Baranof Blog & Fishing News
Anyone familiar with Ketchikan knows that the downtown waterfront is dominated by the cruise ship docks. From berth one, adjacent to the Salmon Landing market and Thomas Basin (where our restaurant is located), and stretching down to berth four, pedestrians can find it a difficult hike getting from one end to the other. Although it is a straight shot, the high foot traffic, busy one lane road, and regularly inclement weather can make the journey seem a bit longer than the mile or so that it actually is. Chatting with an elderly couple during their meal, Latoya found that the husband and wife had hoofed it all the way from berth four just to visit the Alaska Fish House. They were tired and not looking forward to the walk back to their ship, so Latoya had one of her servers hop in the van and get them back to their boat while she covered the server’s duties. While we don’t typically offer logistical support to those desiring a meal with us, Latoya recognized an opportunity to exceed expectations and took it.
Latoya Thomas, like so many of our summer citizens, came to Alaska on a sort of “working vacation”. Whether drawn north for the job itself, or the opportunity to spend a summer in Alaska without going into the red, a lot of Alaskans came for a visit that ended up lasting years. Originally from Louisiana, Latoya arrived in Ketchikan with years of experience in hospitality and customer service with a desire to “experience something different”, eventually taking a seasonal position at the Alaska Fish House. Now working year-round due to her outstanding work ethic and skill set, you’ll find Latoya down in the trenches during the summer season managing the restaurant floor, and overseeing improvement projects during the off-season.
Every summer, over one million visitors, from all different walks of life, arrive in Ketchikan as they travel through Southeast Alaska. With such a diverse array of guests, those in the service industry end up with quite a few stories by the end of the season. Latoya Thomas has had a couple interactions with our customers that we feel exemplifies perfectly the type of team member we value at the Alaska Fish House. Not one to toot her own horn, we though we’d do it for her.
Trips like the one Steve took in 2014 are special. While they are available to anyone with the desire to undertake such a journey, everyone's Alaskan experience is unique. The most common mistake people make when visiting is expecting too little. Alaska is huge, with a world of opportunities for any outdoor enthusiast. Steve wanted to fly fish, so he wore himself out reeling in salmon and trout for a week in the middle of a pristine national park. Identify your own goals, decide what level of comfort is required, and dream big.
Katmai National Park is home to a wonderful cross-section of Alaska wildlife, as well as the sight of the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century. The park was established in 1918 after the Novarupta eruption, and has remained a popular destination for scientists and tourists for the last 100 years. While Steve didn't visit the Valley of 10,000 Smokes on his trip, it is nonetheless worth reading about if you're unfamiliar. Scotty and Steve were there to fish; as were the bears. Katmai National Park is famous for large salmon runs, which in turn provide brown bears with the nutrients needed for winter. Wherever you find salmon in Alaska, it's a safe bet you'll find bear as well. Due to this, Steve was able to check a couple boxes on his bucket list on this trip, as he spotted his first brown bear, and landed his first sockeye while fly fishing. All told, Steve caught and released 33 sockeye on the fly rod, along with rainbow trout and arctic grayling.
In June of 2014, Steve was stationed at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. He and his fishing buddy Scotty decided to meet for a fly-fishing trip to the Alaska Peninsula. Steve had already been to Alaska, but this was his first trip to Katmai National Park. Hopping on a jet for the 2,700 mile journey from Kansas City to Anchorage, Steve met Scotty to gather supplies and prepare themselves for a week of fly fishing in the Alaska wilderness. After completing any last-minute outfitting they needed, Scotty and Steve boarded a DeHavilland Beaver seaplane for a flight out to Nonvianuk Lake.
Although the location and motivation change, Scott and Steve lived a vacation common for visitors to Alaska. Over six days, they were dropped off at one location, fished, hiked, and boated to another, and were picked up again by seaplane. For this particular journey, Steve and Scotty were dropped off at Nonvianuk lake, floated and fly fished their way down the Nonvianuk river, through the confluence of the Nonvianuk and Alagnak, and were later picked up via seaplane prior to the Alagnak terminus. Boats and seaplanes are the main modes of transportation in coastal Alaska, and until you head farther north, you're going to have a hard time getting anywhere that doesn't involve one or both of the two.
Steve grew up as one of seven children, and inherited the fishing bug from his father while casting lines for large mouth bass, crappie, and perch in the ponds of Laurel, Mississippi. But the ponds ultimately weren’t quite enough for Steve: by the time he turned seventeen, he’d fallen full-bore in love with fly fishing. He would get in his car nearly every weekend and drive to Arkansas to fish in the White River for both rainbow and brown trout. If you want to see passion show clearly on a man’s face, just bring up the art of fly fishing, and Steve will deliver. During the twenty years Steve served our country in both the army and the air force, he could be found during his leave fishing in locations as distant as the Philippines and Japan. He still travels 20-30 times a year to satiate his love for fly fishing. When Steve’s not fishing, he’s also a white tail deer hunter, an accomplished sailor, and a professional wildlife photographer who donates all profits from his photography to St. Jude Hospital.
With another successful, season in the books, it's time to kick back and have fun.
Diane Fast will be performing on the piano with special guests. Come enjoy an evening of reflection and relaxation with your friends and coworkers at the Fish House.
The Fish House will be CLOSED THIS WINTER for remodeling
Dinner, drinks, and the dulcet sounds of Diane Fast, ukuleles, and blues. Swing by the Fish House for an evening of music; this week's schedule is up.
The Fish House is proud to feature Diane Fast one of the most entertaining piano players on the west coast. Thursdays and Fridays!
Diane Fast- A musician and entertainer who lives and works primarily in Ketchikan and Seattle, and has gigged in a variety of ensembles and events on land and at sea all over the world... cabaret shows, big bands, dueling pianos, musical theater, and every type of corporate and private event you can imagine in every style and genre, except, perhaps, German death metal...
The Fish House will now be open Friday and Saturday nights until 9 pm. Come join us this Friday for dinner. Or on Saturday for dinner and a beer while listening to LIVE music featuring Andy Koch and the Badd Dog Blues Society starting at 6 pm. We hope to see you all!!
Meet Teague Whalen. This man's passion is to put his boots where most haven't. In this section, you'll find a comprehensive look at Alaskan hiking in general, as well as insightful guides to his favorite trails and mountains. A day spent exploring our temperate rainforest is a rewarding experience than many locals take for granted, but should be given special consideration for anyone that wants to "lose themselves" in Alaska without actually getting lost. Mr. Whalen's love for the area comes through as he explains how best to make that happen.
Check back often as we are adding more hikes daily.
Take-a-look at the commercial fishing methods most commonly used in the Ketchikan area. Of particular interest are our video renderings of some local legends doing what they love. Climb aboard with Russell Cockrum while he and his crew purse seine for salmon. Gillnet with Ole and LaDonnaGundersen aboard their vessel the LaDonna Rose. See hand trolling as it was accomplished years ago with Sean Hovik, as well as the more modern method of power trolling with Rory and Marion Bifoss. You even get a taste of solo longlining with Mike Jewett as he tells of his lifelong obsession with halibut fishing in the Southeast. View More.
The Alaska Fish House offers Ketchikan's highest-quality seafood dining experience. Visit us for hours of operation, location and our menu offerings. You'll also find our featured recipes and cookbook, along with cookbooks created by local commercial fisherwomen LaDonna Gundersen, Kiyo Marsh, and Laura Cooper. Whether looking to expand your culinary library, seeking inspiration for tonight's dinner, or looking to get down to the Fish House for a meal, you'll find what you need here.
Most of us want to find something we love, then find a way to make a living doing it. Get to know the men and women that have found a way to do that before they take you fishing. Born-Alaskan or a guide fulfilling a dream, our professional anglers love to share their passion for Alaska with their clients. An intimate knowledge of your personal guide will make the telling of your Alaskan adventure tale that much more special.
Chartering your own boat is one of our most recommended fishing options. Chartering allows you and your family the most freedom in creating a memorable fishing experience as well as add on complementary features allowing Baranof to completely customize your experience. We can easily add on fishing experiences such as crabbing and shrimping. We depart the dock and head back to our marina completely on your schedule. We love to incorporate cooking your catch in a family meal which is included in the price of all charters. On groups of 5 and 6, you end up saving a bit of money.
Welcome To Southeast Alaska! Ask Any Newcomer To Ketchikan: One Of The Top Ways Locals Will Welcome You To Our Community Is In Inviting You To Their Home To Enjoy Lively Conversation, A Cold Brew, And A Home-Cooked Meal Featuring Their Latest Catch.
This excursion is a Salmon and/or Halibut fishing trip depending on current fishing conditions. This is the Alaska Fishing trip that we recommend to our clients that are primarily interested in Salmon Fishing. The important difference with this Salmon Fishing trip is that if the Salmon are not running we are going to run to a fishing location that allows us to target Halibut so that we catch fish. Your guide will discuss which species have been producing most in recent weeks before heading out. As a group, you will decide which species to fish for first and you may decide to spend more time fishing for one species over another. Our Alaska Fishing trips take place in our 24 ft. Cabin Cruiser vessels which can accommodate a maximum of 6 passengers and carry an average of four or five.
This is a bottom fishing excursion where you will be fishing at depths of 100 - 300 feet for rockfish, cod, and halibut. This trip is not just about fishing but experiencing Alaska in a very eclectic and personal way and is a wonderful way to introduce children to Alaska Sportfishing. The excursion is normally operated in our 20 ft. Open air skiffs that accommodate a maximum of five guests and fish with an average of four fishermen. After fishing for three to four hours, you will arrive at our remote campsite and dine on a delicious bouillabaisse paired with your catch of the day. Our campsite allows access to Ketchikan’s old growth forest and rocky beaches for exploration before and after your meal. Baranof Fishing is dedicated to helping our guests Cook their Catch and enjoy fresh Alaska Seafood. The wilderness setting of this tour is a wonderful way to enjoy your fresh Alaska catch.
Hunting for Halibut: This halibut fishing trip is geared towards the more focused fishermen who wish to spend their entire day hunting for halibut. Although our focus is to catch halibut, bottom fish such as rockfish, lingcod, and pacific cod are commonly caught where we fish for halibut. This six-hour fishing trip allows for 4 to 5 hours of fishing time pursuing Halibut. The amount of fishing time depends on how far we need to run to reach ideal halibut grounds. Our Hunting for Halibut trips take place in our 24 ft. Cabin Cruiser vessels which can accommodate a maximum of 6 passengers and fish with an average of four or five.
Check Back For These Great Upcoming Stories
- Overnight kayaking through the Mistys Fjords
Nothing breaks you into the beauties of the Misty's like a week paddling through her splendor.
- SE Alaska 2019 Fishing Regulations
Fishing limits and the Fish & Game’s reasoning, and what it means for Baranof’s guests.
- Adventure around Revillagigedo Island
Misty's, Hot Springs, Fishing, Crabbing, and wildlife; the experience of a lifetime.