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Alaska Fishing Charters and Guides

Updated on March 31, 2013

Drifting the River

Drift fishing in Alaska Catching a Sockeye Salmon
Drift fishing in Alaska Catching a Sockeye Salmon | Source

Seasons for Alaska Fishing

The late spring and summer months tend to be the best months to hire an Alaska fishing charter and guide to put you in front of large groups of fish in this world class fishery. Check out the table below for the best months to target specific species if you are heading to the Kenai Peninsula. It is always best to communicate with an outfitter well in advance to look for available dates and to discuss the likely fishing opportunities that will be available at that time.

Bottom Fishing in Alaska
Bottom Fishing in Alaska | Source

Types of Charter and Guides

There are a couple of different guide business models to be aware of. As long as you hire the right group for your desired fishing vacation everything will work out perfectly, but if you are looking for an entire week of guiding and hand holding and you go to a lodge that that just provides you the boat and advice and sends you on your way you will most likely not enjoy the trip. Each type of trip is perfect for the right kind of angler.

1. Fully Guided - The guide will be with you the entire time, they run the boat, they bait up the rods and all you have to do is stay warm, hang out and set the hook and reel the fish in when they bite. These are perfect for the less seasoned anglers and those that are making there first trip to Alaska.

2. Part Guide / On Your Own - The half and half trips are perfect for anglers that are confident in their own abilities to fish and run a boat, but just want a little help at the start of the trip to be guided in the right direction. The first day or two of these types of trips will be accompanied with a local professional that can show you the ropes and get you in the right direction and some fish in the boat. Then for the rest of the trip you are on your own in one of the charters provided vessels. By running your own boat you can stop and fish the waters that you want to and go at the pace that is comfortable for you and your party. This type of freedom is nice for individuals that are comfortable with all the details involved in a day of fishing and prefer to do it by themselves.

3. All On Your Own - Basically with these types of outfits, you are staying at the fishing lodge and have the basics provided for you, but it is up to you to get on the fish and make the trip a success or a failure. When you have been there and done it several times it can be a nice way to go and just have fun fishing with your friends and family without another person included in the adventure.

Ketchikan River Amazing Salmon Fishery

Salmon climb the Ketchikan River to spawn and anglers can catch them along the way
Salmon climb the Ketchikan River to spawn and anglers can catch them along the way | Source

How to Find the Right Guide

Finding the right charter in Alaska can be a little bit of a chore. First you should do several internet searches and review a few different guide focused websites that may provide a little additional detail about the types of trip you can expect with a specific group of guides. The next most critical step is to pick up the phone and give them a call, emails will get you the information if they have an availability for the week that you are interested in, but make the phone call and talk to them about the trip before sending your credit card information. These trips are not cheap and you do not want to be disappointed with poor service.

5 Questions to Ask Every Guide

  1. How do they process fish for you take home?
  2. Do they provide meals, which meals are you on your own for?
  3. What do you need to bring, clothes, gear, fishing license, etc?
  4. Is transportation to the lodge included in the package?
  5. What species can you expect to catch during the time of your trip?

Top 5 Places to Fish in Alaska

show route and directions
A markerBristol Bay -
Bristol Bay Alaska
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Bristol bay is located in between the mainland and the peninsula. There is several rivers running into the bay and it is known for its Sockeye Salmon

B markerKenai Peninsula -
Kenai Peninsula, United States
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The Kenai river is loaded with a huge number of salmon including kings, silvers, sockeyes, and pinks. Anglers can fish both the river or ocean.

C markerNushagak River -
Nushagak Bay, Alaska, USA
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The Nushagak river is famous for its amazing runs of salmon that migrate up this long river every summer.

D markerSitka Alaska -
Sitka, AK, USA
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Sitka, Alaska is well known for its amazing saltwater fishery. Fishing for Salmon, Halibut, and other bottom fish species like Ling Cod are popular.

E markerKodiak Island -
Kodiak Island, Alaska, USA
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Excellent river fishing for summer Salmon is located in Kodiak Island. Remote fishing lodges put you right in the middle of the angling action

Kenai Peninsula Fishing Seasons

Fish Species
Approximate Time of Year
Chinook "King" Salmon
May 15 - July 31
Coho "Silver" Salmon
August 1 - October 1
Sockeye Salmon
May 15 - August 15
Pink Salmon
Mid July - Mid August (Even Years Only)
May 1 - September 30
Rainbow Trout
July 15 - October 31
Dolly Varden
June 15 - October 31

Bottom Fishing in Alaska for Halibut & Lings


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