The Alaska Halibut Fishing Derby doesn’t exist – as such. There are halibut derbies, to be sure…just not one all-inclusive derby.
One of the better-known halibut derbies that take place offshore is the Homer Halibut Derby. The town of Homer, Alaska is located on the shore of Kachemak Bay, about a 6 hour drive south from Anchorage.
Homer is best known as “the Spit” as it is actually located on a narrow gravel bar that is about 4.5 miles long. During the Good Friday Earthquake of 1964, the Spit sank several feet and little actually grows there now.
But in Kachemak Bay the halibut are thriving and it’s common to see “barn door” halibut taken by sports fishermen, fishing far offshore. The best halibut fishing is generally around Barren Island, if you’re looking for the big boys.
If you have ever done any deep sea fishing, such as for tarpon, you will understand the thrill of halibut fishing. Although the halibut doesn’t leap out of the water, it’s still a contest of strength between man and fish!
There are many fishing charter services in Homer. Any captain worth his salt knows the best places to anchor and fish for halibut. If you’re fortunate, the day will be sunny and Kachemak Bay will be smooth as glass – and the halibut will be deeply interested in what’s on your hook.
However, even if the halibut aren’t biting, there is still no better place to be than the waters off the coast of Alaska.
Homer is not the only place in Alaska that offers the chance to participate in real Alaska Halibut Fishing.
Along the Kenai Peninsula, the towns of Ninilchik and Seldovia also offer their own versions of an Alaska Halibut Derby. Like Homer, these locations are accessible by road and air – and of course, water.
Finally there is the Valdez Halibut Derby. This takes place on Prince William Sound, which is also the terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.
It doesn’t matter which location you choose to fish for halibut – take the time, make the trip and if you’re on the ball (and you remember to buy your Alaska Halibut Derby ticket) you too could be a winner!