Sea Duck Hunting and Halibut Fishing :Kodiak, Alaska
This is a great hunt / fishing combination something for everyone.
The sight seeing will be the other interests, the Kodiak brown bear and the fantastic scenery. Not to mention the other wildlife that is in abundance up in Alaska.
Definitely something for your bucket list …
Cast and Blast: Sea Duck Hunting and Halibut Fishing on Kodiak Island, Alaska
Kodiak Island, Alaska, is nearly 100 miles long and up to 50 miles wide, covering about 3,600 square miles. Most of its 15,000 people reside in the seaside community of Kodiak. The island is world famous for its unique population of Kodiak brown bears .
Because Kodiak has numerous ice-free bays, lagoons, tidal flats, and a rocky coastline rich in marine life, more than 100,000 diving and sea ducks spend the winters here.
The waters off Kodiak host good concentrations of Pacific halibut, too. King salmon, lingcod, Pacific cod and rockfish also are available.
When to Go
Kodiak halibut fishing is available year round, with some of the best action from May through October.
The 2014-15 duck season is October 8 to January 22. Puddle and diving duck limits are seven per day, 21 in possession; sea ducks are 10 per day, 20 in possession for residents and seven per day, 20 per season for nonresidents.
A productive cast-and-blast trip can be arranged any time from late October to mid January; but , if your primary interest is sea duck hunting you should plan a trip for late November to January when the full complement of wintering ducks have arrived.
Where to Hunt and Fish
The waters off Kodiak have long been famous for producing both quality and quantity halibut, rockfish, and salmon fishing.
Where sea ducks are hunted in this everchanging environment is dependent on the time of year, duck concentrations, and ocean conditions. Virtually anywhere you find a concentration of birds you can throw out a decoy rig, but be aware there are significant tidal variations (up to 10-plus feet) . These waters are unforgiving.
The bays and estuaries are open to fishing and hunting and launching a boat is easy. More people fish on their own than hunt on their own, but if you have the proper boat and gear you can make it a do-it-yourself cast-and-blast trip.
What to Bring
Because there is always the possibility of hooking a halibut over 200 pounds, a reel loaded with 50-pound monofilament is recommended. Halibut are also caught by vertical jigging with two-ounce metal jigs.
Most sea duck hunting is from rocky shore lines. Driftwood blinds or the rocks themselves are used for concealment. Sea ducks are not particularly wary when it comes to blinds, so as long as you are dressed in camo and remain motionless they will decoy to within 20 yards. Decoys are an important part of the equation .
On Kodiak, weather patterns change almost daily and sometimes hourly. It can be cold or downright frigid. Dress in layers and wear waders or waterproof boots and rain gear .
Where to Stay and Eat, and What to See
There are a variety of accommodations and restaurants in Kodiak. If you book a guided trip, it typically includes lodge-style accommodations and meals, particularly if they are in the outlying villages.
In order to reach Kodiak you must connect through Anchorage. Additional flights are required to reach most outlying villages.
What It’ll Cost
A resident sportfishing license is $24; for nonresidents, a three-day sportfishing license is $35, a seven-day is $55 and a season license is $145. Residents pay $24 for a hunting license, while a non-resident small game license is a bargain at $20. You will need a $5 state duck stamp and $15 federal migratory bird hunting stamp, too.
Article by: Gary Kramer