Alaska Chinook Salmon Fishing Charters

Alaska Chinook Salmon Fishing Charters

Top Alaska Chinook Salmon Fishing Destinations

Best Chinook Salmon Fishing Charters in Alaska

Chinook Salmon Fishing in Alaska

Chinook Salmon
  • Size 10-50 lbs
  • Food Value Excellent
  • Game Qualities Good
  • Habitats Inshore, Lake, River, Nearshore

(Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

Nothing says “Alaska” like Salmon, and there’s a reason why this fish has become such an icon of the Great Land. Of all the Pacific species, King (Chinook) Salmon are the biggest. Naturally, they don’t make them any bigger than right here in the nation’s largest state, where some Kings reach up to 100 lbs or more!

Each year, local waters grow crowded with anglers who are eager to try their hand at King Salmon fishing in Alaska. Peak season generally runs from March to September, but some towns have access to this fish year-round. Many also get runs of Silver (Coho), Sockeye (Red), Chum, and Pink (Humpback) Salmon in late summer. With such variety at your fingertips, it’s no wonder why Alaska earned its reputation for world class Salmon fishing.

Top Salmon Fishing Spots in Alaska

The Kenai Peninsula

The Kenai River

The Kenai River is famous for its Salmon, including a 97 lb, 4 oz King that set the rod-and-reel world record in 1985. This river consistently produces the biggest Salmon in Alaska, which means some of the best fighting action in the state. It’s also one of few rivers in the world where you can find all five Pacific Salmon species. Most Kenai River Salmon fishing trips launch out of Cooper Landing, a two-hour drive from Anchorage. 

Seward and Homer

Anglers on the Kenai Peninsula also have access to some of the state’s finest saltwater Salmon fishing. Charters out of Homer target ocean Salmon year-round, including a resident King Salmon population and other species in summer. Trips out of Seward feature excellent fishing accompanied by breathtaking scenery and wildlife viewing.

South Central Alaska

Anchorage

Just north of the Kenai Peninsula sits Anchorage, a premier destination for light tackle and fly fishermen eager to experience the King Salmon fishing Alaska is famous for. You can find some decent opportunities around town, but serious anglers often catch a plane here and head elsewhere for one of the state’s iconic fly-in fishing experiences in remote wilderness.

Talkeetna

Various rivers in Talkeetna (two hours north of Anchorage) offer even more chances to hook into all five Salmon species. If you’re aiming for an experience of Kenai River proportions, Talkeetna is the next best thing. The Salmon in these parts aren’t as big as those in the Kenai, but there are twice as many of them.

Southeast Alaska

Yakutat

If you’re hoping to escape the fishing pressure in southcentral Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula, head southeast instead. At the top of this region is Yakutat, a small town off the beaten path made accessible by daily jet service. This hidden treasure boasts all five Salmon species close to shore.

Sitka

Continuing south brings you to Sitka, another small town with big opportunities. You’ll find Salmon here in both fresh and saltwater. Local Saltwater Salmon give Alaskan Halibut a run for their money, often exceeding 100 lbs in size. Several species grace the local rivers, along with Trout and Grayling.

Ketchikan

Ketchikan boasts plenty of Salmon and almost as many lakes, streams, and creeks where you can catch them. Located at the far south of Alaska’s southeast region, this town is a popular stopping point for cruises. You can also fly in from Anchorage or Seattle.

How to Fish for Salmon

There are many ways to fish for Salmon, whether you cast your line in the ocean or one of Alaska’s many lakes and streams. You can target these fish in local rivers using spinning, conventional, or fly fishing gear. Many anglers backtroll and drift roe.

Saltwater Salmon fishing usually involves trolling or “mooching,” a form of drift fishing that offers a more hands-on experience. It’s common to use downriggers since these fish swim relatively deep in the ocean. In some cases, you may also jig. Live and cut-plug Herring are the most common baits.

Alaska Salmon Fishing Trips

Salmon fishing in Alaska is in high demand, and you’ll find no shortage of guides who are ready supply their expertise. The best time to plan your trip is usually from May through August, when you’ll have a chance to catch King Salmon in addition to other species. In accessible locations like Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula, you can book a trip for several hours or a full day.

For serious anglers, a variety of Alaska Salmon fishing lodges offer multi-day packages in more remote locations. These often include gear, a guide, meals, and lodging. Some packages also include flights in from Anchorage and may offer to clean your catch and package it for shipping.

Resident anglers age 18 and above (or non residents 16 and above) must purchase an AK fishing license, whether fishing in freshwater or saltwater. A single day license costs about $20 (price subject to change).

You also need to buy a King Salmon stamp. Residents can buy an annual stamp for $10 and non-residents can buy a single day stamp for $15 (prices subject to change).

Alaska Chinook Salmon Fishing Seasons

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Seasonality

Chinook Salmon fishing in Alaska varies moderately throughout the year. High season is May to August. Low season is January to February and October to December. There is no closed season.
Alaska
Excellent
4.5 / 5
Based on 26,563 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

What anglers said about Chinook Salmon Fishing in Alaska

Be prepared for the beautiful scenery and prepare for the possibility of some big fish.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Be prepared for the beautiful scenery and prepare for the possibility of some big fish.
Carl  M.
Carl M. New Canaan, CT
Wear warm clothing, bring lunch or snacks. Listen to the Captain for safety instructions.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Wear warm clothing, bring lunch or snacks. Listen to the Captain for safety instructions.
Joseph  D.
Joseph D. Homer, AK
Fun Chum Charters teaches you how to fish for salmon. And provides rod, tackle, and rain gear. You need no experience or knowledge, they walk you through everything.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Fun Chum Charters teaches you how to fish for salmon. And provides rod, tackle, and rain gear. You need no experience or knowledge, they walk you through everything.
Michael  A.
Michael A. Seattle, WA
Make sure to book during one of the salmon runs. The guide was great but the but the fishing was hard.
Excellent
4.7 / 5
Make sure to book during one of the salmon runs. The guide was great but the but the fishing was hard.
Ira  S.
Ira S. Rockwall, TX
Don't look at the weather forecast. The weater called for rain all three days we were in Seward and we got gorgeous weather with calm waters!!!!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Don't look at the weather forecast. The weater called for rain all three days we were in Seward and we got gorgeous weather with calm waters!!!!
Michelle  B.
Michelle B. United States
I was successful on my first time. Halibut are easier to catch than salmon. I met a few fishermen in Seward that were unsuccessful so I am glad I drove to Homer. For the nonfisher people in your party consider booking in advance a flight from Homer to Katnai to see the bears catch salmon. My wife was disappointed that all flights to Katnai were full.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
I was successful on my first time. Halibut are easier to catch than salmon. I met a few fishermen in Seward that were unsuccessful so I am glad I drove to Homer. For the nonfisher people in your party consider booking in advance a flight from Homer to Katnai to see the bears catch salmon. My wife was disappointed that all flights to Katnai were full.
John  S.
John S. Snohomish, WA
Maybe. Check the tides. Call in advance and ask your guide what days have the best fishing tides and plan your trip around that
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Maybe. Check the tides. Call in advance and ask your guide what days have the best fishing tides and plan your trip around that
Corey  L.
Corey L. United States
Capt Luke and Gavin were a lot of fun. This was a great trip eventhough we did not catch any king salmon. Highly recommend.
Excellent
4.7 / 5
Capt Luke and Gavin were a lot of fun. This was a great trip eventhough we did not catch any king salmon. Highly recommend.
Jill  M.
Jill M. United States
I would recommend them get hooked up with Captain Cory so they can have the fishing experience they will love.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
I would recommend them get hooked up with Captain Cory so they can have the fishing experience they will love.
Renee  H.
Renee H. United States
I went fishing for halibut and silver salmon, I caught one halibut and two salmons. I had great time.
Good
2.3 / 5
I went fishing for halibut and silver salmon, I caught one halibut and two salmons. I had great time.
Roberto  V.
Roberto V. Anchorage, AK
Bring binoculars so you can see all the fish jumping at a distance because there are a lot of them, and bring your muscles because you're going to need them, they put up a pretty good fight.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Bring binoculars so you can see all the fish jumping at a distance because there are a lot of them, and bring your muscles because you're going to need them, they put up a pretty good fight.
Mark  A.
Mark A. Omaha, NE
Buy your license at Fred Meyer...very easy. If you catch a king salmon you will not be able to fish for the rest of the trip, but you can enjoy the boat ride.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Buy your license at Fred Meyer...very easy. If you catch a king salmon you will not be able to fish for the rest of the trip, but you can enjoy the boat ride.
Dennis  R.
Dennis R. Vancouver, WA
Work on strengthening your biceps..Cause these salmon give you a run for your money....
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Work on strengthening your biceps..Cause these salmon give you a run for your money....
Tammy  H.
Tammy H. Centralia, WA
If you really want to catch fish. You need at least a few days. with 1 day ,do not complain about no fish result (target is King salmon.)
Excellent
4.7 / 5
If you really want to catch fish. You need at least a few days. with 1 day ,do not complain about no fish result (target is King salmon.)
Yoshi  S.
Yoshi S. Fort Payne, AL
Do it and have fun... be flexible... we caught a 40 inch Halibut, had to release it as sport fishing guidelines the halibut has to be 38 inches or less. Salmon wasn't running, so went for Rockfish. Which were more plentiful and good for tacos. We did not have fish sent back, kept it and grilled some and froze the rest. Stayed at private residence in Juneau so could do that.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Do it and have fun... be flexible... we caught a 40 inch Halibut, had to release it as sport fishing guidelines the halibut has to be 38 inches or less. Salmon wasn't running, so went for Rockfish. Which were more plentiful and good for tacos. We did not have fish sent back, kept it and grilled some and froze the rest. Stayed at private residence in Juneau so could do that.
Marjorie  F.
Marjorie F. Juneau, AK
Stick to halibut and other deep water fish if Captain knows salmon are slow
Excellent
4.3 / 5
Stick to halibut and other deep water fish if Captain knows salmon are slow
Jim  G.
Jim G. Saint Paul, MN
Good charters fill up early, but weather is unpredictable. Gear up for it. I'm a Scout so like to be prepared. Rain gear, waterproof boots, layers, sunscreen, gloves, Dramamine, barf bag. Plan for 10-15 degrees cooler on the water than the shore.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Good charters fill up early, but weather is unpredictable. Gear up for it. I'm a Scout so like to be prepared. Rain gear, waterproof boots, layers, sunscreen, gloves, Dramamine, barf bag. Plan for 10-15 degrees cooler on the water than the shore.
Sam  A.
Sam A. Parker, CO
Get there early so you are not rushed. You can get breakfast before you go out. Bring a camera for all the sites,Whittier and Prince William Sound is beautiful.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Get there early so you are not rushed. You can get breakfast before you go out. Bring a camera for all the sites,Whittier and Prince William Sound is beautiful.
James  S.
James S. Gig Harbor, WA
Fishing in June is great because we got there before the big tourist season and didn’t have to fight the croweds.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Fishing in June is great because we got there before the big tourist season and didn’t have to fight the croweds.
Travis  B.
Travis B. Homer, AK
I recommend Corey with Alaskan Adventure Guides. He did his best to insure we got our limits of fish. He and his mate were great and the boat was very nice. Even with the 6 hour halibut trip, you may get a lot of movement. Be prepared, if you get seasick easy. Dramamine worked good for my wife. Expect the Spit area to be crowded, but there are a good number of places to eat. Expect to pay Homer taxes on your trip. Expect processing and shipping of fish to be about $7.50 a pound.
Excellent
4.7 / 5
I recommend Corey with Alaskan Adventure Guides. He did his best to insure we got our limits of fish. He and his mate were great and the boat was very nice. Even with the 6 hour halibut trip, you may get a lot of movement. Be prepared, if you get seasick easy. Dramamine worked good for my wife. Expect the Spit area to be crowded, but there are a good number of places to eat. Expect to pay Homer taxes on your trip. Expect processing and shipping of fish to be about $7.50 a pound.
John  P.
John P. Boise, ID

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