Guided Angler Fish (GAF) Permits
GAF or GUIDED ANGLER FISH
Firstly, Guided Angler Fish (GAF) have nothing to do with being guided, or unguided, on your halibut fishing charters. GAF applies only to guided halibut charter fishing. Guided Angler Fish (GAF) allows a guided charter fisherman to retain up to 2 halibut per day of any size, in either area 3A or 2C (all of Alaska). Most lodges don’t offer this option. There is no charge to have this option. There is only an additional charge IF you choose to keep a halibut that regulations otherwise would require you to release.
Think of the GAF program as an insurance policy in which the Highliner Lodge has already paid the premium. If a guest finds themselves in a situation where they have a halibut pulling on the end of their fishing rod that regulations require them to release:
EXAMPLE 1: In the 2C area, the halibut in question is not within the reverse slot limit, or because they have already kept the one halibut allowed in that area for that day…
EXAMPLE 2: In area 3A, the guest has already kept their one halibut of any size and now can only keep a second halibut that is
under 28 inches.
They (you) now have a choice… to either let that fish go, or keep that fish as a GAF. You must decide if it is worth paying the fee that we charge to recoup our investment in the GAF. Keeping with the insurance policy analogy, you might consider this fee the “deductible”. Whether, or not, you choose to keep the fish will depend on many factors: the cost, the size of the fish, what you have already caught, how many pounds of fish you want to bring home and perhaps… whether this fish is the biggest halibut you have ever caught, or likely to catch in your entire life!
The choice is yours to make at the Highliner Lodge. At 99% of the other Alaskan lodges you will not have that choice, because the lodge owner did not choose to make an investment in GAF. We spent over $300,000 on that investment.
The cost to buy a GAF will be about $600 in Area 2C and $200 in Area 3A. This may sound like a lot to spend… and we will not pressure you into purchasing a GAF. However, in many cases the halibut fillets at retail price are worth 2 to 10 times the cost of the GAF!
I know, It’s complicated.
You know that the Highliner Lodge has the biggest halibut and the best catch rate in all of Alaska. You know that we can fish in either area 2C (like Sitka) or 3A (like Homer). Please remember, the GAF is an insurance policy that we have already paid for and you do not have to decide whether, or not, you want to keep a GAF until the halibut is at the surface of the water and you see how big it is… most lodges don’t offer a GAF option… you will have no choice at other lodges… you must let the fish go!