Posted in Things To Do In Alaska

Evening fishing trip in Alaska

Alaska salmon is world-famous for delighting the palates of foodies around the world. Whether it’s served up formally by a master chef or prepared on a home barbecue with a dash of cooking sherry and lemon, salmon is as delicious as it is nutritious.

But eating salmon is only half of the fun! Visitors come from near and far to boast that they’ve successfully reeled in a prized fish. Five different species of salmon can be found in Alaska; and there are unique methods to catch each one, which can make hooking your first salmon a bit challenging. We hope that we will be able to help you catch a salmon that can be the star of your “big fish stories” for years to come.

For fishing in Alaska there’s no better starting point than the Kenai Peninsula. You can stay at our Westmark Anchorage Hotel, just a couple of hours from the best spots on the Kenai, or plan to overnight at the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge. If you’re not sure of where to start, our knowledgeable tour desk staff will gladly arrange a fishing tour or point you in the right direction to experience the best of the famed Russian, Kenai or Kasilof rivers, among others.

Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge above the Kenai River

Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge above the Kenai River

Silver Salmon

The Kenai Peninsula is recognized around the world for its wide range of fishing opportunities. On the Kenai, late July and early August are the prime times for catching silvers. When fishing for this particular species of salmon, there are a variety of methods that may prove effective. You can use a fly rod or eggs to catch this feisty fish. For those who don’t want to make the short jaunt down to the Kenai Peninsula, you can try your luck fishing for silvers at Ship Creek in the heart of downtown Anchorage – just a short walk from the Westmark Anchorage Hotel.

Red Salmon

Sockeye salmon, also known as red salmon, are abundant in numbers, fun to catch and delicious. On the Kenai, the early run of red salmon is usually in May and June. Generally the first run is smaller, and the fish are running much quicker than the late run. The late run is in July and early August, and at that time the fish are often moving slower. Local anglers claim that during early August anywhere on the lower or middle river is a “good spot.”

Salmon Fishing in Alaska

Salmon fishing in Alaska

King Salmon

King salmon are the ‘big kahuna’ of Alaska salmon. The Kenai kings are the largest in the world and run May through July. While it is possible, hooking a king from the riverbank is highly unlikely. It’s best to hire a guide to take care of the logistics and ensure you are fishing in a prime spot. Although these fish are thrilling to catch, Alaska fishing regulations are complicated. Make sure that you review the current regulations before fishing.

Pink Salmon

Timing pink fishing is easy on the Kenai River. During the middle of August, the pink numbers are generally so high you would be hard pressed not to catch a fish. Pink salmon meat is great salmon for smoking. Also, due to the simplicity of catching pinks, the kids can get in on the action, too!


Chum salmon are the second largest of Alaska salmon. Adult chums average 8 – 13 lbs. Chums are abundant in all regions of the state except the Kenai Peninsula. If you’re in Anchorage, you can find good chum fishing north of Anchorage in the Little Susitna River.