Halibut Fishing on Auke Bay - No Fishes for You!

Auke Bay Travel Blog

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Mendenhall Glacier

The original plans had been to go halibut fishing on Sunday the 6th but between the weather and some other incidential issues, it was not possible to get out and we missed low tide which is the best time to catch halibut.  I ended up vegging all day and it was exactly what I needed. Watched TV, played online (worked on my blog....lol) and just enjoyed the company of a good friend.  There was almost 1 1/2 inches of rain on Sunday which is really rare - believe it or not Southeast Alaska is a rainforest and has one of the highest rainfall totals but usually not at one time like Sunday. 

The weather channel indicated it should be clearing some Monday so we decided to take a chance...I was ready!  If I missed my flight at 3pm, who cared....that is the beauty of changing a reservation and getting a hotel room! LOL.

Love watching the clouds come in over the mountains
  One of my best travel experiences ever was the decision I made in the Bahamas to go on the private tour of the Exumas knowing full well we might get stuck in the storm and I'd miss my flight.....I have never regretted that decision and it was without a doubt one of the most memorable experiences of my life.  I felt this might be the same opportunity and I was not about to pass by the chance to do some fishing for halibut on a private boat with someone who knows the area well. 

We got up and were on the water by 7:30am but the weather was still somewhat uncooperative and we couldn't travel out to the usual places he fishes.  As we were leaving the bay, we heard some super interesting chatter on the radio from the US Coast Guard.  Apparently one of the Cruises West ships ran aground in Glacier Bay!  It had left Juneau the night before headed for a short Alaska luxury cruise and ran aground on a glacial moraine.

Still the empty pole remains.....no fishy!
  A glacial moraine consists of a sandy glacial till covered with soil that is a result of glacier movement and the transportation of the additional materials.  It was interesting to listen to this as it unfolded, knowing it was likely to at least make national news.

So, now we are out of Auke Bay and headed to a couple closer spots in the search for halibut!  Don't let people fool you into thinking halibut fishing is a breeze.  He's been doing it for quite sometime and it's an actual science.  There is a small window of prime opportunity to catch them at "slack tide" and it's basically a waiting game.  No trolling like for salmon or what I am used to with deep sea fishing.

Ice Bear and notice Ice Bear cub.....the "small" fishing boat it was towing around the fjord!
  Here, you drop your rod to the bottom and basically wait.  We were using herring, some squid, and then he brought out the big guns....herring oil.  Yup....talk about stinky and interesting oil slick it creates in the water but certainly drew the little fish who kept nibbling the bait off, but no halibut. 

We spent the entire morning out and after no bites during the peak time, he decided it was time to head back, get the boat out, and get me on my way to the airport, so I didn't have to stay an extra day.  I was honestly pretty sad at this point.  The last hour or so on the boat was one of the most clear moments in my entire life.  It was so incredibly peaceful and the water was so calm...no noise except for a few salmon jumping and the water sloshing against the side of the boat.

Looking out towards the mountains - Skagway is just beyond the peaks
  This morning on the boat was exactly what I was looking for on this trip - the opportunity to just take in the scenery and realize there is so much more to life besides a great career, investment properties, expensive dinners, great night life and STRESS, etc.  There was a calmness and a sense of comfort I felt there that I've never experienced before in my entire life.  When I first arrived in Juneau, I never imagined I could see myself living in an environment like that but I left with a very different perspective.  When he dropped me off at the airport and we said goodbye, I was very sad to go home.  I felt like I left part of myself back on that bay.  I boarded my plane and as I watched the snow capped peaks disappear under the thick clouds, I felt a huge sense of emptiness and actually found myself tearing up at the idea of leaving Alaska and my wonderful weekend behind. 

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Mendenhall Glacier
Mendenhall Glacier
Love watching the clouds come in o…
Love watching the clouds come in …
Still the empty pole remains.....n…
Still the empty pole remains.....…
Ice Bear and notice Ice Bear cub..…
Ice Bear and notice Ice Bear cub.…
Looking out towards the mountains …
Looking out towards the mountains…
Close up of Mendenhall Glacier
Close up of Mendenhall Glacier
Storm clouds over the water
Storm clouds over the water
Across Auke Bay
Across Auke Bay
Look...blue sky peaking out!
Look...blue sky peaking out!
As we pull away from the harbor an…
As we pull away from the harbor a…
View from Auke Bay
View from Auke Bay
Holy Cow! Yeah....that would hurt!
Holy Cow! Yeah....that would hurt!
As the clouds roll back in
As the clouds roll back in
Beautiful Juneau Mountains!
Beautiful Juneau Mountains!
Cruise ship coming in way off in t…
Cruise ship coming in way off in …
Here fishy fishy fishy!
Here fishy fishy fishy!
Looks like a sandy beach
Looks like a sandy beach
Coming back in as the storm settle…
Coming back in as the storm settl…
Fuzzy but close up of Mendenhall G…
Fuzzy but close up of Mendenhall …
Back out over Auke Bay
Back out over Auke Bay
Small island in Auke Bay
Small island in Auke Bay
Beautiful yacht leaving Auke Bay
Beautiful yacht leaving Auke Bay
Ice Bear - this is the yacht we sa…
Ice Bear - this is the yacht we s…
Auke Bay
photo by: euphemy