Alaska King Salmon fishing information, description and "How To" fishing techniques

alaska fishing information

Alaska King Salmon

alaska king salmon

Alaska King Salmon Description

Alaska King Salmon (Chinook): Blue gray back with silvery sides.Small irregular shaped spots on back, dorsal fin, and usually on both lobes of tail. The gum line is black. Spawning adults take on a maroon to olive color.

Alaska King Salmon Information

World Record King Salmon (Kenai River)

world record king salmon from kenai river

The Alaska King Salmon is the largest species of Pacific Salmon. The present Alaska state sport fishing record is 97.25 lbs taken on the Kenai River. In fact, of the top 10 king salmon record holders 9 of these fish were taken in the Kenai River. King salmon spend from 2-5 years in the ocean so their size in a run varies a lot, the State of Alaska average for this salmon is about 20lbs., however Kenai king salmon are typically in the 50 lb range. No other salmon draws as much attention as the King Salmon which is the official State of Alaska fish. Hooking and landing a big king salmon is the dream of most of the fisherman who come to the Kenai Peninsula and from early May to August many fisherman, from beginners to professional sport fisherman, try to fulfill that dream with a fish that has legendary power and grace   When the Kenai Peninsula kings begin their return to their spawning streams they will generally follow the Kenai Peninsula coastline until they get to their waterway and head up the stream or river of their hatch until they reach their original spawning beds. It is during this annual migration that the sport fishing for the king salmon in both the saltwater (from Anchor Point to mouth of the Kenai River) and freshwater (Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchick River, Kasilof River, Crooked Creek and the Kenai River) is excellent.

How to catch an Alaska king salmon

For the fisherman on an Alaska fishing vacation the best way to catch the Alaska king salmon is to obtain the services of a professional Alaska fishing guide who works for an established Alaska fishing lodge. These fishing guides will be sure to be licensed professionals and lodge owners will not sacrifice their reputations with unqualified guides. State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game statistics show in recent years that the unguided angler will spend nearly 40 hours fishing before he will even hook an Alaska king salmon. Guided Alaska fishing vacationers will often only spend a few hours before they hook their king salmon and land one. Since the Alaska fishing vacation may be of short duration, success of the fishing trip may depend on the fishing guide. Not only will the guide have the knowledge and experience to achieve success, the right equipment and tackle and fishing hot spots will be known. At Alaska Fishing Vacations we recommend that you purchase at least a minimal vacation package before you try to go it alone. With the nearly 24 hours of daylight in the season then you will have plenty of time to fish the banks on your fishing vacation. In the Kenai saltwater, most fishing for king salmon is done by trolling cut herring or herring attractors. Trolling weights, divers, diving lures are directly related to the run of the 30 foot tides in Cook Inlet, speed of the troll and the depth at which the salmon or their feed are spotted. Downriggers set at various depths increase the chances of success. T-spoons, Kwikfish, flashers , are all used by experienced guides. On the Kenai River and the Kasilof River guided anglers in drift and power boats enjoy success by back trolling a Jet-planer with Kwikfish, Flatfish, Magnum Wiggle Worts, Tadpollys, Spin-n-Glos, and salmon egg clusters. Back bouncing with an appropriate lead weight instead of a jet planer is also extremely effective for guided anglers. It must be said that the Alaska fishing guides knowledge of boat handling and the water is of utmost importance. Bank fisherman on the Kasilof, Anchor River, Deep Creek, and Ninilchick river as well as the Kenai are successful using a weight and casting a Kenai Special with a single hook or casting and bouncing large spoons such as the Pixie Spoon off the bottom rocks is a successful tactic as is casting #6 Vibrax upstream and reeling in as the lure bounces off the rocks. Fly fishermen using attractor flies like the coho or Alaskabou have had their share of hook ups. Bank fisherman beware, no matter what Kenai water  you are fishing, be prepared to run when you hook that king salmon!

CLICK HERE for more detailed information on catching the King salmon and maps on hot spots

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A typical Kenai river salmon guide fishing boat
Guided fishing on the Kenai River for king salmon