About the Captain

Hill Norvell is not a salesman. He’s a fisherman who tells is like it is. That kind of straight-forward approach might come from his upbringing in Texas, where he grew up on the water, casting and catching, and operating his own boat by age 14. Or maybe it comes from his military training during his stint in the U.S. Army.

One thing is certain: Talk to Hill about catching fish in Resurrection Bay and the Gulf of Alaska and he’ll tell you the odds straight up. If you book a fishing excursion with his company, you’ll know exactly what to expect. Hill’s brand of fish charter is reminiscent of the old cowboy work ethic, where you did your job, respected nature and your fellow traveler, and took only what you could use.

Hill is respected in these waters and has earned a reputation for finding those open-water hot spots where the fish are hiding. His approach is popular with those who are serious about catching fish and who can trust his instincts over their own.

Charter his entire ship-shape 46-foot boat (the “2 Day”) for private customized trips, or try for an individual seat. Either way, you’re likely to limit out on a few species.

The Fish with Hill Philosophy

Learn more about Hill before you book. While some may describe his personality as “love him or hate him,” many folks appreciate his expertise and his acerbic wit. And there’s no mistaking that he’s good at what he does. All his repeat customers will tell you: if you’re all about the fishing, this is your guy.

On sales: “If I sold you a trip and then you didn’t like what I sold you, I have to deal with you for the week…”

On catching fish: “I offer a nice clean boat with good working equipment. I do everything in my control to make it as perfect as possible. Sometimes it’s hard work. Sometimes it’s easy. We’ll go where there’s halibut and then catch our limit. Then we’ll go for salmon and catch our limit. Then we’ll try for a third species – maybe sea bass, lingcod or yellow eye. Some passengers will

say that it seemed too easy. Then I joke, ‘I can park the boat where we won’t catch anything for two hours if you want.’ “

On rules: When it comes to fishing in Alaska, there are a lot of rules and regulations. Hill is a strict rule follower, and passengers on his boat are required to do the same, no exceptions.

On advice from passengers: “If your captain ever needs your help, then you’re in trouble…”

On kids catching fish: “Kids will be perfectly okay as long as the adults stay out of the way. Kids are going to do things the easiest way possible – but parents are so concerned they can fumble the situation. Parents shouldn’t worry about their kids losing equipment. I’ve only lost two rods in 14 years, and they were both full-grown men.”

On who’s in charge: “If you’ve bought the full boat for the day, you get to dictate where we go within reason. If you’ve bought one seat, well that’s like buying a ticket to the general matinee, and you get what I’m giving you.” (Which, guided by Hill’s well-known instincts, will be full of excited cries of “Fish on!” from those anglers who follow his advice).

On passing it on: Hill loves the water, and also remembers how it all started – fishing as a kid back in Texas. That’s one reason why he donates two days a year to Big Brothers, Big Sisters: to get kids out fishing. They get to experience first-hand the freedom and excitement of being in the open water, working hard to catch big Alaskan fish, and enjoying the company of others who are doing the same.

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