Crackerjack and Profish-n-Sea are the only two in Seward I would recommend. I have fished a total of eight days over 2 years with Capt. Nik Ranta on the Crackerjack and he is a top notch professional. I was just there in August and there is talk of us going back again in 2010. Bmail me if you have any questions I can answer, from where to stay to where to eat to lures to bring.
If you are retired military or civil servant you need to check out the Seward Resort run by the US ARMY they have great prices and I believe four charted boats that they run. Fish the same places as the rest of the Seward fleet. They book well in advance and they have a web-site. The local hardware store in Seward runs a full fleet of boats, I do forget the name but used them 2 years ago, did well on the Halibut. Advice, get use to circle hooks.
Like Chris Surowiec above, I have fished with Capn Nik Ranta on the Crackerjack (August 2007 and June 2008) . You need only to check out their website (CRACKERJACK CHARTERS) to know that these guys are very professional with the right experience and the right equipment. Unlike many other charter boat captains who only live in Seward during the fishing season, Nik is a local and lives there year round...he is well networked with the best fishermen. And, equally important, he is pleasure to fish with. Both years he has put on some incredible Halibut bites as well as Salmon and Rockfish of all kinds.
Like Steve Elliot mentioned in his response, if you are military or government service, you really need to check out the Seward Army Resort...it is top shelf and is located in Seward to cater to the outdoorsman. However, I would caution against using the Army Resort Halibut boats if you are looking for a once in a life time Halibut trip. Sure, the Army boats catch Halibut, but they fish primarily the "chicken patches" where they can catch a bunch of small fish fast. They are more like a head boat with 15-20 people per boat so they have to catch a lot of fish to satisfy their customers. If you go with Nik on the Crackerjack (and specify you want the Crackerjack, not their larger boat) you will be fishing on a boat with only 6 fishermen. If you want to target BIG Halibut, he will target them. Our biggest in 2007 was 135lbs. This past June we had a 116 and a 112 and released another 100+ pounder. Coupled with those under 100lbs, we had all the meat we wanted and were releasing LOTS of fish. Also with Nik, you won't just soak bait on the bottom, you will use butterfly jigs to jig for these monsters...its a blast.
Sorry to sound like an advertisement for Crackerjack, but we could not have asked more of a charter than these guys produce. Again, just checkout their website. Good luck...its an awesome trip. Call me if you want anymore info (c) 757 641 4305 John Brown
If you want to save some $$$ on shipping fish home.. Allow yourself enough time to vacuum pack your fish and carry the meat on your plane... I had around 200 lbs of fillets and my shipping was around $700.00. If I had a little more time I would have checked it as luggage and paid the penalty..
Lucian, when I went to Seward the second time I told myself I was going to check my fish as luggage and save a ton of money. Then my flights there were canceled and delayed to the point where I arrived in Anchorage over a day later after spending the night in a Chicago hotel (compliments of United). If that happened on the way home my fish would be trash so I used Capt. Jack's seafood processing again and my fish arrived frozen solid on the day promised again.:thumbup: It cost me for portioning, vacuum sealing, flash freezing, and FedEx shipping $5.40 a pound for 147lbs of fish. With the way Murphy's law is, the one piece of luggage I would lose would be a box of fish. Many people do it all the time because it is far cheaper I just don't trust it.
I have been going to Alaska each summer since 1996. I have fished for Halibut out of Seward and Homer. I prefer Homer and have a good friend that runs an excellant charter. A link to his web site follows. If your dates are flexible - schedule your trip during a period of smaller tides. I will be there the last week of July next year. JB
Check out this video. It's captain Steve Zernia of Profish-n-sea charters on a Japanese TV show. Sorry, it's all in Japanese so I couldn't understand a word of it but the halibut look nice. If you stick around to the very end where they are eatin sushi, the guy with the handlebar mustache is Capt. Nik.
We are staying at the Bell In The Woods B.&B. Will be in Alaska three weeks but since this is primarily my wife's vacation I will only fish a few days. Attempted to watch the video but didn't have much luck.