As we were successful last year in our application for the necessary permits for this excursion we are again offering trips which include a couple of days in the park in the early and late season (May and September). With the additional remote locations we can now visit in Icy Straits, we will also add a Juneau Sitka itinerary through Icy Straits and along the outside of Chichagof Island. This will be a trip for the more adventuresome, but it includes some of the most remote spots in Southeast Alaska as well as great fishing. Since only a few weeks are available for this these trips, book early!
Cabin bookings are popular this year & one of the four weeks are already taken. If you were thinking of booking just one or two staterooms and the published dates don’t fit, give us a call & we will see if we can schedule a new week for “by the cabin” reservations.
July is also starting to fill up, so don’t wait too long!
Last week the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IHPC) approved new rules for the 2012 season in Southeast Alaska which will allow charter guests to take one fish a day either less than 45″ or over 68″. For our guests this means we can keep the best eating fish as well as a trophy fish should someone be lucky enough to hook the big one. While fishing is only one the many activities our guests enjoy, it looks like halibut fishing can continue to be one of the highlights for this season. This is not likely to be the final regulation, so I will keep you posted on what might happen in 2013 and beyond.
This season the Midnight SUN has four weeks in her schedule with a special itinerary and with cabins available for individual booking. Increasingly we are hearing from our guests that putting a group together to charter the whole yacht is a challenge, so we are adding trips where you can book just one or two cabins and join like minded folks for a week with a special focus, depending on the time of year. If these weeks book quickly, we may add more the schedule. In early summer we will be more focused on photography and watching whales and other marine life such as seals, otters, and sea lions. As we go further in late summer and the salmon start run, the focus will shift a bit more to fishing & bear watching. Of course of course exploring and enjoying the spectacular scenery and viewing humpback whales are always part of any trip as are the hot springs, fishing for the dinner table, hiking and setting some pots for crab and shrimp. We round out each trip with a day in the Tracy Arm fiord to experience the ice and the glaciers.
As not many of our guests are yet aware, 2011 is the start of new permit regulations for guided halibut fishing in Alaska. All charter boats will be required to have a guide with a valid permit for the area and the number of rods being fished. Only guides who logged halibut catches in 2004 or 2005 and in 2008 were eligible to get an initial permit, others will need to purchase one from someone who qualified. The expectations are that as much as half the fleet did not get a permit and the current price is around $40,000 for a six angler permit. Many charter boats will be going out this year unable to let their guests fish for halibut.
I logged guided halibut catch in the qualifying years and received my Charter Halibut Permit for 6 anglers in area 2C (our cruising area) last month. Our guests can look forward to another year of exiting fishing!