Alaska Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Charters

Alaska Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Charters

Top Alaska Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Destinations

Best Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Charters in Alaska

Top Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Charters in Alaska

Salmon (Chinook) Fishing in Alaska

Salmon (Chinook)
  • 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 Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Seasons

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Seasonality

Salmon (Chinook) 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 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 4.52
Based on 22,133 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Reviews of Fishing in Salmon (Chinook) Fishing in Alaska

June fishing trip
Jill M. fished with Hi Time Charters on June 12, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Capt Luke and Gavin were a lot of fun. This was a great trip eventhough we did not catch any king salmon. Highly recommend.
A Fun and Productive Day with Captain Chris
Lonna M. fished with Discover Alaskan Adventures - Salmon on May 14, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
To get the proper licenses prior to the fishing day.
Fantastic Fly Fishing with Headshakers
Cyril A. fished with Head Shakers on August 10, 2020
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Call Headshakers. They will put you on the fish
Full day with captain Cory
Renee H. fished with Alaskan Adventure Guides on July 18, 2020
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
I would recommend them get hooked up with Captain Cory so they can have the fishing experience they will love.
Shore fisjing, no Captain Mike
Roberto V. fished with Chum Fun Charters on July 28, 2019
Good Good Good Good Good
I went fishing for halibut and silver salmon, I caught one halibut and two salmons. I had great time.
Full day trip with Captain Jason.
Mark A. fished with Moore Charters – Eclipse on July 25, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
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.
caught limit before noon!
Lorraine V. fished with Red Door Charters & Lodging - Ravyness on July 24, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Book with this company. Well stocked boat,clean restroom, comfortable seats and not one bit smelly.
Full day Halibut and Rock fish
Joseph E. fished with Red Door Charters & Lodging - Ravyness on July 15, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
If you are fishing in homer for the first time be prepared to fish in the rain. Even if you tell your kids pack for colder weather and rain, make sure they packed rain gear

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