The road trip was 6hrs 20min from Fairbanks to Valdez. Not too bad and as usual, we were told the drive down would be pretty amazing. This drive didn’t disappoint. The day however did start early as we did do a full day at work then headed to Valdez. I certainly can’t say I’d recommend this quickly assembled plan but it was a good time though. The plan was all nearly last minute except the charter fishing trip. I was able to book a hotel for two of the three nights but not for the first night.
So we ended up pitching a tent at a KOA site (a first for me). It was pretty cool and the lack of darkness this time of year in Alaska is something I don’t think I’ll ever get use to. We arrived right around 11:30pm, set up camp, had a quick dinner & beer then slept for about 3 hours. The mosquitos were pretty bad (as expected). Once the thermacell and the camp fire was going, they went away. We needed to wake up pretty early to pack up and head to the dock.
We boarded the Arctic Warrior with Valdez Saltwater Adventures at 6:45am. The charter did have three other people aboard and a friendly, knowledgeable captain. We all chatted for a bit, went over some paperwork, fueled up and set off to our first fishing spot. We were fishing in about 100 foot depth.
As a group we caught quite a few fish, mostly halibut and a few rock fish. I was thinking my 45 pound halibut was a decent size but not when one of us ends up catching a 110 pound halibut. It was pretty wild! A few areas here in Alaska have fishing competitions: here is the one for Valdez.
The charter adventure was a great time but was very exhausting (of course a real lack of sleep caused a good amount of that issue). By the time we got to the dock I was ready to eat, take a shower and get a lot of sleep.
Once we arrived at the dock, our captain off loaded the fish (we then tipped our awesome captain), took pictures at the entrance of the dock and handed the fish over to a group of processors. It was a very smooth operation. Tip the person who is doing the work (fun fact: I ran out of cash so I was running around looking for an ATM. First National Bank Alaska Valdez Branch, Wells Fargo and the hotel we were staying at Best Western Valdez Harbor Inn all have one).