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7 Tips to Keep You Safe While Fishing In Alaska

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7 Tips to Keep You Safe While Aboard A Fishing Boat

One of our custom-built boats on a foggy morning.

Most guests that come to visit us at Pybus Point Lodge step onto our docks dreaming of gazing up at massive glaciers, watching humpback whales jump high above the ocean surface, and reeling in that 100 pound halibut that they’ve always wanted. If any of these activities sound exciting to you, then you’re going to find yourself aboard one of our luxury, custom built boats

In Alaska boats are a part of everyday life. The vast majority of the state is completely inaccessible by car, making seaplanes and boats the default method of transportation for anybody wanting to see the sights that make Alaska such a unique destination.

Because boats are such a crucial part of the Alaskan experience, Pybus Point Lodge has invested in a custom-built fleet of luxury adventure boats that were made specifically for Alaska’s Inside Passage, where Pybus Point Lodge is located. Each boat was designed with the goal of giving the guests who stay at Pybus the maximum amount of performance, comfort, and safety possible. Additionally, each boat is fully stocked with high quality safety equipment and is operated by one of our coast guard certified captains–all of whom were hand selected for their expertise in maritime safety and saltwater fishing.

That being said, no matter how much effort we put into keeping you and your party safe while on the boat, accidents can happen. That’s why it’s important that you have a good understanding of boating safety before heading out to sea.

In order to help keep you safe, we’ve put together a list of some of the most helpful tips to staying safe while enjoying the waters of Alaska. 


1- Alcohol - Know Your Limit.

A guest enjoying a beer on a beautiful sunny afternoon!

There are some things in life that just go together: peanut butter and jelly, campfires and ‘s’mores, and of course an ice-cold beer while fishing. At Pybus Point Lodge, we’re all about having a good time and we know that for many of our guests that means sipping a cold beer while jigging for halibut–and we don’t have a problem with that. In fact, we’ve got everything from Coors Lite to local Alaskan craft brews available for purchase in our gift shop. Our dock team will even stock your boat's beer cooler with fresh ice every morning.

That being said, it’s important to drink responsibly. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the number one factor contributing to fatal boating accidents in America is undoubtedly alcohol. Because of this we discourage the use of hard liquor on our boats at any time, and we ask that all of our guests only have a few beers while on the water. The vast majority of boating related deaths occur when someone falls overboard and the last thing we want is for you to lose your balance while heavily drinking and fall into the water. 

In the unlikely case of an emergency, each boat has a life ring on board that will be promptly thrown by a trained captain to whomever has fallen overboard. All we ask is that you keep your drinking to a responsible level so that you can do your part to stay safe in an emergency situation.

2- Life Jackets

A family safely enjoying their fishing vacation at Pybus Point Lodge!

We know, we know; wearing a life jacket is annoying. But the numbers don’t lie, 81% of all boating related deaths in 2021 occurred when somebody fell overboard and drowned, and 83% of those who died were not wearing a life jacket. Long story short, wearing a life jacket is one of the best things you can do to stay safe while on a boat. 

Keeping that in mind, unless you’re 12 years old or younger we’re not going to make you wear a life jacket. If you’re an adult, you get to make your own decision on this issue. We will however have a life jacket available for every person aboard. All we ask is that you know exactly where you can find a life jacket if you ever need one. 

3- Know Where to Find All Safety Equipment 

Pybus Point Lodge's fleet of luxury boats!

While it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever need to use the safety equipment on board any of our boats, you can never be too careful. Each boat has all the safety equipment you need and it’s important that you know where it all is. This includes things like fire extinguishers, flare guns, life rings, and of course life jackets. On the first day of your trip before you leave our docks your captain will let you know where you can find everything, so there’s no need to worry. 

4- Stay Safe While Underway

A group of guests enjoying the sites from the interior of a luxury catamaran boat!

Once you pull away from the dock your captain will bring the boat to cruising speed. While heading from destination to destination we generally ask everyone to have a seat inside the main cabin. There are blind spots on the boat that the captain can’t monitor, and it’s possible that the captain might not see somebody falling overboard. 

If for any reason you need to go out onto the main deck to grab a drink from the cooler or to use the restroom while the boat is at cruising speed, let your captain know; never leave the main cabin without notifying the captain while the boat is moving. If you do need to head outside, the captain will have no problem slowing the boat down or sending a buddy out with you to make sure you’re safe. 

5- Always Wear Deck Boots

One of our guests showing off her halibut!

No matter how hard we try to prevent it, boat decks get wet and slippery–especially when fishing. While fishing we regularly bring in dozens upon dozens of fish on board, and their slime gets everywhere. Plus each fish is bled to ensure that the meat you take home is of the highest quality possible. As you can imagine, all that slime, blood, seawater, and miscellaneous goo turns into a real slippery mess that gets everywhere on the boat’s deck, and it would be pretty easy for somebody lacking proper footwear to slip and fall. But don’t stress, upon your arrival at Pybus our dockhands will outfit you with all the proper gear you’ll need to stay safe and dry. 

All the gear that we lend to you is completely optional, but we do recommend at least wearing the deck boots to prevent any accidental slips while aboard. 

6- Prepare For Sunshine

A guest showing off her ling cod on a beautiful sunny day!

Even though you might think of Alaska as being a cold and stormy place, there’s actually quite a bit of sunshine during the summer months. And when you’re out on the boat, all that sunlight reflects right off the ocean surface back onto your skin. You’d be surprised at how common sunburns are in Alaska. If it’s looking like the sun is going to be shining you’ll definitely want to make sure you’ve got your sunscreen. If you didn’t bring any with you, don’t worry, we’ve got plenty! Just ask one of our staff members to bring you a bottle. 

It’s also crucial to stay hydrated while out on the water. As the old saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun, and it can be easy to get so caught up in enjoying Alaska that you can easily forget to drink water. To help you out, we’ll give you a free insulated water bottle when you arrive at the lodge that you can take with you on the boat. We have a water bottle filling station down on our dock, and we even have powdered electrolyte mix that’s guaranteed to keep you hydrated!

7- Be Careful With Ropes, Knives, And Other Sharp Objects

Two of our guests after pulling up a crab pot in Pybus Bay!

While onboard you’ll notice that there are a number of ropes tied to the side of the boat for docking and a long line attached to the crab pots. We simply ask that you don’t touch any of these ropes without permission from your captain. Accidents occur when somebody drops a crab pot without realizing that the rope is wrapped around somebody’s leg. While this is a freak accident, it can happen. All we ask of you to prevent this is to refrain from touching any ropes on board unless instructed to by your captain.

On the boat you’ll also find various sharp objects that we use for fishing. Knives, hooks, and gaffs (large hooks attached to long sticks that we use to bring fish on board) are all potentially dangerous yet essential tools on any fishing boat. At Pybus we provide safety glasses to all of our guests, and some guests even like to bring gloves for those cold weather days.  

Two jigs used for halibut fishing.

Your guide will always do their best to keep everything neat and tidy, but things can happen fast while fishing. In fact, it’s pretty common for multiple fishermen onboard to reel in fish at the same time. When this happens, our guides have to hurry to help each guest get their fish on board so when this happens please help by following the instructions of your guide. This might mean helping with the fish and/or the tools, and sometimes it might mean staying out of the way.

Though it’s extremely rare for somebody to get injured while fishing, accidents can happen. To ensure your safety, we ask that you do your best to be mindful of your safety and the safety of others while on the boat.

And remember, halibut can get pretty big. It’s not unusual to have a 100lb fish on board with a sharp hook in its mouth–and these animals usually don’t go down without a fight! Halibut are surprisingly strong and will flop around all across the deck of a boat and create a hazardous environment. When this happens, we ask that you step back and let your professional guide handle the situation.

Skiffs and Self Guided Boats

There you have it! These 7 tips are all you need to know to stay safe on a boat while you’re exploring Alaska. Just remember that these tips aren’t just for our guided adventures. All guests at Pybus Point Lodge have the option to enjoy a self-guided boating experience, and we ask that you keep all of this advice in mind when you pilot your own jet skiff.

Each skiff is outfitted with all of the same safety equipment as our guided boats: life jackets, VHF radios, fire extinguishers, etc. The only thing you won’t have on board with you is your professional guide (who’s actually a pretty key tool in our arsenal of safety equipment!) Because your guide won’t be there to help you, it’s extra important that you stay safe while out on the water.

That being said, as long as you follow these 7 rules there’s no need to worry. Piloting your own skiff is perfectly safe, and you can always reach our staff at any point via radio. We have multiple radio stations placed throughout our property and someone will always be available to provide you with all the assistance you need.

Now That You’re Prepared, Come Fish With Us!

Boating is one of the best ways to experience the magic that Alaska has to offer. Everything from whale watching to getting to some of our favorite hiking spots requires a ride on one of our luxury fishing boats. Though boats are almost always a perfectly safe way to get around, accidents can happen so it’s important that you’re prepared. 

In order to keep you as safe as possible, we have a fleet of state-of-the-art fishing boats that have been specially designed to keep you safe on the Alaskan waters. Plus, you’ll always be with one of our highly trained, coast guard certified guides.

If you want to book your own vacation at our all-inclusive resort click here! If you have any questions, or if you’d like to talk to one of our team members over the phone, give us a call at 435-412-4286!

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Download, share, or print out our PDF Packaging list to make sure you bring all the gear you need for your Alaska vacation!


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Discover why people like you can’t stop talking about Pybus Point Lodge. More than 30 years ago, the lodge opened as a simple fishing camp, drawing a devoted following in spite of basic accommodations. With new owners and experienced captains and crew, our corner of Alaska has become an unbeatable fishing and eco-tourism resort.

Andrea Tate

Incredible Experience!

Pybus Point Lodge has some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen. I mean absolutely breathtaking! In addition to the amazing fishing, I hiked to a beautiful secluded lake, soaked in some hot pots, saw several waterfalls, went whale watching, saw bears and all kinds of wildlife and marine life. As a photographer, photographing a wedding under a waterfall will remain a highlight of my life.

Shirley Johnson

Pybus Point Lodge - WOW!

We had the best time! This was our first visit to Pybus, but it definitely will not be our last. The stunning scenery, amazing fishing experience, and the joy of meeting new friends – all outstanding! We did not want to leave!!! If you are thinking about this trip – don’t think any more, just book it. You will not regret it!!!

Sharon Hedding

Trip of a Lifetime!

We had such an amazing time the staff was so wonderful and the lodge was fantastic! capt Joe was so helpful and always doing what ever he could do to make each day special. a special thank you to both Scott and Jody for taking the time to make us feel like family. can't wait to go back next year

Jason Nielsen

Wonderful and Magical Place

We had an amazing business retreat to Pybus Point Lodge.  Everything was top notch... the fishing, the staff, the boat captains, the food, the accommodations, and especially the scenery. I really liked that Pybus took care of everything from start to finish. Chef John is an amazing cook. We had delicious hot meals the entire trip.  The cabins were amazing and very comfortable.  The fishing was awesome and that’s coming from a guy that doesn’t fish that much.

Brandon Foote

We brought home 100lbs of fish!

My wife and I spent a week at Pybus Point this Summer. We had a beautiful, private room overlooking the bay and our own new, ensuite, private bathroom. What an amazing place for couples to get away together. We set our own breakfast time, met our boat captain after, fished the day along, and returned to clean up and enjoy a nice dinner at the restaurant. Next time Alaska is on the trip list, Sherrie and I will go together, and it will be to Pybus Point!

Kent Danjanovich

Fun in Alaska

This was my first trip to Pybus Point. I stayed in one of their new cabins. The accommodations were incredible, the view onto the bay in the mornings was stunning. I loved the staff and the food was really very good. All of this and they have new boats to take you out onto fairly calm waters to fish. The fishing guides were great. Overall a great experience. Definitely going back.


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