The Best Halibut Regulations in Years
The International Pacific Halibut Commission has approved the best regulations we’ve seen in more than a decade for 2021. We continue to operate with a reverse slot limit, but the slot has changed very favorably. This season our guests can keep halibut under 50 inches and over 72 inches (U50/O72). Last year it was U44/O80 and in 2019 U40/O80. To put those inches into perspective, a 50-inch halibut averages 60 pounds which is more than double the weight of a 40 incher (29.3 pounds) and 66% heavier than a 44 incher (39.8 pounds). The odds of landing one over 72 inches aren’t great, but they are substantially better than landing a whopper 80 incher.
Not all the halibut we catch bump that 50-inch mark, but when it happens, you’ll get to keep it. Our guests consistently catch halibut throughout our season. Historically, some of the best fishing for big ones has come in May and June.
Halibut 2021 Regulations:
Daily limit: 1 per person either under 50″ or over 72″
Annual limit: None
Timing: Expect fast halibut action all season. We can have great success catching halibut close to this year’s 50-inch maximum – especially in May and June.
King Salmon Regulations:
We expect to have king salmon regulations any day – perhaps by the end of this week. We’ll let you know the moment we know.
Both Alaska Air and Delta will again serve Sitka this summer. Delta flights begin on May 29. Alaska flies to Sitka year-round with non-stops from Seattle beginning on May 20. To get your best itinerary, we recommend you book your air reservations ASAP. With liberalized change and cancellation policies, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain by booking early.
As for COVID mandates entering Alaska, it’s too early to know what will be in place. We don’t want to make unfounded guesses, but we do feel confident that travel will be no more restrictive than last year’s requirement for a negative COVID test taken 72 hours or less from the time you board your flight. We are working on a testing option that will allow everyone to comply as we did in 2020. We are staying on top of this and will keep you posted.
The pent-up demand to get out of the house combined with the relative safety of outdoor recreation like fishing has been a boon for AU’s 2021 bookings. Still, we have excellent dates in May and early June. If you’ve got a yen to enjoy the best saltwater fishing in the North Pacific, get in touch and we’ll take care of you.