Barn Door Halibut in an Alaskan RV Vacation Adventure

This post is courtesy of our friends at Alaskan Angler RV Resort in Ninilchik, Alaska.

As you might imagine, RV parks in Alaska offer opportunities to camp in the midst of breathtaking scenery – glaciers, volcanoes, world-class mountain ranges that cascade into deep blue ocean waters. However, not many RVers realize that camping in Alaska also provides access to world-class fishing in both saltwater and freshwater locations. One of the most popular locations for these activities is Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, just south of the major hub of Alaska, the city of Anchorage. This area is easily accessible by modern highway and is usually the endgame destination of those who drive up the entire distance from the lower 48 on the Alaska Highway.

On the Kenai Peninsula, the village of Ninilchik has become known as the “heart of recreation” due to its central location to several fishing and clamming sites. Ninilchik and the State Recreation area known as Deep Creek is the access point into the salt waters of Cook Inlet, the world-renowned home of huge “barn door” halibut. These unusual flatfish can grow to sizes exceeding 8 feet long and 400 pounds, although the average sport-caught fish is in the 20 to 40 pound range. This area is arguably the most prolific halibut fishery in the world, and it is a very popular activity with RV visitors who charter day trips with local operators.

In addition to white-meat halibut, salmon fishing opportunities abound in the Ninilchik area. The two streams in town, the Ninilchik River and Deep Creek, both support runs of Chinook “king” salmon and coho “silver” salmon. King salmon are the largest salmonoid in the world, and can grow to lengths of five feet and nearly 100 pounds. Silvers are much smaller, about 10 pounds, and are the hardest fighting fish around. They are known for dramatic jumps, back-flips, and dives when hooked. The local rivers are easily fished from the riverbanks, while there are opportunities for chartered boats for these species in the Kasilof and Kenai Rivers just to the north of town.

The prime fillets of all the salmon species come from the sockeye, or “red” salmon, and that fish is also available in this vicinity. The beautifully firm, bright-red, meat of the red salmon makes it the highest priced and most desirable seafood in Alaska. These fish do not require a boat or guide, and can be caught in the Kasilof or Kenai Rivers.

There is also an additional seafood opportunity on the local beaches at low tides: razor clams. These crustaceans are available by digging into the beach sand at times of extra-low tides, known locally as “negative tides”. This opportunity occurs when the tide cycle flows out so low that the clam beds are uncovered and you can walk on the ocean floor, usually twice a month for a period of four or five days. Ninilchik is blessed with almost thirteen miles of beaches suitable for clamming, and with the clam bag limit of sixty per person, it is easy to see why this is a very popular endeavor.

Alaskan Angler RV Resort has grown into the largest full-service RV resort in the area due its central location for all of the above activities and its notoriety for providing excellent service, amenities, and activities for RVers while participating in those activities. With on-site fish processing, fishing and clamming gear rentals and sales, as well as charter ocean and river fishing, Alaskan Angler RV is known as the area’s premier fishing and clamming resort.

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