William Hanneman

Our family of four (including two teenage girls) spent a week at Chignik Bay Lodge last August. Since my wife and daughters are not particularly avid fisherwomen, there was some trepidation about spending seven whole days in a remote fishing town. To all of our surprise, the time flew by! Upon arrival, John and Mary Rantz, served hot hors d’oeuvres and wine, and settled into comfortable accommodations, warmly welcomed us.

The first day it rained buckets as it can only do in Alaska. No problem. We enjoyed playing games in the living room, meeting the other guests, and eating a huge lunch. When the rain slowed, John took us to an amazing round rock beach. Such a wonder, it is not to be missed!

Knowing that my wife and kids were probably not interested in fishing every day, John promised wild life adventures and we were not disappointed! One exciting excursion took us to the mouth of a stream in a remote bay near spectacular Castle Cape where huge bears were gorging on salmon headed up to spawn. Another day we explored one of the Deadliest Catch crab vessels that was tied up in port, leaving with armloads of king crab that we feasted on that evening.

Each day started out with a wonderful hot breakfast. Mary sent along a huge cooler of fresh halibut sandwiches, homemade cookies, snacks and beverages. Our guides did all the work setting up our rods and reels, given us good direction and then assisting as we caught one fish after another from feisty King Salmon to huge halibut.

Each night, Mary and her staff served up huge quantities of the most fabulous food, smoked ribs, baked halibut and salmon, or mounds of king and snow crab followed by desserts that couldn’t be resisted. We enjoyed the company of the Rantz family and the wonderful staff as well as meeting the locals and exploring the town, kayaking on the lake and just marveling at the majestic views in and around Chignik Bay.

William HannemanSeattle, WA