Tuesday, July 8, 2014


We left Seward with the plan to stay on the west side of the Kenai Peninsula to do some exploring and a bit of fishing.  We intended to stay near Ninilchik for a few days then dry camp on the spit in Homer before ending up at a free dry camp spot in Soldotna.  All that changed when we found Country Boy RV Park in Ninilchik.  At $15.00 a night for full hook ups, the park is the best deal in Alaska.  When you add Chuck, the wonderful owner, we decided we would spend all our time here and drive to the other places.  I met several people here who were able to give me all the insider's info I needed to do some fishing.  I went on a halibut fishing charter and also learned how to fish for salmon.
One morning these Sandhill cranes showed up in the park.  You never know where you will find wildlife in Alaska.
They did squawk and fly away as I approached but not without a couple of pictures.
We found this unusual set up on our morning walks near the park.  It is an Alaska fish and game weir where they trap king salmon to milk them for sperm and collect the eggs to be used at the hatchery to get the fish into more streams. 
A few kings that were caught on there way up stream.
Ninilckik is an old Russian town dating back to the 1800's before the US bought the territory.  The old Orthodox church and cemetery overlook Cook Inlet.
At twenty feet the tides here are second only to the Bay of Fundy in height.  In the small Ninilchik harbor the commercial fishing boats are all tied together and most are sitting on the bottom at low tide.
Because of all the fishing Ninilchik attracts a lot of bald eagles.  This old guy had a fish carcass that he was eating while keeping all the gulls away from his supper.
Mount Redoubt, one of five volcanic peaks along the west coast of Cook Inlet.  They are all active with Redoubt last erupting in 2009.  It sent ash plumes from 30,000 to 60,000 feet into the air.
We saw Wanda and Wallace the first day we were in Alaska and crossed paths again.  They have been fishing in the Kenai and are now heading to other areas.  They plan to be at Betty's in the fall so we will see them again.
On the Fourth of July Chuck cooked some barbecue and we had a big pot luck to celebrate the holiday.  Chuck built the park twenty years ago and now has it up for sale.  He has not done any advertising in the last couple of years and his business has been down.  This summer he became a Passport America half price park and the crowds have returned.  If you are looking for a great place with great people at a very reasonable price put Country Boy on your list.  Chuck and his wife Gerry are great hosts. 
Ninilchik is a big charter fishing area.  Since the harbor is only usable during high tide they have a unique way of launching and landing the charter boats.  The boaters pull up and disconnect their trailers, load everyone on board and then the skidder hooks up to the trailer and backs it into the inlet.  When the boats are returning the captain radios ahead and they pick up his trailer and back it into the water for the boat to drive onto.  It is a very different, but effective system. 
Four of us from the park went on a charter with Hog Slayers Guide Service.  Here Larry and Don are getting instructions from deck hand Andy on the finer points of halibut fishing.  It is nothing like I have ever done before, we fished on the bottom in 180 feet of water with three pounds of lead.  The rule this year is that each paying customer must have a fish under 29 inches before they can keep a big one.  We all caught several fish that were to big to be small, just over 29, or to small to be big, in the 30 to 35 inch range.  Captain Joe had those ones thrown back so we would have the chance to hook a BIG one..........
 ......and I want to thank him for that because it gave me a chance to hook this 71 pounder, by far the largest fish I have ever caught.  There is no way I could have landed this guy without the crews help and I thank Joe for holding it up for me for this photo.  I can't even imagine what it would take to try and land a 200 pounder.  
It was a beautiful day on the Cook Inlet and not just for fishing but also for catching:-)
Andy, Larry, Don, me and Joe with our catch.  Everyone got their two fish limit and we had a wonderful time.  I would recommend Hog Slayers.  I have heard that many charters will keep those too small to be big fish and once everyone on board has two their day is done.  Joe made sure we all had a chance at a bigger fish. 
Our share of the catch.  We split the fish equally and we each had nearly 25 pounds of fish that they cleaned and vacuum packed.  I am happy to successfully cross halibut fishing off my bucket list. Now on to the salmon fishing!


John and Pam (ohtheplacestheygo.wordpress.com) said...

I think I might give my right arm for that fish, well almost! What a beautiful fish supply!!!

Chuck and Jan Moore said...

Congrats on your 71 pound Halibut! That's amazing. We've been following your Alaska adventures and it sure sounds like you're having a fabulous time. The photos are wonderful and they sure bring back great memories for us. Hugs, Jan & Chuck

John and Lora said...

That is one nice fish!!

Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

Nice fish!