Alaska King Salmon Fishing (Chinook)
Alaska Salmon fishing on the Kenai River is world renown and for good reason. Alaska’s Kenai River has the impressive distinction of producing the world’s largest sport-caught king salmon at 97lbs! Every year these mammoth Alaska salmon tip the scales at 70, 80, and even 90 pounds. Their sheer strength is unmatched and those that have done battle with these big fish will tell you the fishing experience is not soon forgotten. Due to ever changing conditions this Alaska Salmon Fishing requires strategic mobility and refined technique. Fishing the Kenai River with an experienced fishing guide greatly increases your chances of landing a monster Kenai King: the crown jewel of Alaska Salmon Fishing!
video taken and provided by – superscot69 |
Two runs of wild Kenai River King salmon combine to support the largest recreational King Salmon fishery in Alaska. The early run of Kenai River Kings averages about 16,000 fish and enters the river from mid-May through June. The late run starts the first of July and peaks in the second and third week of July. The late run of Kenai King Salmon averages about 41,000 fish. Alaska Salmon fishing for late run Kenai Kings closes on July 31, although these fish can continue to return into August. Alaska Salmon Fishing pressure is by far greater in the late run as the majority of the fishing occurs in the lower 10-15 miles of the river.
It is important to note that the past three seasons have seen some of the lowest statewide returns of King Salmon on record. The reasons for their decline are many but as a result of these unsustainable returns in recent seasons, we have largely shifted our angling focus away from Kenai king salmon until they are able to successfully repopulate. With restrictions and decreased pressure these runs will hopefully rebuild and be available for future generations to enjoy.
The Kasilof River is 20 minutes south of the Kenai and also receives excellent returns of Alaska king salmon. In May and June, the Kasilof sees a run of both hatchery and wild kings and in July it sees a robust run of large, wild king salmon that can rival Kenai kings in size. The Kasilof is a smaller river than the Kenai and is fished from drift boats (no motors) which makes for a very unique and peaceful fishing experience.
During the period of low abundance on the Kenai River, the Kasilof River has remained a viable option at time for good king salmon fishing. When the Kenai is restricted, the Kasilof is also restricted to single hook and no bait and although this does reduce our success, we have still seen excellent success with artificial lures. Fishing pressure is much lighter and in both May, June and July, the Kasilof remains a good bet for someone willing to put in some time toward catching a monster king salmon.
For those looking to experience the thrill of Alaska King Salmon fishing in a more remote or secluded location, a fly out to the West Side of Cook Inlet and beyond… opens up a myriad of fishing possibilities. From a helicopter king salmon fishing adventure to a king salmon fishing expedition to the Nushagak, an all day Alaska Fly Out fishing trip offers much more than just spectacular Alaska Salmon fishing. You’ll experience breathtaking Alaska scenery and wildlife viewing both to and from your fishing destination and nothing compares to seeing the wilderness of Alaska from a floatplane.
Alaska sockeye or red salmon, pound for pound, are the hardest fighting salmon in the world. Fresh from the salt water, these beautiful Alaska Salmon are like silver torpedoes and they offer very consistent and exciting fishing action. Kenai River Sockeye average between 8-12 lbs. Since they swim close to the shore on their journey upriver, sockeye salmon are most commonly caught from the bank. Over 1 million sockeye salmon return to the Kenai River every summer, and non-stop Alaska Salmon Fishing is often the result.
The first sockeye salmon enter the Kenai River in late May and June and are largely headed for the Russian River. This tributary of the upper Kenai River near Cooper Landing hosts a large run of sockeye salmon from mid June well into July. Beginning in early July, the late run of Kenai Sockeye salmon begins to arrive and this return often extends well into August. Alaska Salmon fishing for sockeye is world class on the Kenai River and presents an excellent opportunity to bring home one of Alaska’s most cherished delicacies.
-Sockeye Salmon Fishing Options-
In addition to the Kenai, Sockeye Salmon return to a number of locations throughout Alaska including the nearby Kasilof and a number of exciting fly out destinations. We offer a wide variety of Alaska sockeye salmon adventures; both on the Kenai Peninsula and the main Alaska Peninsula. Sockeye salmon are available throughout June and July and into early August.
- How to Catch Sockeye Salmon
- How to Catch Sockeye Salmon: part 2
- Sockeye Made Simple
- Sockeye Salmon Picture Gallery
Kasilof River Sockeye Salmon Fishing Articles:
Alaska Silver Salmon Fishing (Coho)
Silver salmon start entering the Kenai River in early August. These aggressive biters are known for their acrobatic fights. Once they arrive, fishing action is very consistent and limits are common. Kenai silver salmon average 10-12lbs, with larger fish weighing 15-20lbs. Alaska Silver salmon can be quite a handful, especially when fishing with light tackle. Silver Salmon fishing usually stays good through late September. Fall is one of the most scenic and exciting times to fish Alaska, so don’t forget your camera or your jacket!
-More Silver Salmon Fishing Options-
Silver salmon fishing is the pinnacle pursuit of our fall salmon season and coho can be found in a number of Kenai Peninsula rivers and streams and any number of remote locations throughout the Alaska. In additional to the Kenai River, we routinely fish the neighboring Kasilof for silver salmon and also a wide variety of Alaska fly out locations: primarily on the West Side of Cook Inlet. Fly out silver salmon fishing trips are renowned for secluded locations and overly aggressive fish in large numbers, Alaska Salmon Fishing at its finest!
Alaska Pink Salmon Fishing (Humpbacks):
Pink Salmon or humpback salmon are only available in the Kenai on even-numbered years. Their semiannual returns are hard to miss as literally millions of them arrive at once. These bountiful Alaska Salmon fill the river for about three weeks and are really very easy to catch. Children love fishing for and catching Alaska Pink Salmon one after another, and even adults have been known to join the chaos. Pinks have high oil content in their meat and are best for eating when taken just out of the saltwater. Fishing for Alaska Pink Salmon is done using the same techniques used to catch silvers and they provide great fishing action while targeting coho.
When to visit:
When to plan your Alaska Salmon Fishing adventure is mostly a matter of personal fishing preference. Each month of our Alaska Salmon Fishing season is very unique and offers individual and varied Alaska Fishing opportunities. Obviously the “best Alaska Salmon fishing” times also attract the most people so if you prefer more seclusion and private water, “peak” time may not be best for you. From mid May until mid October, there is definitely an ideal time to suit your individual Alaska Salmon Fishing preferences and planning well ahead will assure you a very rewarding experience. We are always available to answer any and all Alaska Fishing questions and please call or email us anytime.
We will fillet your Alaska Salmon as part of your guided fishing trip, and you will then need to take it to our processor for vacuum sealing and freezing. Our processor, Ed’s Kasilof Seafoods, is conveniently located on the main Sterling highway, on the West side of the Kenai River bridge. The processor will hold your cumulative fish during your visit and then upon your departure will package it for the airplane or overnight it to you once you arrive home. Either way, your Alaska Salmon is assured to stay well packaged, insulated and frozen for safe transfer to your freezer.