fun (always) to catch. They are the most prolific of the pelagic Rockfish species and are found near shallow rocky areas. Fishermen are limited to a set number of pelagic and nonpelagic rockfish per day, and we make an effort to catch both to reach the limit. These fish average about 4 to 5 pounds but range up to 12 pounds. We often fish for them with light/medium weight tackle. These fish are great fun for young and big kids alike as they hit fast and furious, are located all throughout the water column near structure, and can liven up a lull in the bite. They are excellent fried, baked, or blackened.
Red Snapper or Yellow Eye Rockfish are one of the tastiest fish we catch, and also one of the oldest. They are a non pelagic rockfish, which means they’re one of 32 different species in the same such classification caught in Alaska. Other non pelagic rockfish we catch are Copper, China, Silvergray, Tiger, et al. They are generally speaking all of the “colorful” species of rockfish. Red Snapper and their non pelagic bretheren live to be incredibly old – they grow about an inch per year, dont start breeding until they’re 7, and the eggs have less than a 1% survival rate. They live where they are born, and as such are limited in most areas to 1 per person per day. They are incredibly good eating, gorgeous fish which initially hit like a truck. Red Snapper can get up to 32 lbs, and we’ve had them swallow whole salmon on halibut gear. They are generally caught while fishing for halibut and ling cod.
We have 2 full day charter platforms – Both are custom built landing craft and load directly off the beach either in front of Miller’s Landing or nearby at a public beach if the tide is excessively low (transportation is provided if this is the case). Both boats include a captain and deckhand, a marine toilet, full bottom fishing and salmon fishing gear, heated indoor seating, and all safety equipment.
The store facility opens at 5AM each morning, and fishing licenses should be purchased well before the departure times listed below for each trip – they can be purchased online and printed out these days which makes it a lot easier. The store sells them as well – plan ahead – check in early!
Free coffee is available at the store for your enjoyment, and there are small snacks, but lunch and drinks should be planned.(Please refrain when packing meals from bringing alcohol aboard the vessel, as the official policy of Miller’s Landing for the safety of everyone is that no alcohol be consumed while aboard).
The Fox Willie departs at 6AM and returns by ~6PMand provides a fishing charter platform for up to 10 for an all day excursion, with the ability to carry 6 additional clients (friends and family of the crew or other passengers) in the capacity of a water taxi to the Fjords for guided kayaking among the glaciers.
The boat is comfortable and beamy at 36×13′ length overall. There’s room for everyone to sit inside during transit, and while the boat could be packed with 16 fishing passengers, the taxi portion allows us to let those extra people off, and open the whole boat up for 10. With over 30′ of rail space on each side of the boats full walk around cabin, it allows a generous fishing space for 5 on each side to utilize.
The kayaking excursions are offered to those booking the charter at a discount – if those in your family are interested in going on a kayaking/sightseeing tour, we can take them on the same departure and return.
The boat will load everyone at the same time, depart at 6am, drop off crew (when aboard) by 8am, and will be within minutes of the fishing grounds and ready to start. The earlier departure time affords 1.5 hours additional boat time at no extra charge. I.E: When no such kayaking/taxi exists, the fishermen have the boat for the additional 1.5 hours to fish (if necessary) at no additional charge.
The early departure time is intended to be value added to the fishing crew at all turns – whether it’s having the opportunity to see a glacier or having an extra hour to fish, or just being able to keep the family or group with different interests together on the same day trip. The vessel’s high tunnel catamaran design allows for fast travel through choppy weather, as well as high initial stability for those who dread the sea sickness.
The Thomasea departs at 7:30AM and returns by ~5-6PMand provides a fishing charter platform for up to 6 on an all day excursion, with the ability to land on the beach as well for loading and unloading with its landing craft design. The vessel is 32×11′ length overall, and is very capable in seas. The full walk around house provides plenty of deck space for the fishing crew, while it’s cabin is cozy and dry during transit times or to make a snack. The 7:30 departure time allows for a more relaxed morning, and the 6 person capacity allows for a more private experience while out and about. Trips are due to return between 5 and 6 pm.
Runs from June 1st-30th. Miller’s Landing will be selling tickets for the Halibut Derby from their campground store.
The Seward Silver Salmon Derby runs the 2nd Saturday of August every year, and is not only Alaska’s oldest fishing derby, but also the highest-dollar cash prize fishing derby in Alaska. You can buy tickets right at the store, and it’s a blast!
A $10 cancellation fee is imposed for all reservations cancelled.
Cancellations must be received by email only to [email protected]The cancellation notice date is the date the email was received at [email protected]Phone cancellations will not be accepted.
Cancellations received by email 30 days prior to the first day of the reservation are charged a $10 cancellation fee and you will receive a refund of 90% of the total amount of the reservation.
Cancellations received by email 15 to 29 days prior to the first day of the reservation are charged a $10 cancellation charge and you will receive a 75% refund. of the total amount of the reservation.
Cancellations received by email 14 days to zero days prior to arrival are charged a $10 cancellation fee and you will receive a 50% refund onlyif we are able to rebook your camping, cabin, fishing, kayaking, watertaxi, shuttle, lunch, or activity. If we are not able to rebook your reservation then no refunds will be issued and. You must call or e-mail Miller’s Landing post date of cancelled stay in order for us to research whether or not your site booked. Sites that were booked of course qualify for the 50% refund, sites that were not unfortunately do not.
In some situations a raincheck worth 75% of your reservation may be issued at the discretion of Miller’s Landing management instead of the applicable cancellation charge. If this option appeals to you please suggest this at the time of cancellation. Rainchecks are good for one year and may be used for activities, camping or lodging owned by Miller’s Landing or towards the cost of hats, tee shirts, gifts, etc. sold in the Miller’s Landing store or items sold online. For items purchased online the customer is expected to pay for the cost of postage. Rainchecks may NOT be transferred to another person.
A 100% refund will be issued for any activity that was cancelled due to weather by Miller’s Landing. Miller’s Landing reserves the right to determine weather cancellations. Rain does not constitute cancellations.
Please note: Miller’s Landing encourages only guaranteed prepaid reservations. Unlike many other states, Alaska has a very short tourist season which can make it difficult for us to rebook when we have cancellations without ample notice.
If you are booking a charter and lodging and your charter , water taxi or kayaking is cancelled due to weather you are still responsible for the lodging or camping reservations and the normal cancellation policy applies. All of our activities are possible during rain, so rain does not constitute a cancellation. Miller’s Landing is not responsible for vehicle break downs, personal emergencies, flight delays, health issues or other unforeseen hardships. We will try very hard to work with you but the cancellation policy will need to be applied if we cannot issue a raincheck or find an alternative solution that appeals to both parties.
Please understand that Miller’s Landing also incurs a hefty financial merchant fee from our bank for the cost of charging your credit card and again for the cost of refunding it, and there is also a cost involved for the time involved in processing and refunding your reservation in employee costs. Our goal when taking your reservation is to have a solid, guaranteed prepaid reservation. We strongly discourage the practice of making reservations without having an airline ticket or making tentative reservations. Thank you for your understanding.