Kenai River Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Charters

Kenai River Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Charters

Top Kenai River Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Destinations

Best Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Charters in Kenai River

Top Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Charters in Kenai River

Salmon (Chinook) Fishing in Kenai River

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

(Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

Anglers from near and far flock to Alaska’s Kenai River each summer for some of the best King (Chinook) Salmon fishing in the world. You won’t find Kings any bigger than the ones in Alaska, and this river is legendary for producing the biggest of them. Kenai River Salmon fishing is about much more than record-breaking fish, however. With annual runs of Silver (Coho), Red (Sockeye), and Pink (Humpback) Salmon, it’s also a great place to enjoy some light tackle action and a tasty catch.

When to Fish for Salmon

King Salmon make their entrance in late May, and you can expect the fishing to be excellent from the get go. Red Salmon show up in late June, followed by Pinks (especially in years that end in an even number). Silver Salmon, the hardest-fighting of all the Pacific species, arrive in August. These can reach up to 20 lbs and cause nearly as much excitement among locals as Kings. By summer’s end, most King and Sockeye Salmon are gone, but you can continue fishing for Silvers into September.

Kenai River Salmon Fishing Methods

Anglers rely on two different fishing methods, depending on which part of the river they fish. It’s common to navigate the deep, smooth-flowing water of the lower Kenai in a powerboat. Anglers target large Kings here by drifting and backtrolling with spinning or conventional tackle.

The upper Kenai is known for its unusual aqua blue color. Here the water is shallow and the current runs much swifter. Anglers use drift boats and inflatable rafts to reach the fishing grounds, and will often secure the boat and then wade into the river or fish from the sandbanks. The upper Kenai produces better fishing for Sockeye and Silver Salmon than the lower part of the river. Light tackle and fly fishing are the methods of choice for anglers after the hard-fighting Silvers in these waters.

Need to Know

Residents age 18 and above (or non-resident anglers 16 and older) need to buy an AK freshwater fishing license. A King Salmon stamp is also required when fishing for this species.

Aside from these, you can usually expect Kenai River Salmon fishing guides to provide everything you need. All that’s left to do is catch the next record-breaking fish! 

Kenai River Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Seasons

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Seasonality

Salmon (Chinook) fishing in Kenai River is highly variable throughout the year. High season is June to July. Low season is January to April and October to December. There is no closed season.
Kenai River
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 4.41
Based on 21,036 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Reviews of Fishing in Salmon (Chinook) Fishing in Kenai River

Half day trip with Captain Mindy
Dennis R. fished with Alaskan Widespread Fishing - Power Boat on July 12, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
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.
Half day river trip
John H. fished with Jason’s Guide Service on July 10, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
You have to go and experience the river fishing.
Full day fishing with Captain Alex
Yoshi S. fished with Alaska Slammin Salmon Charters on July 2, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
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.)
Wonderful Experience with Captain Mindy!!!
Travis B. fished with Alaskan Widespread Fishing - Power Boat on June 8, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Fishing in June is great because we got there before the big tourist season and didn’t have to fight the croweds.
half day with captain Jeff
Kenneth J. fished with Alaskan Widespread Fishing - Power Boat on September 23, 2018
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
book your fishing a bit earlier in the year than we did but don't be afraid of whenever you go. I would probably book more than one day if I were to do this again down the road. Be nice to go after some King Salmon.
August fishing trip
Jeffrey M. fished with Alaskan Angling Adventures on August 25, 2018
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
We were at the very end of the season and I knew that I was hoping we can hook one silver something to keep but we didn't but overall the trip was fantastic it was good the weather wasn't cooperating but we still caught some rainbows and Dolly Parton I was really wanting to get one silver Coho because my wife loves salmon, just not the right time of the year for us but the total experience very good you just got to be here at the peak times and unfortunately we're not but the fishing was still pretty good
Perfect day
Marcelo F. fished with Alaska Slammin Salmon Charters on August 21, 2018
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Totally recommend. Is was our first time in Alaska and we loved!
A day on the river
Dustin J. fished with Alaskan Angling Adventures on July 4, 2018
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Check the Alaskan wildlife site to see which fish are running or if they have closed the season for certain fish.

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