Alaska Small Business Development Center

Surreel Saltwaters

Surreel Saltwaters: For All Your Halibut and Salmon Adventures

Hope and Charlie Upicksoun and their daughter Avilu (their 10-year-old exuberant little captain) are experienced Alaskan Native deep-sea fishing guides out of Valdez. Avilu is a seasoned 3rd-year deckhand and motor operator when needed. Together, they specialize in small-group fishing for halibut, most salmon, and rockfish. Offering fun and memorable sightseeing and fishing trips, you are invited to board Nikaitchuq with Captain Charles of Surreel Saltwaters to experience the brilliance and beauty of Prince William Sound first hand. Nikaitchuq is Inupiaq for “doesn’t give up” or perseverance. 

With breathtaking sights beginning in the narrows where the bay is tucked within the Chugach mountains, they share Alaskan Native Eyak and Alutiiq history in the local areas as they pass through, to reach their fishing destination in the gulf. With a max boat occupancy of 4 halibut anglers or 6 salmon anglers, they are able to provide one-on-one instruction and time with each guest, which they look forward to with the upcoming season. They also cater to groups of female anglers. Owner Hope says, “I try to make fishing charters women-friendly as it seems to be a man’s thing, but so many women want to go – they just don’t know how to ask or where to start!” 

Working with Jennifer Adams, Rural Program Director for the Alaska Small Business Development Center (Alaska SBDC), and taking no-cost entrepreneurial training workshops over 7 years has helped them sharpen their business practices in preparing for an exciting season. 

When asked what they consider their favorite part of running their small business The Upicksouns explained it is all about “the joy it brings to people checking off their bucket lists.” With 9/10 guests returning, they are proud of the experiences they share with their customers.

To learn more and book your 2021 deep-sea fishing adventure, connect with Surreel Saltwaters at 907-322-5439, or on and Facebook!