2016-June 20
By Tripp Wood
You just can’t beat a good night’s sleep before a fishing charter, but if you’re like me and burn the candle at both ends, you can catch up on sleep during the boat ride. Fishing out of Whittier, as opposed to Seward or Homer, should allow for lots more sleep, as the drive is much shorter.
Although you can usually obtain fishing licenses in Whittier, it’s better to buy these before leaving Anchorage. You can choose from a one day non-resident license for $20, a three day license for $35 or a seven day license for $55. There is an upcharge for retaining King Salmon, but these are rare to catch, and it’s possible the extra expense may be wasted. (But don’t blame me if you have to turn loose a 70 pound King!)
See “What to Bring” for items to pack.
Weather And Your Trip
July, August and early September are usually pretty docile in Prince William Sound, but we still do get blows on occasion. Remember that bad weather is not classified as rain, but as wind, since that directly affects the sea state.
At times, you can drive into Whittier and the wind is blowing strongly off the mountains. This will not affect our travel, since this is a local blow, and only affects the first mile or two of water.
It is possible the Eastern winds may make some of our top fishing spots unavailable, and force us to some slower fishing areas. That doesn’t mean you won’t have a good time. At the end of last year, while fishing in a less popular but protected spot, one of our customers raised a 165 pound Halibut!
For the best experience, remain flexible.
If the weather becomes so bad that the Captain calls the trip off, you will have a choice of rescheduling or receiving a refund.
The Boat
You will be on board a wide 30 foot Kingfisher. There is a head (bathroom) aboard, and the enclosed cabin has a table with club seating. It is heated.
The back deck offers unobstructed fishing for up to six people.
Although any boat will rock with the waves, this boat is the most stable one we’ve ever had, and rides quite nicely.
If you are on one of our overnight marine camping trips, there is a shower on the back deck for your use, complete with hot water.
There is no smoking or vapes allowed, inside or outside the boat.
Deck hands do not draw a salary, but retain tips. They spend hours preparing for your arrival, and will help you every step of the way. They can even fillet your fish for you, and they’re good at it.
Good deck hands often get between $40 and $300 per family, depending on how much they’re loved, and how generous the family is. Do remember, the deck hand is like the restaurant waitress – no tip, no pay.
What you Will Likely See
Prince William Sound is a 10,000 square mile marine playground, with hundreds of islands sprinkled throughout. These islands offer great protection from wind and waves.
We often see many species of Whales and Porpoise, Sea Lions, Land and Sea Otters, Puffins, Eagles, Octopus, Deer, and Bear.
There are also a number of Tidewater Glaciers (glaciers that calve into the water). To say the scenery is beautiful is a huge understatement!
Getting Your Fish Home
After the deck hand fillets your fish, you can either pack it in your cooler and take it with you, or drop it off at Fees Custom Seafoods  less than a block away.
They will vacuum pack, freeze and ship your fish to you. Vacuum packing and freezing runs $2.50 per pound. This is based on incoming weight, so it’s advantageous to tip the deck hand to fillet your fish first. This will save more than 50% off the processing.
Spending The Night In Whittier
If you would like to get the most sleep, come on down to Whittier the night before, and take a room at The Inn At Whittier (907-472-3200) or call June Miller for her wonderful B&B service at 907-841-5102. Everything is within walking distance, including the boat.
What You Will Find In Whittier
Whittier is a small fishing village located right on a deep water fiord. It is surrounded by mountains and glaciers on one side, and the ocean on the other. Absolutely spectacular views! Whittier is accessible through a one lane tunnel that has a railroad track down the middle. At the top of the hour, one can leave town, and at the bottom of the hour, one can come into town. The train uses the tunnel on the 15 and the 45. Round trip costs $13.
There are several really fun shops and restaurants in town. Don’t pass up the Sound Ideas Fudge Shop! Lots of gifts, and of course many varieties of fudge. There is also a great ice cream shop, a restaurant to purchase fish and shrimp baskets, a hardware store, grocery store, and a fish processor that sells frozen fish and shrimp.
Most residents of Whittier live in one 14 story apartment building. The school sits right behind the apartments, and is connected underground by a tunnel. The kids can go to school on the coldest winter day with no coat.

Whittier was a secret base during the cold war. There’s a great museum connected to the grocery store that has lots of history. Well worth the visit!