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“Great Fishing Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Jimmie Jack's Alaska Lodge

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Jimmie Jack's Alaska Lodge
36065 Reef Drive, Kenai, AK 99611   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 15 Specialty lodging in Kenai
Millbrook, Alabama
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Fishing Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

Our first trip to Alaska must include a halibut fishing trip. I was not thrilled but my husband wanted to, so why not. We researched several places and chose Jimmie Jacks. We did not stay at the lodge, we only fished out of Ninilchik. Prior to our trip we fished for salmon in the Kenai with friends, which was great too. However they were not very encouraging when we told them we were going halibut fishing. it was hard, boring, the boats were dirty, water was rough... I was getting concerned. We met our fishing boat captain Frank and deck hand Rain Man, and things got much better. We were on a trip with 4 other gentleman who were halibut fishing for the first time as well. The boat was named the Unforgiven. I mention that only so you can request Frank and Rain Man for your trip. These 2 men are EXCELLENT at what they do. The boat was clean, well cared for, equipment well maintained. As the only women I was made to feel comfortable right away. Their goal was for us to catch fish and have a good time. We were catching fish by 9am and heading to shore with our limit by 1030am. Not a bad couple of hours. These guys a skilled at what they do, love their job, have a great sense of humor and really make sure you get not only your limit of fish but the best fish you want to catch. I cant say enough good things about Jimmie Jacks and most importantly Frank and Rain Man. We had a great experience and would do it again!!! .

Room Tip: Request Frank the captain of The Unforgiven and Rain Man when booking your halbut fishing trip.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
KNOXVILLE, TN
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

During the week of 7/28-8/3/2013 four members of my family were guest at Jimmie Jack’s Alaska Lodge at Soldotna, Alaska. The weather was great and we caught fish but it’s worth noting the King Salmon were very light again this year and the Kenai River was actually closed for King Salmon fishing prior to our arrival and modifications were made to our schedule. There were several issues that we were not pleased with.

There were no management personnel at the lodge during our visit. When problems arose, and there were some, there was no one there to discuss them with. It’s my understanding that “Jimmie Jack” was working full time at another location.

There is no actual fishing or boats at the lodge which is actually located above the Bay.
On each fishing day, a breakfast schedule was posted in the breakfast area for the next day and sometimes it was as early as 5:00. Also included was departure time and arrival time at the fishing location. On occasion, the drive was 2 hours if fishing for Halibut in Homer but never less than 30 minutes. Had Jimmy Jack made that information available prior to arriving, fishing choices might have been different.

It was my understanding that several new guides had been hired for this year’s fishing and they were good to work with but had limited knowledge as to certain areas we were fishing. One guide admitted he had never fished in a particular area but some fish were caught anyway.

Our accommodation was “ Jacks Cabin” which sleeps 4 and is separate from the main Lodge which accommodates most of the other guest. Our cabin was adequate but very sparsely furnished with broken and lacking furniture. The windows from the bedroom faced west and with sunset after 11 PM, it was difficult to sleep in the brightly lit room. Good curtains or blinds would have helped.

The only really bright spots were “house keeping “ and breakfast which was prepared by Colleen. On all days, she kept the breakfast schedule and prepared meals for those scheduled at different times, starting daily at 5:00. Additionally, she prepared sack lunches for all guest which were also good. She was the one person who seemed to actually care about how your day went and her personality brought a warmth to the kitchen which made meals seem like home. Unfortunately, this was
her first year and she will not be returning next year.

Overall, it was not a bad experience but average, certainly not up to the standards
expected from an organization that advertises it’s self as # 1 on Trip Advisor.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JimmiJack, Owner at Jimmie Jack's Alaska Lodge, responded to this review, August 12, 2013
I thank this guest for the honest review. I apologize that this guest’s experience was not up to our Jimmie Jack Fishing standards. We will be making changes that gives us more control over the quality that has made us a top-rated Alaska lodge.

The Kenai River king salmon season was closed during the last two days of the season in July this year. These last two days were the first two days of the week when these and other guests were to fish the Kenai River. This caused an immediate impacting of the entire halibut fleet in Ninilchik, and our boat as well. This immediate overcrowding left us with only boats in Homer (1.5 hours) for those that wished to schedule halibut. Normally, our halibut trips launch from Ninilchik (45 minutes).

We were deeply involved in the office trying to keep our guests happy, and rescheduling fishing. This was very challenging with all of the rescheduling, and difficulty finding subcontractors for halibut. I, myself, was in the office the entire time helping with the scheduling, and troubleshooting. I was not working full time at another location. This is all I do, full time, to support my family.
Our guides are personally trained by me, and all of them know how to fish and have been fishing the rivers we fish regularly. The guide in this case may have simply been trying a different section of river to find more fish.
We will be putting a full time office on site at the lodge next season, and this will help with our guest communication. Guests will then be able to walk in and talk more face to face with office personnel. Our office is always available by phone from 6:00am-8:00pm during this high season.

I agree that Colleen does an awesome job of keeping the lodge super clean, and getting the meals out on time, and with a big smile. We do have an awesome crew, and I applaud the lodge crew for their stellar help.

I would like to assure this guest that we will be controlling the quality of the experience in order to maintain our commitment to excellence here at Jimmie Jack’s Lodge.
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willsboro new york
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

I have always wanted to fish Alaska. My 35 yr old son and I fish Salmon every year in the lake onterio area of New York State, Jimmy Jacks Lodge was perfect for the two of us. A small rustic cabin about 1/2 mile from main lodge. We did have to drive to the main lodge every day to have breakfast and Colleen was a perfect hostess .The most experienced guide was Art Miller , who in my opinion did everything possible to put us on fish. the tidal swings being the 2nd largest in the world does make it difficult but his experience helps. He is a true gentleman. I would go back just to fish with him. As for the other guides. I have fished salmon for 40 yrs, I know how to fish lol, the guides are very young and I am sure with time will acquaint themselves with drift boat fishing. The Russian river was the most fun of any of the rivers we fished. I am buying land in the area and would book next yr only if Art Miller is still with Jimmy. I will fish the other rivers on my own., I think JJL and his staff do their best and for the money it is a good deal, fishing is not always catching. People like Art Miller and Colleen makes this a great experience .

Room Tip: if you like rustic and clean rooms this is the place
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JimmiJack, Owner at Jimmie Jack's Alaska Lodge, responded to this review, August 10, 2013
I thank this guest for the solid review.

Yes, Captain Art Miller is a top notch captain. He is in Seward on the “Big Iron” as I write, and he is doing a great job putting our guests on the silvers, rockfish, and lingcod.

All of our rooms and cabins are very different. The cabins provide for more group privacy, with private campfire areas, and are a little more rustic Alaskan by design. The lodge rooms are more contemporary for the guest that wants more modern comforts.

A big thank you to this guest for noticing that we do our best here at JJF. The fishing was a tough that week for king salmon, and the guides had their work cut out for them. We will continue to do our best to put our guests on fish, provide a clean place to stay, and serve with 100% at the lodge. Hats off to Colleen and Art, two class acts!
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Pflugerville, Texas
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

I came to Jimmie Jack's with my father and brother this past July for a week long "Signature Seven" stay. Overall we had a great time, but there were few things we felt were not properly represented or that could be easily addressed for future Jimmie Jack clientele.

The Lodge and Accommodations: They are not on the Kenai River. The boats are launched at another resort directly on the Kenai, but you have to take a drive from Jimmie Jack's lodge to get there. Also, the lodge may not be where you actually stay. We stayed in the "Miner's Cabin" which was across the street from the main lodge. The cabin lacked some furnishings, like a couple of chairs or a couch which would have made it a lot more comfortable during the evenings...especially to watch the tv in the room. The beds also weren't level and pillows were deflated. All small things, but they certainly add up when you have day after day out fishing and want to rest and relax. The cabin didn't have anything in the way of spectacular views as it was across the street. At the lodge, the beachfront really isn't all that exciting, though the views of the mountains across the inlet are pretty impressive. All in all we just had higher expectations of the scenery from the lodge, it's location, and the furnishings...

The Fishing: Having not known much beforehand about the Kenai River, it was really shocking to see how much pressure the river experiences from all the local fishermen and guides running boats up and down it every day. There were literally boats everywhere... We were surprised to find out how infrequent kings were caught on the river and after spending three full days out on the Kenai we landed 3, 2 of which came when the regulations on the river changed to "catch and release". Our takeaway was that 1 day on the Kenai was the most we'd want to experience for any week long trip. It was just entirely too slow and the boat really does all the fishing anyways. Our other trips that week were much more successful and much more of what we had expected in terms of scenery and amount of people fishing around us. The flyout trips were incredible though the Kusketan River was not a very picturesque place to be as compared to Wolverine Creek...which was INCREDIBLE. We also did a halibut trip which was also awesome. All in all, had we had some more education about the Kenai river, I think we would have chosen to do less fishing on the Kenai and more in other locations.

The Staff: The Jimmie Jack crew are really courteous and professional. Colleen was super sweet and took care of providing us a warm breakfast and lunches packed for our daily adventures. The guides were knowledgeable, well equipped, and did the best they could to put us on the fish. Jimmie and his dad, who guided us on one of our Kenai trips, were really great as well.

Value: For the money, it's really hard to beat a Jimmie Jack fishing experience. We got a sampling of a lot of different locations and fished a lot of different types of fish. After coming home and looking at other lodges that we came across in that area, prices are up to 4 times more expensive.

If Jimmie addressed some of the minor issues with the accommodations and provided better insight into some of the fishing experiences, especially on the Kenai River, I think the walkaway would have been better for the group I was with.

Since we left, Jimmie has already personally called me to get feedback about our trip and I believe is committed towards making the Jimmie Jack fishing experience the best it can be for future adventurers.

All in all, I'd recommend Jimmie Jack's lodge as a great value for the money and with some small issues addressed, I think it would be even better.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JimmiJack, Owner at Jimmie Jack's Alaska Lodge, responded to this review, August 4, 2013
Ken,
Thank you so much for the great review, and your input that you shared with me on the phone the other day. We have definitely had some recent growing pains with our success, and I appreciate you working with me on improving future experiences for all of our guests.

Yes, I agree the Kenai River can be challenging, and was on your trip. We have had 2 tough years for king salmon, and I hope we see more kings coming in the near future. The Kenai River is trophy fishing on any season, and tends to require that guests put in their time. It is not for everyone, but as you guys saw, it can provide the rush of a World Class king on the line! We will also be educating more guests on the benefits of catch and release like you and I talked about.

We made the Miner’s cabin to be the rustic Alaskan cabin experience since it is an original Kalifornsky Beach Cabin. We added the Satellite TV this year, and so that calls for a new couch too. We have also made scheduling for new pillows to be replaced on a monthly basis.

I am glad that you and your father, and brother enjoyed our staff. I am always trying my best to hire and train them to serve guests with excellence. I know my staff and guides puts their hearts into what they do, and appreciate comments like that. I will pass it on to them.

Again, I appreciate your educational review for future guests. We are an affordable Alaska Fishing Lodge experience committed to excellence. Being on the road system, with guests arriving to the lodge, and driving to the boat launches keeps the price point down. Most lodges in the area work this way, and it works well for the guests that are educated on what we do.
We will make the improvements that you mentioned, and we will always make steps to improve the experience for yourself, and our future JJF guests.

Thanks again, Ken!
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san francisco
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

Went on a halibut and kasilof river fishing trip w/ Jimmie Jack this past week and was extremely disappointed. They use guides who are rookies and don't have enough experience to put you consistently on the fish. Our halibut guide was from Hawaii, and the deck hand was from California and first time doing deckhanding. The Kasilof river guide was from Minnesota, and also a first year guide. We caught nothing and the local guides all had fish in their boats. You want to book with guides who live in the area and have yrs of experience under their belt, not Jimmie Jacks who hire rookie mercenary guides from around the world. The halibut trip should never have been run under the tide conditions present due to very limited fishing time window. We only got to fish one hour when usually one gets to fish 3 to 4 hrs. Halibut trips are usually six hr trips. Takes two hrs travel time round trip, and you fish 1.5 hrs before slack tide, and hr during slack tide, and another 1.5 hrs after slack tide. I've been on three cook inlet halibut charters and I have never been ripped off like at jimmie jacks. The skipper never even told us that we had so many minutes left of fishing left, so that we could decide to keep the smaller halibut. We ended up with only two 14 lb halibut between the two of us after letting 5 ten lbers go due to thinking we would have a lot more time to fish. All the other trips I've been on the captain keeps some of the smaller halibut as insurance fish....but this captain (Art Miller) did nothing of the sort. They should have only run one trip that morning due to the limited time fishing, and not squeeze two in, which ended up ripping off the customers. I would advise anyone seriously interested in fishing to not book with Jimmie Jacks. It was a big mistake.

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JimmiJack, Owner at Jimmie Jack's Alaska Lodge, responded to this review, August 4, 2013
I apologize to this guest that they did not have a good fishing experience with us here at JJF. We have been in the business of guiding the Kenai area for 18 years, and our goal is for all of our guests to experience quality fishing trips.

Yes, our guides do come from around the globe. Most everyone working in Alaska tourism is here for the summer, as well as our staff here at Jimmie Jack Fishing. Most guides in the area are not local guides. We hire quality people and train them well. Our guides are on the water daily and have experience. It is fishing, and as the lead guide with 18 years of experience, my rookie guide out catches my boat regularly. In fishing sometimes you win and sometimes you just fish. We cannot control the fishing conditions or fish in the water.

Halibut trips in Cook Inlet have large tide swings. It does not appear that this guest was educated on this, and we will work to better educate our guests on how we fish in Cook Inlet. In Cook Inlet halibut fishing we fish a tide trip. Tide swings are approximately 5-7 hours in Cook Inlet. On big swing tides it is not possible to fish longer because the water will be running for the next 4 hours before the following slack tide. Cook Inlet has the second largest tide movement in the world. On these bigger swing tides we can only fish the slack time between tides, and sometimes this is a short 3 hour window of fishing. This is why we sell a 5-7 hour trip, to include run time to the fishing grounds. The good thing about fishing the big swing tides is that the halibut know they have a short window to feed, and they feed ferociously!

The practice of keeping insurance halibut in the fish box is not legal, and we will not practice this here at JJF. You cannot put a halibut in the box, and then release it later in the day, this is illegal, and unethical. I do agree that the Captain should have been communication more about the time of the slack tide ending. We will make sure that the Captain does this in the future.

Again, I would hope that this guest would give us another chance, and we will gladly offer a gift certificate to this guest if they would try us again. I want say that I have built this business on quality fishing, and we will always make improvements to maintain the excellence of JJF.
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Aurora, Colorado
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

Jimmie Jack was excellent, this was our first time to Alaska and they did not disappoint. We had a tough week with unseasonable weather, and Jimmie went above and beyond to get us on the water. With heavy rainfall the river was closed due to flooding, and Jimmie set up for us to fish other spots and put us on fish. I have fished with other guides who would have cancelled and said there was nothing to be done, but Jimmie is a professional and made it happen. Lodge was great food was wonderful, staff was very enjoyable to be around. All in all great pick for an Alaskan adventure.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JimmiJack, Owner at Jimmie Jack's Alaska Lodge, responded to this review, August 10, 2013
Yes, I remember that week well. That was one of the tougher weeks of my career. I thank this guest again for he and his friend having such a great attitude when the river was shut down to boats because of flooding. I pulled out my guide hat, and our persistence paid off. We had fun and found fish.
We pulled the rabbit out of the hat, and found rainbows, dolly varden, steelhead, and finally silvers!
Thanks again for the great review, but more so, for being great guests and relaxing fishing partners.
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Highlands, New Jersey
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

I am an avid fisherman from the East Coast I have fished and worked on fishing boats for many many years. Therefore I feel I have a very realistic expectation of what fishing is all about. The Guides were all very professional and knowledgeable, Jimmie Jack and his father were Awesome and could not have tried harder to put us on the fish. I came with a friend and we put the time in and were lucky enough to both catch every fish we targeted. Captain Art and Dave on the Big Iron were fantastic and we had so much fun catching Halibut. I found the accommodations to be perfect, I stayed in the lodge in the Mt. Redoubt room and was very comfortable. The room and bathroom were immaculate Colleen does such a wonderful job of keeping the lodge squeaky clean. The breakfasts were delicious and plentiful and served with a smile, the lunches were perfect for a day of fishing and Colleen has a way of making the lodge feel like a home always greeting you with a smile and a kind word she is simply the best. Lisa and Mellissa were great at taking care of last minute changes as requested. I guess what it boils down to for me is Alaska is one of the most beautiful places on earth, if people would open there eyes and let the awesome beauty in I think they would realize what a gift just being there is and catching fish is a bonus. In fact at the end of my weeks stay I was lucky enough to be able to extend my trip another week, who is luckier than me? All and all I left with beautiful memories, fantastic new friends and a burning desire to return.
Thanks Everyone Scott Self

Room Tip: My second week I stayed in the Brazil Room, big room, King size Bed and huge living room shared by M...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Jimmie Jack's Alaska Lodge

Address: 36065 Reef Drive, Kenai, AK 99611
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Alaska > Kenai
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 15 Specialty lodging in Kenai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Jimmie Jack’s Alaska Fishing Lodge - Over 10,000 Happy Guests Served Since 1995 - Day Charters to 7-Night Lodge Packages - BOOK ONLINE NOW! King Salmon – Silver Salmon – Sockeye Salmon - Halibut – Rainbow Trout. Excellent Customer Service Since 1995 - 45 Years of Guide Experience Combined - Safest and Most Modern Boats on the Water - Great Food and Accommodations – Top of the Line Equipment – Unparalleled Scenery -Private and Small Group Trips – Beginner to Advanced Anglers – Family Trips – Alaska Travel Industry Association – Kenai River Professional Guide Association (Board of Directors) – Kenai River Sportfishing Association - Kenai River Guide Academy - Fully Insured – U.S. Coast Guard Licensed –State of Alaska Permitted - Featured on North to Alaska with Larry Csonka – Daily KRSM Fishing Report – KTUU News Fishing Report – Coastal Angler Magazine Fishing Forecast. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Jimmie Jack's Alaska Lodge Kenai

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