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Great Fishing In Alaska

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Guide to fishing in the Last Frontier

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Photo courtesy of Drift On The Fly Guide Service.

Alaska's fishing opportunities are incredibly diverse, offering a wide variety of species for anglers to target. The state is famous for its cold water fisheries, with salmon being one of the most sought-after species. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about the best fishing lakes in the state, plus the species found in each lake. There are five species of salmon found in Alaskan waters: chinook (king) salmon, sockeye (red) salmon, coho (silver) salmon, chum (dog) salmon, and pink salmon. These salmon runs attract anglers from around the globe, and each species has its peak fishing season throughout the summer months.

Aside from salmon, Alaska is home to an array of cold water fish species like rainbow trout, arctic char, Dolly Varden, and grayling. Many of Alaska's lakes and rivers boast healthy populations of these prized game fish, providing excellent opportunities for fly fishing and other angling methods.

Warm water fisheries in Alaska are not as abundant as cold water fisheries, but there are still some notable options. In the southern parts of the state, particularly around the Kenai Peninsula and the Mat-Su Valley, anglers can find warm water species like northern pike and largemouth bass. These waters offer a unique contrast to the typical Alaskan fishing experience, providing an opportunity to target different species using various techniques.

In addition to larger rivers and lakes, Alaska is home to numerous ponds that offer great fishing experiences. Many of these ponds are stocked with rainbow trout, arctic char, or grayling, providing an easily accessible and family-friendly environment for fishing.

Whether you're looking for the excitement of reeling in a giant salmon or the tranquility of fly fishing in a remote stream, Alaska has something to offer every angler. From its cold water fisheries teeming with salmon and trout to its warm water options showcasing pike and bass, Alaska's fishing diversity is a dream come true for anglers seeking unforgettable adventures in the Last Frontier.

The state of Alaska offers a variety of fishing including rivers, lakes and streams. In addition to major lakes, Alaska has over 3 million lakes which are more than 20 acres in size. There are fishing guides and charters to take you into unbelievable fishing waters and find fly fishing like you've always dreamed about. You can fish for a wide variety of species, including rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, lake trout, steelhead, coho salmon, chum salmon, chinook salmon, pink salmon, sockeye salmon and northern pike.

The major rivers in Alaska are the Yukon River, the Kuskokwim River, the Colville River and the Copper River. The Kuskokwim River is the longest river in Alaska at over 1,875 miles.

Visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for details about fishing licences, fish species and fishing locations.

Major Alaska Lakes & Species

Alaska major lakes and fish chart

Lake & Fish Chart

This chart shows the major angling destinations, cross referencing these waters with the major species to be found in each of the lakes or impoundments.

For a detailed list of primary fish species in AK, plus state fish records, see the list below.

Fishing lake sizes and locations in the state.

Fishing Alaska Lakes

Aleknagik lake is located on the Wood River in the southwest corner of the state. The fishing includes chum salmon, king salmon, sockeye (reds), silver salmon, dolly varden, arctic char, rainbow trout, greyling and northern pike.

Becharof Lake is located at the head of the peninsula in the southwest corner of the state. Fishing in the lake and surrounding streams includes five species of Pacific salmon along with arctic grayling, dolly varden, trout, northern pike and burbot.

Lake Clark is located immediately north of the mouth of Cook Inlet. It is accessible by plane only. The fishing includes Arctic char, grayling, dolly varden, northern pike, lake trout, rainbow trout and five species of Pacific salmon.

Iliamna Lake is located 250 miles southwest of Anchorage, just north of Kamishak Bay. All access is by plane. The fishing is great for big rainbow trout, sockeye salmon, grayling, king salmon, dolly varden, northern pike, lake trout and silver salmon.

Fish Species & State Records in Alaska


Steelhead Fishing


World record: 42 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 42 lbs 3 oz*


Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout

World record: 42 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 42 lbs 3 oz*

Brook Trout

Brook trout

World record: 14 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 3 lbs 4 oz

Cutthroat Trout

Cutthroat trout

World record: 41 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 8 lbs 6 oz

Lake Trout

Lake trout

World record: 72 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 47 lbs 0 oz


Chinook Salmon

Chinook salmon

World record: 97 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 97 lbs 4 oz

Chum Salmon

Chum salmon

World record: 35 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 32 lbs 0 oz

Coho Salmon

Coho salmon

World record: 33 lbs 7 oz

State Record: 26 lbs 0 oz

Pink Salmon

Pink salmon

World record: 14 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 13 lbs 7 oz

Sockeye Salmon

Sockeye salmon

World record: 15 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 16 lbs 0 oz

Northern Pike

Northern Pike

Northern pike

World record: 55 lbs 1 oz

State Record: 38 lbs 8 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

There is a section dedicated to fishing activities for kids. It is devoted to information about kids fishing with stories, fish photos and tips for where and how to take a kid fishing. Please send us your recommendations and we will be happy to consider them for publication.

State Fishing Information

Visit the Alaska Department of Fish & Game for additional information about fishing in Alaska.

Find Alaska Fishing License information here.


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