The evidence points to Alaska

A guided trip for halibut in Alaska is only as fun as the crew can make it. Jason and Tim Lesmeister had a phenomenal crew on a recent trip with Puffin Fishing Charters. On the left is Megan Schrantz and on the right is Maria Yungbauer, and both Tim and Jason will admit the fish they caught were directly related to the wonderful effort these two put into the logistics that result in a successful outing.

I was standing up to my ankles in water so clear it looked like a window into the bottom of the lake. Tiny trout fry were schooled up and swimming past the toe of my wading boot and a bug crawled out from beneath a rock to skitter off. Mosquitoes that were incredibly large were out in the mid-day sun, bucking the wind and locating what little exposed flesh I had available or just busting their proboscis like a razor sharp spear through two layers of clothing to find some of my warm blood to feast on. Two eagles were circling the perimeter of the lake scavenging forage which spooked  a couple of Harlequin ducks that flew by. All of this is evidence that points to me being in Alaska.

My son has been guide in the Last Frontier for 28 years so I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the resources in this great state and I truly believe that anyone who fails to plan an adventure to Alaska is missing out. I often talk to people that inform me that a vacation to Alaska is on their bucket list. The problem with a bucket list is the bucket often keeps getting filled and never emptied. One should fish out the top three things on their list and toss out the bucket. One of those top three priorities should be a trip to Alaska and that should be the one that is on the top of that list.

There is no limit to the amount of exploration one can experience but my recommendation is to never fill the plate so full you cannot eat it all and feel satisfied. This may cause someone to turn that once-in-a-lifetime trip into an annual event, but that is not an uncommon occurrence after a trip to Alaska.


Captain Leslie Pemberton is founder of Puffin Fishing Charters and has operated guided sport charter fishing boats out of Seward, Alaska since 1982. She recently took Tim Lesmeister and his son, Jason, out to Montague Island in the 50-foot Tenacious for some halibut and rockfish fishing.

On my latest foray I decided to check out a couple more lakes I haven’t been to yet. About seven years ago I shipped a couple of Hobie kayaks to Cooper Landing on the Kenai Peninsula where my son lives and I use them to explore the smaller lakes in that region. There are many and most have substantial populations of rainbow trout and lake trout and none of these lake get any serious fishing pressure. Most people coming to Alaska as well as the residents of the state prefer the rivers and that leaves those lakes to anglers like me that are just looking for the tug on the end of the line.

I also had a chance to take a charter out of Seward for some halibut fishing. I generally halibut fish out of Homer, but Captain Leslie, from Puffin Fishing Charters offered to take Jason and I out on the 50-foot Tenacious to Motague Island and we couldn’t resist. The other anglers that were on board were a great group and the deck hands were phenomenal. It’s a nice long boat ride and the fishing was excellent.

I’ll be back next year, of course, and there will be more kayak adventures and another trip onto the big water. I’ll see bears and moose and lots of mountain peaks, and seals and otters and many other species of wildlife that only Alaska can provide. And if my bucket leaks where I’ve been collecting that never-ending list; so what. I’ve already made sure the best adventures have already begun.

Categories: Blog Content, Tim Lesmeister

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