All-Inclusive Fishing Tour in Alaska’s Icy Strait
Fishing for halibut in Alaska's Icy Strait can be a wrestling match, as halibut average between 20 and 200 pounds and need to be stunned with a bat before being hauled aboard. Imagine dragging a couch up from 200 feet below the Pacific while it thrashes, and you get a sense of how going toe to toe with a giant halibut can literally break the legs of lesser fishermen. But with the guidance of Taylor Charters' captains, and fishing spots within 15 minutes from the dock, anglers have safely brought in halibut catches weighing more than 300 pounds every year. During five-day tours, Taylor Charters’ team customizes each trip based on your experience level and provides the necessary gear, bait, and expertise.
Tours begin on a Monday in Gustavus—a village set against Glacier Bay’s snowcapped mountains. The first day is set aside for settling into the lodge. Each of the following mornings, captains greet you at the dock to load up on either a 28-foot aluminum boat or a 26-foot fiberglass boat. Groups of up to six will pick the fish species for the day so captains can set out for hot spots teeming with halibut, salmon—including king and silver salmon—lingcod, or colorful rockfish. The fishing areas are protected from the high seas of southeast Alaska and experienced fishers can try their hands at catching a salmon shark, which weigh up to 800 pounds and swim as fast as 60 miles per hour when chasing after salmon.
Trips last from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday–Friday, with a half-day trip on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Based on group preference, a day of fishing can be skipped to go whale-watching or sightseeing along Glacier Bay’s deep fjords.
Included meals consist of an early breakfast in the lodge and a picnic lunch on the boat. Naturally, dinners tend to feature seafood, including macadamia-nut-crusted halibut, but lasagna and steak dishes are also on the menu.
Gustavus, Alaska: Secluded Town just Outside of Glacier Bay National Park
A town of fewer than 400 people about 60 miles west of Juneau, remote Gustavus is made up of scattered clapboard houses, log cabins, and farmsteads surrounded by wood-lined meadows. Since it sits just outside the Glacier Bay National Park’s boundaries, Gustavus acts as a gateway to open-air activities such as beach and trail hiking. The park isn’t easily accessed by foot, so most take a tour boat to see the park’s icy rivers, tidewater glaciers, and craggy walls.
Because humpback and killer whales frequent waters around Gustavus, riding charters to get close to them is another favorite local pastime. But whale pods, puffins, sea otters, and other local wildlife will often move up close to boats on saltwater-fishing and sea-kayak trips.