There are few places in the world like Alaska. It is one of the most majestic states and is one of the places an angler can only dream about. Because of its size and location, Alaska has two separate fishing zones, each plentiful and worth checking out at least once in your lifetime. There are over three million lakes, over ten thousand rivers and countless streams full of many different species of fish. Alaska also has over 6,000 miles of coastline and 30,000 miles of shoreline, including many islands. Because of this, the possibilities for fishing are limitless. When you think of Alaska fishing, the two fish that come to mind most are Salmon and Halibut. But there are over 600 species of fish and shellfish in the pristine lakes and rivers inland and the cold waters off the coast. You can fly fish, go on chartered boats, be flown into remote lodges, and even ice fish. Over 200,000 anglers come to “The Last Frontier” for experiences they will not get anywhere else in the world.
There is amazing lake and river fishing, but much of it is remote, and you need guides and charters to take you to where the fish are. You can start from one of the main cities like Homer or Ketchikan or fly to one of the many river lodges that offer some of the incredible fishing and vistas imaginable. There are four major rivers in Alaska and thousands more throughout the state. If you are a fly fisherman, you have come to nirvana. The rivers and lakes are full of Salmon, including the most sought-after King, Coho and Sockeye. There are also Trout like Dolly Verdan, Rainbow, Brown and Cutthroat. While fishing for Salmon during the months of June to August, you might also get the opportunity to see Grizzly Bears fishing their own way.
If going into remote areas is not your thing Alaska is also an excellent place for saltwater fishing. There are two central regions for fishing, the Southeast, with its barrier islands, sheltered inlets and protected bays and the North Gulf Coast, where Prince William Sound, with its many inlets and bays, is located. It is best to hire a professional Alaska Charter service to escort you to the fishing grounds in both regions. The two most desired fish offshore are the Chinook or “King” Salmon and the Halibut. Both can be found up and down the coast, but some places are better than others for reeling in either or both of them. The “Halibut Capital of the World” is Homer, located on the Gulf coast. Here you can pull in massive Halibut along with Rockfish, Cod and Salmon. Homer has the “King Tournament” every year, and there are many Halibut tournaments as well. In the Southeast is Ketchikan, the “The Salmon Capital of the World,” where you can catch all five species of Salmon along with large Halibut, Rockfish and other species.
No matter where you go, there is excellent fishing in Alaska. It would take pages and pages to talk about all the wonderful spots to go, how to get to them, and what types of fish are there. There is just too much information, but I want to mention two more things. First, the seasons for fishing because of the cold weather that Alaska is famous for is from May to September, but you can fish up until November, weather permitted. Second, while only for the faint at heart, there is ice fishing in the winter months, where you can target landlocked Salmon, Artic Char and Pike.
If you want an experience of a lifetime, then plan a fishing trip or two to Alaska. Freshwater or Saltwater, there are professional guides and charters ready to whisk you to lakes and rivers only accessed by plane for incredible Salmon and Trout fishing or offshore to battle with giant King Salmon and monster Halibut. You will definitely be able to tick off a few entries from your bucket list.