It isn’t even 6am but the morning light is welcoming and warm on my face. We grabbed a few coffees and the world’s best chocolate chip cookie from Coal Town Coffee on the spit and headed down to meet our friends.
We’re greeted by Dante, the happy black lab, and start piling our gear into the boat: Halibut rods, salmon rods, a dip net, bags full of rain gear and snacks and filet knives. All the necessary adventure essentials.
We’re part of the early morning mass exodus of fishing boats leaving the harbor. The summer air is crisp and the snow-capped mountains are a stark contrast against the bright blue sky. It’s flat calm as we start racing across the bay to catch the high tide in China Poot Bay.
After we beach the boat, we put on our waders and start hiking up China Poot Creek. No signs of fish yet, but our friend’s dad said it was thick with reds earlier in the week so we all get our nets in the water, hopeful for a hit. The sunlight is piercing through the clear water and we can all plainly see: there are no fish here today. That seems to be the case with China Poot—it’s hit or miss. We enjoy the quiet and after an hour or so, decide to head to Tutka Bay Lagoon. We’re all eager to catch fish and stock our freezers, so don’t want to waste anymore time.
The boat ride is smooth—there still isn’t any swell in the bay. We’re about halfway there when our captain kills the engine. “Look,” he points. “Whales!”
We see a fluke, and then another. And suddenly, with such magnificent grace, a humpback throws itself out of the water. It is such an incredible sight to witness and the entire boat is just silent. Nobody reaches for their phones or cameras. We all just soak in the moment, and wait for another sign of the whale. Again, he breaches, closer to us. We floated in the middle of the bay, for the next 30 minutes or so, and he jumped another 10 times. It was one of those moments that seems so rare and special, but in Kachemak Bay, we’re so spoiled. This is everyday here, in this magical place.
I’ve never been to Tutka Bay Lagoon and will never forget that day. We slowly motored through the narrow entrance of the lagoon, and it opens up into a lagoon with a hatchery. There were thousands of red salmon. I think I could have walked across the water, it was so thick with fish. We were like kids in a candy shop, and instantly grabbed our poles and started snagging. If you really want to boost your confidence as a fisherman, this is where you go.
We limited out quickly and left the lagoon before the tide changed. Otters were dancing and feasting at the entrance to the lagoon—it was like a feast for us all and we were ready relax and enjoy the late afternoon sun.
Before ending the day, we had to drop our halibut hooks. Our captain friend is one of those lucky kids who grew up in Homer and knows all the best spots. And true to his form, we dropped our lines and limited out within an hour. Halibut fishing is my personal favorite, since you can drop your line, open a beer, and enjoy the slow roll of the waves. Even a complete novice can catch a halibut in Kachemak Bay.
There’s a black sand beach that we love to relax on. The kids gathered beach wood and we started a fire to grill a fresh red filet. We unloaded the paddleboards and kayak and explored the coastline: jellyfish, starfish of every color, and urchins were revealing themselves as the tide crept out.
We feasted on our salmon and drank cold Alaskan Ambers and watched the eagles soar above us. The kids played in the waves and collected shells and rocks. This day, this place—it just fills you up.
A rare opportunity to own a piece of this magical bay is available: a private island in Little Tutka Bay, 10 miles south of Homer.
Pristine, undeveloped 1.8 acres in this quiet bay, which is accessed from the larger Tutka Bay. The area offers rocky coastlines, mountains, deep fjords, and endless recreational opportunities. This property gives you a private getaway for kayaking, fishing, hunting, and relaxing on your own island where you can build your remote-access haven in the protected cove.
Nearby is Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park, with nearly 400,000 acres of forests, mountains, glaciers and coast. Your own personal retreat, and yet still just a quick skiff ride away from Halibut Cove and Homer, which offer world-class eateries, art galleries, and night life.
This island is FSBO for only $360,000.
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