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How To Pay for Your Dream Trip to Alaska

Pay for your dream tripHas a fishing trip to Alaska been on your mind? Have you ever had a desire to go and give it a try? Have you ever dreamed of doing it and said “Someday I’ll try it”? If so, there is no time like the present. Too often we let life and indecision get in the way of us fulfilling our dreams. We put them off or procrastinate them, sometimes until it is too late. Maybe you just don’t know how to pay for your dream trip to Alaska?

 

Maybe money is the problem? Maybe you don’t think that you can afford to go? If so, this is an obstacle that CAN be overcome. It just takes a little time and effort and some dedication.

 

One good way to overcome the money obstacle is:

1. Set a goal. In xxx month of xxx year, I will have the money saved up to go. Write it down and put it where you will see it and read it every day.

 

2. Start to save money towards your goal. If you are going to go 3 years from now, divide out the estimated cost of the trip by the months left to prepare. Put that much money aside every month in an account or even cash in an envelope. Mark the envelope “Alaskan Fishing Trip”.

 

3. Be dedicated to reach your goal. Don’t let petty things get in the way of your savings. Be determined that you will stick to your goal and don’t let other things “steal” your trip from you. Don’t be tempted to skip a month or to “borrow” from your Alaska fund.

 

4. Find other ways to contribute to your fund. Have a yard sale. Sell some unneeded stuff on Craigslist or Ebay. Work some overtime hours at work. Maybe a temporary part time job or even delivering pizzas at night for a while. Dedicate all of these extra proceeds to your Alaska fishing fund.

 

5. Allow yourself to dream about and to think about your upcoming trip. Wise men tell us that our lives tend to move in the direction of the things that we think about. Daydreaming about your future trip to the point that it becomes an obsession will almost guarantee that it will happen. Spend time reading about Alaskan fishing and find people to talk to about it. Spend time researching it and studying about it on the internet or in books and magazines. These will all help you to be focused and dedicated to reaching your Alaskan fishing trip goal. They will also help you to have perseverance or “stick-to-it-ness” in attaining your goal.

 

If you will just stay with it and follow your plan, you WILL make it. You will be surprised at how quickly the time will come for you to go and you will be surprised at the fact that you are prepared when the time comes, both financially and physically. The money will be in the envelope and all of the dreaming and reading and talking will have you prepared in knowing what to take and what to expect and how to catch the big ones.

 

Here at FishingTripToAlaska.com we are dedicated to helping you learn all that you need to know about fishing in Alaska. Check back often for more tips.

 

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - July 29, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Categories: Alaskan Tourism, Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut, Salmon   Tags: , , , , , ,

Barbeque Halibut

grilled barbecued halibutThis is a great recipe and is among the favorites at our house.The soy sauce, brown sugar and the garlic caramelize on the fish making for a great taste that goes well with the halibut.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2-4

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
halibut fillets

Place  butter, brown sugar, minced garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce, and pepper in a  small saucepan. Warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is completely dissolved. Dip fish in mixture and place on medium-temp grill or under broiler. Baste with remaining liquid while cooking. Cook 5 minutes on each side until fish flakes easily.

*We started using this recipe outdoors on the grill but now, just as often, it is done indoors under the broiler with the same great results. Give it a try!

Great eats,

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - June 2, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Categories: Recipes   Tags: , ,

Breaded Baked Halibut Recipe

Breaded baked Alaskan halibut recipeThis recipe is another one that is always welcomed here at our house. It works great with halibut, cod, lingcod, rockfish, sheefish, or just about any other white-meated fish fillets. It prepares and cooks very quickly and easily for those times when dinner is “in a hurry.”

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: 4-8

 

Ingredients:

2-4 fish fillets cut in 1 1/2 inch squares or strips (halibut, cod, sheefish, rockfish, etc.)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup bread crumbs, plain or Italian flavored
1/2 cup olive oil OR  melted butter
1-2 teaspoons sliced or minced garlic

Directions:

Put oil, parmesan, and bread crumbs in three separate bowls. Add garlic to oil bowl. Dip each piece if fish in oil, parmesan, and bread crumbs in that order. Place breaded fish on a baking sheet so that they don’t touch each other. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper if desired. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 450F until golden brown. Do not overcook. Fish is done when is breaks easily and is firm and white through.

Serve with Homemade Tartar Sauce, lemon juice or wedges, malt vinegar, or your own favorite dip or topping.

*The purpose of the garlic is to give the oil or butter a garlicky flavor. Personally we use Garlic-Infused Canola Oil from our local Pampered Chef  lady and it tastes great!

Great eating,

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - May 29, 2013 at 2:45 am

Categories: Recipes   Tags: , , , ,

Homemade Tartar Sauce

homemade tartar sauce recipeThis tartar sauce is another favorite at our house. We have been making it for many years. It is great with any kind of fish including our Battered Alaskan Halibut fish and chips and grilled Alaskan salmon or trout.

 

Homemade Tartar Sauce

1/2 cup mayo or Miracle Whip
3 Tablespoons chopped pickle relish
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated onion

Put all ingredients except mayo in blender and blend. Stir into mayo. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

* Serve with halibut, salmon, trout, cod, etc that has been fried, baked, grilled, or whatever!

 

 

 

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - May 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Categories: Recipes   Tags: , , , , ,

Battered Halibut Fish and Chips

Battered Alaskan halibut fish and chips recipeBattered Halibut

This battered halibut recipe is hands-down the favorite way to fix halibut at our house. It is also quick and simple to make.

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 3-5 minutes
Total Time: 10 mins
Servings: 4-6

Just multiply the amounts according to how much fish that you have to fry.”

Ingredients

2 Halibut fillets (or any white-meated fish)

3/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water

Directions:

Cut fish into 1 inch x 1 inch cubes OR 1 inch strips of any length
Mix dry ingredients.
Add water and mix well.
Add fish to batter and gently stir until coated.
Deep fry until a nice golden brown.

Use caution to not overcook fish. Fry time will vary depending on your circumstances. Usually 3-5 minutes.

Serve it fish and chips style with fries or wedges, coleslaw, etc. We also serve Homemade Tartar Sauce and/or Malt Vinegar on the side.

 

*This batter recipe also works great with chicken breast strips, veggies such as zucchini strips or rounds, mushrooms, onion rings, etc. Just substitute them for the fish.

Great eating,

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3 comments - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - May 23, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Categories: Recipes   Tags:

Travel and Vacation in Alaska

Travel and Vacation in AlaskaLots of people travel to Alaska each year for a vacation, whether it be just a trip to see the sights and to experience some of those the great Alaskan attractions, or whether it be a specific get-away from everyday life such as an Alaskan cruise or to try the great Alaskan fishing.

For many people, Alaskan vacations have been a once-in-a-lifetime goal but it is becoming more common for people now to return over and over as they get a taste of the greatness of the attractions that Alaska has to offer. People sample the beauty of nature in Alaska, with its bountiful wildlife and beautiful views and they get a sense of freedom as they realize just how much empty space Alaska has to offer and how few people there are to take it in.

Let’s face it, Alaska has many views and many experiences that cannot be had anywhere else in the world. I refer to things like humpback killer whales that make a game of putting on displays for the visitors and hundreds of glaciers that seem to calve on demand just to show off their stuff to those who come to see. I refer to the thousands of bears who just want to eat salmon and don’t care who is watching and photographing them while they do it. Even the plentiful presence of the thousands bald eagles everywhere seems to further ingrain this beauty and sense of freedom into our subconscious minds.

Alaska is one of the last frontiers. The reality of things is that it likely will remain so. There aren’t all that many people who are willing to endure the harsh, dark winters there to make it a permanent home and so for the most part, Alaska becomes a summer playground for those who are attracted to its beauty, its grandeur, its freedom, and its bounty.

According to Alaska’s Resource Development Council statistics, 1 out of every 3 visitors to Alaska now is a repeat visitor. They say that almost all of these visitors came first on a cruise ship but are now coming on their own to see and do all of the things that they first saw from a distance on their cruise. They came once and got hooked by what they saw and now want and are taking the opportunity to explore and to experience more in-depth, the things that interest them.

So, whether your tastes are for wild and exciting, or even if they run to tame and quiet, Alaskan travel is definitely something that should be on your list of things to do. You too may be hooked by what you see.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - August 23, 2012 at 12:38 am

Categories: Alaskan Tourism   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Alaskan Sheefish or “Iconnu”

Sheefish or iconnu from Yukon River


Yukon River Fish Buffet
from top, broad whitefish, sheefish, coho salmon, chum salmon, and humpback whitefish. Photo credit: S.Zuray/2011 USFWS Alaska Fish Photo Contest

The Sheefish is a species of fish sometimes found on the end of your line while fishing in Alaska. Called “Iconnu” by the native Alaskans, this large fish is a member of the Whitefish family.

 

Sheefish are a mostly freshwater fish found in the rivers of central Alaska’s Northwest and Yukon Management areas although they may occasionally be found in the marshy salt-water bays where the rivers dump into the ocean. The largest concentration of sheefish is found in the Kobuk and Selawik River drainages. The sheefish from these drainages are also much, much bigger than those found in Alaska’s interior drainages with fish there commonly caught in the 30 to 40+lb. range while sheefish in the Yukon and other drainages being around one half that size.

 

By description, sheefish are a silvery color with occasional blueish,  greenish or purplish hue to them.  They have extremely large scales. The scales on a large sheefish will be the size of a nickel in diameter. One of their defining characteristics is their large mouth which opens to the same diameter as their body. Sheefish are fish eaters and are said to eat anything that will fit in their mouths. They have extremely small teeth giving the inside of their mouth the feel of coarse sandpaper. They eat their prey by sucking it in.

 

As with other members of the whitefish family, sheefish have a very white flesh that gets even whiter with cooking. It is even preferred over halibut by some anglers in its texture and flavor. The native Alaskan populations have depended on the Iconnu to provide needed nourishment for their villages for hundreds of years. The sheefish starts running in the spring as soon as or even before the river ice breaks up, long before the salmon begin to make their way to upstream thus providing an early and welcomed protein source to the Eskimo villages. The sheefish will travel up to 1000 miles upstream to their head-water spawning grounds.

 

Sheefish prefer the bottom of the rivers and can be caught either through jigging on the bottom from a boat, or from casting a weighted line from the shore. When river fishing for sheefish, usually the deeper the hole, the better your luck will be for a big fish although occasionally one is caught near the surface on a fly. Sheefish are attracted to bright colors and to shiny things so take that into account with your lures. Because of the way that they suck their food in, they will generally be hooked very deep. Due to their large size, the sheefish provide an excellent fight.

 

Sheefish are also caught through the ice in winter or early spring by drilling a hole in the ice and jigging on the bottom.

 

The current bag limits are 10 fish of any size per day but be sure to check the current regulations before you go.

 

The Alaska Dept of Fish and Game has a fact sheet on sheefish that can be downloaded HERE. Why not go out and try something new next time you go fishing in Alaska?

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - August 11, 2012 at 12:14 am

Categories: Fishing, Freshwater Fishing   Tags: , , , , ,

Hunting the Alaskan Salmon Shark

Salmon shark

Salmon Shark photo from NOAA

Fishing… or rather hunting the Salmon Shark is one of the newest fads in sport fishing in Alaska. The Alaskan version of the salmon shark is a lean, mean, salmon eating machine. The salmon shark is the newest offering of several sport fishing charters along the coast of central Alaska.

Averaging from 7-8 feet in length and reaching up to 1000 lbs in weight, salmon sharks are notorious eaters of Alaskan Salmon. A study of salmon sharks in 1989 showed that the salmon shark ate between 12% and 25% of all of the salmon in Alaska’s entire Prince William Sound during that year. The salmon shark is a very close cousin to the famous “Jaws” or great white shark.

The salmon shark is migratory spending the summers in Alaskan waters at the same time as the salmon runs and then moving further south during the coldest months. Their diet is made up of mostly salmon, squid, and herring. They will attack and run down their prey with incredible speed. In fact, they are believed to be the fastest fish in the ocean world-wide. They can be found anywhere from the surface down to depths of 500 feet or more.

The salmon shark is gaining popularity as a sport fish due largely to their abundance and to their hard-fighting ability which can challenge even the most adept angler. Fishing methods include the use of heavy line and steel leaders due to the presence of the many sharp teeth. A salmon carcass of course would be the bait of choice.

There currently is no commercial fishing allowed for the salmon shark but sport fishing is permitted throughout Alaska’s waters. The salmon shark’s flesh is said to taste similar to swordfish. The meat needs to be bled and processed as soon as possible after the catch but the meat freezes and keeps well.

If you are looking for a thrill and you consider yourself up to the task, try out the newest “thing” in Alaskan fishing and give hunting the Alaskan Salmon Shark a try. Be careful though. It has been said that they are just as dangerous out of the water, on the boat deck, as they are in the water.

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2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - August 4, 2012 at 12:33 am

Categories: Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut, Salmon   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Arctic Grayling in Alaska

Arctic Grayling in Alaska

Photo from Flickr taken by zlatkarp

The Arctic Grayling is actually a member of the same family as salmon and trout although it is a freshwater only fish meaning that it never migrates to the ocean as the rest of the salmon and some of the trout families do. Arctic Grayling populations are quite widespread throughout Alaska, Canada, and Siberia. They are also found in some of the headwaters of the Missouri River in south-western Montana.

The Arctic Grayling is identified by its grey to silver to greenish-blue coloring and its huge sail-like dorsal fin. The body and fins may have spots ranging from black or red to blue or purple. Their fins are tipped in bright, iridescent pink or orangish colors giving them a unique set of markings unlike any other fish. It has been said that the clearer the water where the grayling is found, the brighter the coloring will be. The Arctic Grayling in Alaska will reach up to 23 inches in length and may reach over 5 lbs. in weight although the majority of those caught range from 12 to 18 inches in length and are under 3 lbs. They have been known to live as long as 30+ years of age.

The Arctic Grayling prefers to live in mid-sized rivers and lakes but will return to the small creeks and streams in the spring to spawn, although not necessarily the same places where they were born. Almost all freshwater in Alaska will have grayling present except in the Aleutian Islands on the western end of Alaska and on Kodiak Island in south-central Alaska.

Grayling will eat other fish and aquatic life if necessary but by far their preferred diet is bugs and insects. This makes them a fly-fisherman’s dream. It has been said that they will investigate anything and everything that floats on the water’s surface. They are especially fond of mayflies, caddis flies, and stone flies. They will also eat salmon eggs found floating in the water and many grayling have been found with birds and mice in their stomachs.

Normally, grayling are fished with light tackle. They commonly are caught on flies but traditional spoons, spinners and bait are all successful as well. If using lures or bait, a cast and retrieve method will work better than letting the bait or lure sit and settle. They can be very picky at times, wanting only a certain type or color of fly and so it may pay off to try a variety of flies or lures until the “perfect” presentation is found. When you find a lure or bait that works, stick with it.

According to research done by the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game, the larger grayling are more commonly found at the headwaters of the drainage where the waters are cooler, the middle-sized fish that are in the late juvenile to the early adult stage will commonly be found in the middle stretches of the drainage or river, and the younger and smaller fish will more commonly be found in the lower parts of the river system where the warmer water temperatures will help them to grow faster. Of course, that being said, any size or age of grayling can be found anywhere that the grayling is present.

The season on Arctic Grayling generally runs year-around and they are quite often caught through the ice in winter. Bag limits vary from 2 to 10, depending on the area fished so be sure to check the latest regulations before heading out.

The ADF&G’s information page on the Arctic Grayling can be found HERE.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - July 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Categories: Fishing, Salmon   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Alaskan Steelhead

Alaskan Steelhead TroutAlaska has a reputation for its salmon and halibut fishing but less well-known is the excellent trout and steelhead fishing that is to be found in Alaska. In fact, Alaska is a very popular destination for trout and steelhead fishermen who come from all over the world seeking the thrill of the fast-moving, hard-fighting trout and steelhead that are found in Alaska’s waters.

Rainbow and Steelhead trout are considered to be the same species. In fact it appears that the only difference between the two is where they choose to make their home. The rainbows choose to be home-bodies and laze around in the freshwater lakes and streams of their birth while the steelhead are the more adventuresome and choose to go out and see the world by traveling out to the ocean for a part of their lives.

There are a few physical characteristics that seem to be different between the two varieties of trout. The steelhead develop a slightly different coloration and pattern that seems to become stronger the longer that they spend in the saltwater. In fact, it appears to be a result of environment more than genetics.  Some of their spots, bars and background coloring changes, perhaps to better camouflage them in their chosen oceanic environment. Steelhead will grow to be much larger than their rainbow counterparts almost entirely due to the better diet that they will find in the ocean.

The Alaskan steelhead is born in the clear freshwater streams and lakes. They will typically spend three years living and growing in those streams and lakes before traveling to the ocean. Once in the ocean they will live there another 2+ years before returning home to spawn. Steelhead aren’t like Alaska’s salmon that spawn and then die. Steelhead will spawn and then return to the ocean repeatedly, sometimes many, many times over the next few years of their lives.

Steelhead are grouped according to the time of year when they migrate back upstream to spawn. The groups are spring-run (March-June), summer-run (July), and fall-run (August-October). The majority of the steelhead are fall-run. Regardless of when they choose to return, they will all spawn the following spring.

Steelhead will live up to 10 or 11 years of age. They can grow up to 45 inches in length and 55 lbs in size. They are a prized catch for their fight and for the meat.

When fishing for steelhead fishing in rivers and streams, concentrate on deep holes surrounded by fast-moving currents as well as the swift whitewater areas. If using flies, steelhead prefer bright colorful flies. Also popular and effective are the spoons, spinners, and egg-like imitations.

Alaska, unlike other places, has a very sustainable steelhead fishery. Fish numbers seem to stay within normal patterns and cycles. As with other species in Alaska, regulations vary as to bag limits and size specifications. Be sure to check the current regulations for he particular region and water body that you plan to fish.

Current Alaskan fishing regulations can be found HERE.

For more information on Alaskan steelhead, check out this pdf from the Alaska Dept of Fish and Game.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - July 11, 2012 at 12:21 am

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