The village of Ninilchik, located 188 highway miles from Anchorage, is a popular staging area for the halibut fishery in Cook Inlet. Spectacular views of Mount Iliamna and Mount Redoubt, both active volcanoes, greet visitors to the area. During minus tides, razor clams are available from the beaches of Clam Gulch and Ninilchik.
Boaters access the waters of Cook Inlet from the beaches of Deep Creek State Recreation Area. Small boats and skiffs launch directly from the beach. Larger boats and guide vessels utilize one of the two vendors that provide launch and retrieval services with tractors. Weather is a major factor in the viability of this fishery.
Anglers troll along the beaches for salmon migrating up the inlet to their rivers of origin and/or bottom fish in deeper water for halibut. Numerous halibut weighing more than 250 pounds are harvested from the bountiful waters of Cook Inlet each year. Most sport caught halibut weigh in the 25# to 75# range though 100 pound halibut are rather common.
The communities of Seward, Anchor Point and Homer are also popular destinations for anglers of this deep water delicacy. Sport fishing derbies are promoted in several of the coastal communities during the course of the summer.