We woke up early and headed around Kenai Peninsula to get to the other side. We left early to see wildlife when they were active. We stopped and walked to a trail that overlooked the Kenai River and saw more salmon. We then continued to Skilak Wildlife Refuge, which was a gravel road that cut off some of the main road. We drove around a campground at the Upper Skilak Lake and saw our first bear of our trip. It was a black bear rummaging through the campsites looking for remains of human food.
We saw a moose in a swampy area after passing through Soldotna. We pulled off the road and walked back just in time to see it walk into the trees. We then had some coffee at the Coffee Buzz and fixed tuna, avocado, and chic pea wraps for lunch. We then took the coffee shop owner’s recommendation to check out Ninilchik Bluff campground. It was a really nice campground with views of the ocean and land across the water, which was Lake Clark National Park. We saw a juvenile eagle and a few bald eagles flying around the bluff. We walked down to the rocky beach and saw some snow capped mountains/volcanoes behind the ocean foreground.
Dustin and Andy at an overlook on the way to Homer
We continued our way to Homer and stopped a few more times at some overlooks to get the view of the same volcanoes. We also got our pictures taken by a Welcome to Homer sign that was taken by a couple from Bedford, PA. They had drove their RV and Jeep the whole way from PA on a cross country road trip. It sounded amazing. We talked to them for a little bit and then headed towards town to find where to check in for our fishing charter and room for the next couple of nights. We arrived on Homer Spit and found Inlet Charters around 3 or 4 pm. Barb and Linda gave us some recommendations on what to do around Homer.
Shops on Homer Spit
We then checked into our room above Inlet Charters, which was very small but cute. There was a double bed and a single bed, small kitchen area, and a bathroom. We had views of the water and mountains in the background.
Inlet Charters Room
After we got settled in, we decided to drive to the post office to mail postcards. After the post office, we headed to the side of the mountain for views of the spit. There were not too many pull offs, and we drove roughly 16 miles out of town until the road dropped down and looked like someone’s driveway. We turned around and headed back to town for dinner. We ate at Boardwalk Fish and Chips. I had a salmon burger, which was very good.
After dinner, we walked around a little longer around the spit and the shoreline before heading back into Homer to go grocery shopping for food during the fishing trip the next day. We drove up Skyline Drive for and overview of the spit, which was much better than the drive we took earlier. We then went to Safeway and got food for the fishing trip.
We packed for the fishing trip and then went to bed early because we had to be out front to meet Captain Steve at 6:15 am.
We woke up and had breakfast before heading downstairs to to meet the people who were on the charter with us. We met Captain Steve, Sagan and Nathan and headed to the Big Easy boat at the docks. We then all stayed outside as we drove to our salmon fishing spot in Kachemak Bay. We had got to see the sun rise above the Spit. It was a calm day on the waters. For salmon fishing, we had to alternate turns with 3 trolling rods and we trolled around waiting for the salmon to follow our wake. I was the first one to catch a salmon. It was hard to pull in. The fish was pretty slimy as I held it for a picture.
Andy caught a king salmon early and was the only one to catch one of for the day. We were all allowed 3 pink salmon each or 1 king and 1 pink. The honeymoon couple that were about Dustin’s age did not catch as many as us. I hooked a king, but it got away. We then headed to the halibut fishing area in Cook Inlet. We ate our lunch on the ride to the halibut fishing spot.
Angela’s Pink Salmon
The scenery was amazing with the same volcanoes in the background with blue skies. Captain Steve said the water was about 150 feet deep. The halibut rods were heavy duty ones with a 2 pound weight on the line to get the bait to the ocean floor. We were then instructed to keep bobbing the weight up and down until we got a few bites in a row by watching the pull on the pole.
Baited Fishing Pole
We then had to yank up the pole and reel the line in to snag the fish on the hook. I caught the first one, which was a keeper because of the size. After all was said and done, I think mine was the biggest halibut catch of the day on the boat. Then we all started catching halibut like crazy and throwing back the small ones. I had to take breaks because my arms were getting tired. The water was so glassy and smooth with fewer boats in the halibut fishing spot than the salmon fishing spot.
I ended up catching roughly 10 to 15 halibuts. I actually caught a skater as well, which put up a hard fight and was extremely hard to reel in. We packed up once we caught the max per person for the day. We took in views of the three volcanoes: Augustine, Redoubt, and Iliamna. We had about a 30 mile drive back to the docks.
The charter lasted from about 6:15 am to 3:30 pm. We then tipped the captain and headed to Buttwhackers, where they hang our daily catch and fillet the fish. We got group pictures with our daily catch and watched them fillet the fish in front of us. We then headed to Coal Point Seafood Company, where they weighed our fish and then packed it for shipment.
We said goodbye to Nathan and Sagan; their fish was weighed in at 33 lbs. Our full catch was 59 lbs with 33 lbs in halibut, 9 lbs king salmon, and 15 lbs of pink salmon. Andy shipping 1/5 lbs of each type of fish to Seattle, and Dustin and I shipped the rest back to Pennsylvania. It cost about $450 to ship the whole amount to both places.
Fish being Filleted at Buttwhackers
We then headed back to the room for the night. I decided to take a walk with my camera down the Spit. I then returned and almost got bit by a dog near the ladder to get back to the boardwalk, so I continued further down. When I got back, the guys told me that it snapped at a little girl too.
Walking Along the Homer Spit
We ate pizza at Finn’s that was organic and next door to our accommodation. The fishing trip really wore us out, so we decided to go to the Salty Dog for one beer because Dustin’s boss had been there years ago. There were dollar bills signed by people all over the world hung up all over the inside walls and ceiling. We entertained ourselves by reading the bills in eye sight and drinking Alaskan microbrews. The floor used to be dirt when his boss went, but it was changed to cement because it was deemed to be a fire hazard.
We headed back to the room, showered, and repacked our bags to be ready to head out in the morning for our long drive to Denali National Park. We were all tuckered out from our long day of fishing, so we were all in bed around 9:30 pm.
Would you go fishing in Alaska?
More in this series:
- Alaska Itinerary
- Kenai Peninsula
- Kenai Fjords National Park
- Denali National Park
- Tips for Planning a Visit to Denali National Park
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