Located just 120 miles south of Anchorage at the end of the Seward Highway Scenic Byway, this sport-fishing hub is known far and wide as hosting one of the greatest saltwater silver salmon fishing grounds in the world, but silvers are far from the only show in town, as boats from Seward also troll, drift and mooch through some of Alaska’s best trophy halibut waters.
At its margins, the halibut charter season will begin sometime in April and last until October, typically peaking in mid-July. Most of the better halibut grounds near Seward are actually outside Resurrection Bay, and charter operations often motor their clients to underwater reefs and pinnacles that are known quantities—areas such as the Montague Shelf out in front of Prince William Sound. This is a giant mass of area made of a sloping tabletop-type configuration with many rockpiles, pinnacles and grooves that eventually drop into the deep blue abyss. Considering that there is a major confluence of currents here—the counterclockwise rotation of the Gulf of Alaska current meeting the in-and-out tidal flushing of Prince William Sound via Montague Strait, there is a lot going on. This is an exceptional natural draw if for no other reason than current forcing both plankton and baitfish species to the area. Throw in the underwater topography, outstanding migratory lanes and countless natural “rest stops,” and you have a world-class halibut fishery.
Seward’s Resurrection Bay, Cape Junken and Cape Fairfield have good reputations as well, and more top halibut options include Nootka Bay, Chiswell Islands, Blying Sound and the Pass at Knight Island. According to records from the International Pacific Halibut Commission the largest Prince William Sound fish reside on the outside edge of the sound near the Gulf of Alaska.
A definite boon to visiting anglers, Seward is heavy with sport-fishing options, from rental kayaks to large and small charter boats, and it’s quite simple to book your day on the water chasing fine-eating flatfish. Start with contacts listed in the sidebar to this article and you’re well on your way to a freezer full of succulent white fillets.