Alaska fishing question

Trophyhunter01

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Going to Alaska this summer for some fishing. What is the best method for getting fish back to the lower 48? I know the packing houses can freeze and have some foam coolers they can provide? It appears cheaper to bring back on Alaska Airlines home. Should I buy an Igloo type cooler for transport on the airlines?
Booking and going is the easy part but these small logistical questions I need help with.
Thanks for the guidance.
 
Where you heading to?

Checked luggage is easiest. Fish boxes are available at most stores. Coolers are of course a good way to get fish back. Most places should have a freezer not all will have vacuum sealer. If you’re in a main fishing town there will be processors available.
 
Can't help much but a friend had the processor vacuum pack, freeze, and package 50 lbs of halibut and 50 lbs of salmon and then they shipped it next day air to his home. He didn't want to bother with dealing with the airlines.

By the time that he was done he could of went to Costco and bought it.
 
Staying in Kenai, have a 24 hour offshore trip out of Homer, back to Kenai then fly out river trip.
 
If you are going to be remote or not using a processing business, take a cooler with you or buy one or a freezer box, fill it up (50lbs total) and bring it back as luggage which is the least expensive option.

If you are going to be utilizing one of the processors, they will sell you a freeze box that you can put on the airplane.

You can usually purchase a freezer box or cooler at most of the stores, ( Fred Meyer, Walmart, Safeway, ect) assuming they are not sold out….

The processors will package and ship it for you, (via Fed ex or UPS) which is the most convenient and the most expensive option….
 
Staying in Kenai, have a 24 hour offshore trip out of Homer, back to Kenai then fly out river trip.

Options will there.

I know there is Fish Factory on the spit and Homer Fish Processing in town if you’ve got the down time.

You have Ed’s Kasilof seafood just outside Soldotna. I’m sure there are more, but can’t recall at the moment.
 
Pack an ice chest as full of frozen fish as possible. Fill up any spare space in the cooler with your dirty clothes for the trip home. Bring a roll of duct tape to the airport with you. Sometimes they want to see in the cooler. Once it’s approved, tape the lid shut tight. Go all the way around several times. I’ve seen fish scattered all over the baggage claim carousel. I brought home 60 pounds of mahi and tuna from Mexico last year. Next weekend brought home 100 plus pounds of wahoo from the Outer Banks. Still frozen solid when we arrived. Alaska is a longer flight, but will be fine if a tight pack.
 
I’m going fishing in Juneau, AK this summer. It will be my first trip of this type.

My friend has done this same trip several times and our situation is as follows.

The fishing outfitters will pack and blast freeze the catch into 50 pound fish boxes that we will bring back as our two checked bags.

That maybe doesn’t help if you have a more remote river trip planned. I would think the local blast freeze fish processing shop can answer all your questions. They are pretty common on AK.

Good luck fishing!

John
 
This is the "fish box" that is stocked by the thousands across Alaska every summer. It's a waxed, heavy duty, corrugated cardboard design carried by every big box store and supermarket in the State. Line it with plastic, pack it with frozen fish, duct tape the cover on, and check it as luggage for the trip home. Or drop it off at a shipper to go as a fast freight. Tried and true; thousands of satisfied customers.
(Cats for scale. I think lion hunters should consider setting up in a blind behind a great big cardboard box... it has a supernatural power to attract cats.)
20240420_185654.jpg
 
This is the "fish box" that is stocked by the thousands across Alaska every summer. It's a waxed, heavy duty, corrugated cardboard design carried by every big box store and supermarket in the State. Line it with plastic, pack it with frozen fish, duct tape the cover on, and check it as luggage for the trip home. Or drop it off at a shipper to go as a fast freight. Tried and true; thousands of satisfied customers.
(Cats for scale. I think lion hunters should consider setting up in a blind behind a great big cardboard box... it has a supernatural power to attract cats.)View attachment 600529

You mean something like this?

44982028_1719244918185976_1616956200832729088_n.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:
This is the "fish box" that is stocked by the thousands across Alaska every summer. It's a waxed, heavy duty, corrugated cardboard design carried by every big box store and supermarket in the State. Line it with plastic, pack it with frozen fish, duct tape the cover on, and check it as luggage for the trip home. Or drop it off at a shipper to go as a fast freight. Tried and true; thousands of satisfied customers.
(Cats for scale. I think lion hunters should consider setting up in a blind behind a great big cardboard box... it has a supernatural power to attract cats.)View attachment 600529

It’s not an issue in Juneau, but if you want to piss the locals off, bring fish back as checked baggage from communities served by smaller planes like grand caravans. They will put the plane overweight which means standard luggage gets left behind as they’re sure not leaving a box of frozen fish! Those same flash freezing joints will ship right to your door via cargo flights, making your life simpler and the locals happier.
 
It’s not an issue in Juneau, but if you want to piss the locals off, bring fish back as checked baggage from communities served by smaller planes like grand caravans. They will put the plane overweight which means standard luggage gets left behind as they’re sure not leaving a box of frozen fish! Those same flash freezing joints will ship right to your door via cargo flights, making your life simpler and the locals happier.
Easy there,
He's talking on the road system.
Breath. Breath.
 
Easy there,
He's talking on the road system.
Breath. Breath.

Kenai is on the road system and it happens all the time there. Pissed us off to no end.
 
Sorry, not trying to be an ass, just providing advice on how to make your life easier and be a good guest.
 
The question was about shipping to the Lower 48. So my answer was about shipping to the Lower 48.
 
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Going to Alaska this summer for some fishing. What is the best method for getting fish back to the lower 48? I know the packing houses can freeze and have some foam coolers they can provide? It appears cheaper to bring back on Alaska Airlines home. Should I buy an Igloo type cooler for transport on the airlines?
Booking and going is the easy part but these small logistical questions I need help with.
Thanks for the guidance.
Check with those you are going and plan to make sure enough time to vacuum pack and freeze solid and keep frozen the filets before heading home. Many hotels in AK have some freezer space available for that purpose but check on availiblty before return leg of trip if overnighting. Pack the fish in one of the styrofoam lined, heavy duty cardboard boxes designed for frozen fish and meat- widely available there. Tape the heck out of it and label exact contents with your name and address- write directly on box with felt tip. Weigh to make sure not over 50 lbs.... plus it's easier to handle 50 lb or less anyway. Pack any extra interior space with foam or cardboard pieces. You want a solid, non-collapsing, rectangular box. Check as regular baggage. Fly home
 
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