Book a fishing adventure
It's not likely any charter captain will guarantee you'll catch your limit of fish or a derby-winning halibut (be skeptical if they do), but most offer an Alaska adventure that you'll talk about the rest of your life. Charters range from a half day to multi days, and prices vary. While the bulk of charter operators are based out of the Homer Harbor, others leave from Anchor Point and Ninilchik. Most charter operators specialize not only in halibut fishing, but also in salmon, lingcod and rockfish, and they'll tailor an experience to fit your desires as well as what's biting at the time. Typically, charter companies offer all fishing gear, bait and lures. Many also offer fish filleting. Some even offer accommodations.
Clients should bring their fishing license; a king salmon stamp, if salmon fishing; a box lunch and drinks; warm clothes; rain gear; camera; sunglasses; and your own seasickness remedy. Don't forget to get a Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby ticket before heading out. They're cheap ($10) and you'll never forgive yourself if you haul up a monster-size halibut without one. In 2010, Jamie Olvera of Fairbanks netted the grand derby prize of $40,610 with her 277.6-pound halibut. The derby runs from May 1 through Sept. 30.
Unlike some other parts of Alaska, Homer has a two halibut per day per person catch limit.
One rule of thumb in choosing a charter operation: Make sure the captain and boat are certified with the Coast Guard.
Most charter operators offer websites that contain valuable information that will help you make a decision.