Salmon Fishing in Alaska: Tips and Techniques for the Perfect Trip!

Heading to Alaska, are you  Why, aren’t we a little jealous!

If you’re going to Alaska, you haveto go salmon fishing.  It’s mandatory.  While there are so many things to do in Alaska, fishing is a must.  Alaska is perfect if you want to go salmon fishing or even just basic fishing, but there are always some little tips that it helps to know prior to getting out in Alaska or out in the water with your friends.

Here are some tips and techniques to help make sure you have the perfect trip to Alaska -- as well as catch some salmon!

Determine which type of salmon you would like to fish for

There are three main types of salmon that you can find in plenty in Alaska:  Silver/Pink/Chum Salmon, King Salmon, and Red Salmon.  For each different type of salmon, there are different tips and tricks you can use to have an amazing time out there in Alaska fishing. 

For the purpose of this article, we’ll give you detailed tips for these three main ones.  You can fish for all these types of salmon, but if you want to focus on one specific fish, read on before you head out on the water so that you can prepare!

Know where the salmon you want to fish for are

Here’s the thing with these salmon; theyare found in different areas.  This is why it really is important to know what type of salmon you want to fish for while you are in Alaska.  If you want to fish for King Salmon, they are mostly found in the center of the river, which is the deepest part of the water.  They are also incredibly difficult to catch and are considered to be the most prized fish in all of Alaska.  If you consider yourself more of a shore fisher, it can be a challenge to catch a King Salmon.  However, don’t give up hope -- it can still be done.

fishing for salmon in Alaska

If you are a shore fisher and want to still try and fish for King salmon, we recommend fishing for a few hours before or after a tidal wave.  Of course, you have to have patience, as this can take a long time and you may be out there fishing for a while before you catch one (if at all -- they’re pesky!). 

Silver, pink, and chum salmon tend to be found the most around the edge of clear water, or in clear water in general.  If you didn’t know, clear water appears when small streams flow into more murky-ish streams.  However, sometimes there are no clear spots -- or they all look like they are a bit clear -- making it harder to fish for this type of salmon. 

When this happens, try and look for deeper holes where water may slow down.  You can mainly find this around bends, near trees, and behind bigger rocks.   

And finally, there’s the red salmon, another favorite in Alaska.  The best places to fish for this type of salmon is hands down, in the Russian River, the Kenai River, and the Kasilof River.  You can find these fish swimming pretty close to the shore in more medium swift currents. 

Use Bright Lures

This works for all of the salmon we’re talking about in this article.  These fish love bright lures -- so bring on the pinks, the purples, the oranges… all of them!  Most anglers recommend using large, brightlures when fishing for king, silver, pink, chum, red, all the types of salmon in Alaska.  This is the best way to catch the salmon in this area and has the highest success rate. 

And, regarding bait, we recommend using herring when you’re near salt water or salmon roe consistently for your whole trip (it makes it a bit easier).

Know the Best Time to Fish

The great thing about Alaska is the fact that you can basically fish there year-round.  So, it doesn’t matter when your trip is, you’ll for sure be able to get some fishing in!

However, if you’re mainly looking to fish justfor salmon, there is a specific time frame you’re going to want to go to Alaska.  For the most part, the “peak” season for all salmon fishing is from May to September.  Of course, once we start talking about the specific species that fall into the overarching category of salmon fish, we can get specific about when to fish in Alaska.  We’ll only discuss the types of salmon we’ve already talked about here.

If you want to fish for King salmon, fishing starts in May and can end around the end of July and the beginning of August.  If you’re looking to fish for silver salmon, you’re going to want to spend your vacation in Alaska from June to September.  If you’d much rather fish for pink or chum salmon, you should fish from the middle of July to the middle of August.  And, finally, if red salmon is more your game, try organizing your trip around the middle of June to the middle of August.

However, if you’re looking to fish for any type of salmon, you have all summer to relax and get the job done.  Halibut is also another fish species that you can fish for all summer (and, for this specific fish, we do mean all summer).  And, if you’re looking for fish for any type of fish… well, you have all year in Alaska!

Make sure you go through the proper requirements and guidelines before fishing

 This is mainly only for fishing for King salmon, as they require an additional tag to fish for them legally.  The last thing you want to do is to find out you can’t even fish for the salmon that you would like to fish for!  This could put a damper on your vacation and trip, so make sure you find out if any other prerequisites or fees need to be taken care of before you head out on the water!