Transporting fish home from Alaska

Wild Bill

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Dec 9, 2015
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130
Location
Pierre, SD
Hey all,
My wife and I will be heading to Alaska this June and are all booked to do some charter fishing while up there. Just curious what kind of experiences everyone has had with getting fish back home?
We're doing our charter on our 2nd or 3rd day out of 7 and plan on doing some additional salmon fishing/snagging after that.
We will be staying in Air BnBs and have access to freezer space, albeit standard, above fridge freezer space.
I don't want to have to babysit the fish as we bounce around a few nights, but also am kind of skeptical about spending that much money shipping them home.
Any tips tricks or pointers are appreciated! Thanks
 

BuzzH

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Jan 9, 2001
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10,625
Location
Laramie, WY
Two options:

Fedex them home or checked bags.

I can bring home 150lbs in checked bags for $50 (Alaska Airlines).
 

SD_Prairie_Goat

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Mar 18, 2019
Messages
109
Best option that I always do is to freeze them well, then package them with dry ice, AK air usually allows 5lbs per person, then fly with them as luggage. To save on cooler cost you can go to walmart and get a fish box with the Styrofoam insulation. That method made it from Alaska to Omaha without melting anything. Also will be much cheaper than Fedex.

I get a lot of free bags, so I was able to load each one up with 50 lbs without having the pay the over weight fee.


Also when in June? If its mid to end better add red fishing on the docket!
 

SD_Prairie_Goat

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Mar 18, 2019
Messages
109
Two options:

Fedex them home or checked bags.

I can bring home 150lbs in checked bags for $50 (Alaska Airlines).
Also from AK Air website:

106026

Just an FYI looks like they don't allow anything over 100lbs. Maybe for military they do? That I'm not sure about.
 

glass eye

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Sep 3, 2012
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El Centro, CA
I brought home a black bear meat and hide, and two 60# halibut as checked baggage. I had them frozen and sealed. I had most of the meat in a large dry bag and inside of my sleeping bag for insulation. We also packed halibut inside of all our checked bags until all were maxed out to 50#. Brought the frozen bear hide on the plane as overhead carry-on.

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ashersdad

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Feb 8, 2007
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Portland, OR
I've brought fish, moose, deer, bear hides, mtn. goat cape, dall sheep cape & horns, etc all as checked baggage with Alaskan. Never had a problem. I usually just take a couple coolers as luggage and bring them back full. I have found that if you have their credit card, they are pretty accommodating. Only thing I've ever had to ship down was moose antlers and that got costly real fast.
 

BuzzH

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Jan 9, 2001
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Laramie, WY
Don't trust the guy that does this every year with fish.

Get the AK credit card. First bag is free (50lbs) next 2 are $25 each (also 50lbs each). So, 150lbs of fish for $50, cheapest way I know of. Have your fish vacuum sealed and frozen, packed in waxed fish boxes. The place we have them processed will add a couple small gel packs. Flying from Kodiak to Denver and driving home to Laramie, in August, my fish get here frozen.

But...to each their own.
 

wllm1313

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Location
Aurora, CO
Don't trust the guy that does this every year with fish.

Get the AK credit card. First bag is free (50lbs) next 2 are $25 each (also 50lbs each). So, 150lbs of fish for $50, cheapest way I know of. Have your fish vacuum sealed and frozen, packed in waxed fish boxes. The place we have them processed will add a couple small gel packs. Flying from Kodiak to Denver and driving home to Laramie, in August, my fish get here frozen.

But...to each their own.
They changed the baggage policy in Jan 2019, I have the card and am literally sitting at the gate typing this headed to AK. 1st bag free, second $40, third $100.
 

SD_Prairie_Goat

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They changed the baggage policy in Jan 2019, I have the card and am literally sitting at the gate typing this headed to AK. 1st bag free, second $40, third $100.
Also following this logic, you should add the cost of the credit card as well which is $75 for the mid tier card. That adds to the total cost if that is the sole reason for the card.
 

muskeg

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Jan 29, 2003
Messages
131
Location
Waldport, Or
Actually it depends on which town your staying in as far as cutting, vacuum sealing and boxing opportunities.

Other than excess Ak Air baggage the method is usually FedEx overnight. Which is very expensive. Like 35 to 45 lbs runs me about $250 to central Oregon coast. Ak Air baggage sitting on a hot tarmac (making connections) sometimes is not very good for frozen items.

I do suggest the styro-lined wax fish boxes.
 

Wild Bill

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Dec 9, 2015
Messages
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Location
Pierre, SD
Thanks for all the input guys. I appreciate it. I forgot to mention that we'll be flying Delta back, as it was far less expensive at the time of booking than AK Airlines was to Minneapolis. Sounds like our best bet is packing it all in as carry on luggage and possibly a checked bag or two, which we were planning on anyways.
Does any one have any personal experience on Delta flying with fish? I checked their baggage pages online and says its all fine, and I assume about every airline flying out of AK runs into this stuff very frequently. I just want to make sure I do everything in my power to minimize issues and surprises.

Also SD_Prairie_Goat, yes we will be going after red fish as well. It is our first trip to AK and we're super excited. We're actually fishing on a charter that a friend from college works on so it'll be nice to get to fish with a friend in a new place.
 

SD_Prairie_Goat

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Mar 18, 2019
Messages
109
Thanks for all the input guys. I appreciate it. I forgot to mention that we'll be flying Delta back, as it was far less expensive at the time of booking than AK Airlines was to Minneapolis. Sounds like our best bet is packing it all in as carry on luggage and possibly a checked bag or two, which we were planning on anyways.
Does any one have any personal experience on Delta flying with fish? I checked their baggage pages online and says its all fine, and I assume about every airline flying out of AK runs into this stuff very frequently. I just want to make sure I do everything in my power to minimize issues and surprises.

Also SD_Prairie_Goat, yes we will be going after red fish as well. It is our first trip to AK and we're super excited. We're actually fishing on a charter that a friend from college works on so it'll be nice to get to fish with a friend in a new place.
Shoot me a PM if you need some help with reds, they're my favorite fish to go after!

as for Delta, I have flown them before with meat in March before and they left my bags in Seattle so when I got the meat most of it had thawed. Spoke with them about a claim for the lost meat, they won't cover any losses like that so just be aware. If you read their baggage guide they say anything frozen being flown should be able to stay frozen for like 3 days....

As long as they don't leave a bag it shouldn't be an issue.
 
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