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Top Fishing Charters in Juneau

Fishing in Juneau

There’s a lot to like about Alaska’s state capital. Juneau is nestled among steep mountains capped with icy plains and clothed in dense woodland. The local fjords drop 1,000 feet before you know you’ve left land. They offer a stunning viewpoint of this epic landscape as whales breach and bask around you.
 
Not that you’ll notice the view, with so many awesome fish on your line. The sheer variety of species Juneau fishing charters can put you on is enough to get your reels spinning. Five different species of Salmon live in these water, from the mighty Chinook to the often-overlooked Chum. There are also two different Trouts, as well as huge Halibut, hard-fighting Lingcod, delicious Rockfish, and so much more.
 
Juneau is a fishing town through and through, and most local families have their own boat. This sets the bar very high for Juneau fishing guides - they have to offer much more than a ride on a boat and a rod in your hand. And boy do they deliver! You’ll hit your limits easy on a full day trip, and you’ll almost never head home empty-handed.

Juneau Fishing Spots

The first choice you need to make is freshwater or saltwater. The mountains around Juneau are riddled with creeks and lakes which explode with action during the summer Salmon runs. Head out on a charter boat, and you could be battling 100-pound Halibut, monster Lingcod, and ferocious ocean-going King Salmon. There are a million and one spots you could be fishing in, but here a few of the local favorites.
 

Auke Bay

Most Juneau fishing charters dock in the bay, and you don’t even need to leave it to find fish. Target King, Silver (Coho), Pink, and Red (Sockeye) Salmon, as well as Dolly Varden and Cutthroat Trout.
 

Gastineau Channel

These calm waters run between the mainland and the stunning Douglas Island. The scenery here is matched only by the fishing, with Salmon, Halibut, and various bottom fish to target.
 

Outer Point

Jutting out from Douglas Island at the mouth of Petersons Creek, this is a great spot for Chinook and Coho Salmon. The creek has a rich run of Salmon during the summer. Even out of season, the saltwaters hold big Kings and Rockfish.
 

The Breadline

Heading north from Juneau, the waters off the Breadline are home to a huge variety of species. King Salmon, Halibut, Rockfish, and much more can be caught here, making it a great all-rounder.
 

Stephens Passage

Blow past Outer Point and round the head of the island and you hit the deep waters of Stephens Passage. These straits are great for Halibut, as well as Kings, Rockfish, and even some Lingcod.
 

Chatham Strait

These are the deepest waters around - well over 1,000 feet. They hold huge Halibut, Lingcod, and Rockfish. They may take two hours to get to, but they’re always worth the journey.
 

Montana Creek

There are far too many amazing creeks to name every one. Montana Creek is the easiest to get to, and has some of the best fly fishing Juneau has to offer, with all five Salmon species, Cutthroat Trout, Steelhead, and Dolly Varden.
 

Windfall Lake

Windfall Lake is a happy compromise: not so close that it’s always busy, not so far that it’s impossible to reach. Here you’ll find Silver, Pink, and Sockeye Salmon, Cutthroat Trout, Steelhead, and Dolly Varden.
 

So Much More!

There are literally hundreds of creeks, dozens of lakes, and more saltwater spots than you could shake a stick at. Local guides and charter captains will always have their favorites, and chances are they’re even better than these well-known spots.

Fishing techniques

Fly fishing is the obvious choice when it comes to Juneau’s summer runs of Salmon and Trout. Catching Cutthroats and Steelhead on fly gear is some of the most fun you can have in freshwater, but Salmon fishing can be just as good with conventional tackle, drifting lures downstream with Salmon roe attached to attract the fish.
 
When fishing in saltwater, you’ll be using very different techniques depending on the target species. Saltwater Salmon are caught by trolling or mooching, using plug-cut, steaked, or live Herring, depending on how you’re fishing. Silver Salmon can also be fun to jig for when you find them holing up in tight schools.
 
Lingcod, Halibut, and Rockfish can all be taken with baits or jigs. Keeping these nice and big is the trick to bagging trophy fish. If it’s Lingcod and Rockfish you’re after, you’ll need at least 40-pound-test braided line, with 60-pound leaders to bear the brunt of that vicious Lingcod bite. Halibut need even stronger line, and you’ll often want to chum the bottom to get their attention.

Need to Know

You need a fishing license for both salt and freshwater fishing in Juneau. Some Juneau fishing lodges provide these, but most guides and charters don’t. Get yours online, or head to an approved vendor to pick one up and chat with local anglers. If you’re planning on visiting in high season (July-September, when the Salmon runs are at their best) you’ll need to book way in advance if you want a quality guide.

Juneau Fishing Seasons

Start the year with some great angling. Most charters won’t be running, but Juneau shore fishing can still be productive for hardened anglers. Otherwise, hit the lakes for some productive ice fishing.
The JUMP Winter Film Festival invites local filmmakers to display their work in this free screening event. If that’s not your style, you can head out for some great ice fishing in the local lakes.

Chinook Salmon start biting harder in March, and the weather is nice enough to actually go out and find them. Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden start their spring run, giving you great freshwater action.

The Alaska Folk Festival brings together traditional music, dancing, storytelling, and so much more in April. Out on the water, Dolly Varden and Steelhead are hitting the heights of their spring run.

Everything really gets going in May. The Spring King Salmon Derby kicks off the sportfishing season, while the Juneau Jazz & Classics festival announces the start of the summer’s cultural events.

Halibut are biting in full force down in the depths, and Chinook Salmon are gobbling up baits and lures as they prepare for their summer run. If that’s not enough, there are a ton of Rockfish, too.

All five Salmon are running strong by July. Anglers crowd the riverbanks and guides are booked out all across town. This is a great time to target these awesome fish, but you’d better book early!

The Golden North Salmon Derby targets the area’s many Salmon species in August, bringing together competitive anglers to battle each other as well as the fish. Think you’ve got what it takes?

Spend your day battling Lingcod, Halibut, and King Salmon, then head to the Capital Brewfest to relax with a local craft beer and celebrate the day’s awesome catches.

Halibut and Lingcod are still biting hard in October, and it’s your last real chance to catch them before the charter season ends. Head out quick and bag yourself some delicious fish for the winter.

There are plenty of year-round fishing opportunities in Juneau, from Dolly Varden and Rainbow Trout to King Salmon, Rockfish, and Halibut. All of these are fun to catch and taste way better than turkey.

Juneau is a great place to spend the holiday season, with a public market, Christmas lights wherever you look, and a generous helping of seasonal cheer to get you through the long nights.

Juneau Fishing Calendar

What People Are Saying About Juneau

"Great Day"

Mark Hutton fished with Big Jim’s Charters on July 7, 2017

My Granddaughter fished for the first time and they helped her a lot but she reeled in her fish and exhausted Captain Terry and Jona our a great team
Juneau
5
Based on 6639 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Top Targeted Species in Juneau

Halibut

Salmon (Chinook)

Salmon (Coho)

Rockfish