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Fishing For Salmon In Alaska

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All about fishing for chinook, chum, coho, pink and sockeye salmon.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Alaska is renowned for its world-class salmon fishing, attracting anglers from around the globe seeking a thrilling and rewarding fishing experience. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about salmon fishing and identify popular salmon waters in the state. The state boasts five primary species of salmon: Chinook (also known as king salmon), sockeye (red salmon), coho (silver salmon), pink (humpy salmon), and chum (dog salmon). Each species has its unique characteristics and behavior, providing a diverse and exciting fishing opportunity for anglers.

Chinook salmon are the largest and most sought-after species in Alaska. Known for their strength and size, landing a Chinook salmon can be a challenging yet incredibly rewarding experience for anglers. These majestic fish migrate upstream to spawn, presenting anglers with a chance to hook into a trophy-sized catch.

Sockeye salmon, famous for their vibrant red color, are equally prized for their excellent taste and firm texture. They migrate in massive numbers, often creating mesmerizing displays as they swim upstream to their spawning grounds.

Coho salmon are renowned for their acrobatic leaps and powerful runs, making them an exhilarating species to target. Their aggressive nature and impressive fighting ability make them a favorite among anglers of all skill levels.

Pink salmon are the most abundant of all Alaska's salmon species, providing fantastic opportunities for anglers looking for fast-paced action and high catch rates. They return to Alaskan waters every two years in massive runs, making it possible for anglers to experience incredible fishing seasons.

Chum salmon, while less famous than the other species, still offer a challenging and exciting fishing experience. Their aggressive strikes and strong runs make them a formidable opponent for anglers.

Each species has its specific run timing, and different regions of Alaska offer prime fishing opportunities at different times of the year. Whether you're fishing in the waters of Southeast Alaska, the Kenai Peninsula, Bristol Bay, or the Aleutian Islands, Alaska's abundant salmon populations ensure that anglers have an unforgettable fishing experience and a chance to take home some of the most prized catches in the world.

Salmon Fishing Waters in Alaska

Salmon fishing in Alaska

Find salmon fishing all across Alaska including Aleknagik Lake, Becharof Lake, Lake Clark, Iliamna Lake and many other lakes plus plenty of streams and rivers used by salmon for spawn runs. Plan a fly fishing trip to catch big salmon including king, chum, coho, pink and sockeye salmon.

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

Click the images and links above for species details.

Alaska State Record Salmon

The state record chinook (king) salmon came from the Kenai River.

The state record coho salmon was caught in the Icy Strait.

The record chum salmon was taken out of the Caamano Point

The state record pink salmon was caught from the Kenai River.

The state record sockeye salmon was caught from the Kenai River.

Alaska Salmon Fishing

Alaska Salmon

The preferred method for catching salmon is fly fishing. Depending on the activity level, salmon may be caught on wet or dry flies, as well as a variety of other lures and baits.

The preferred method for catching salmon is fly fishing. Depending on the activity level, salmon may be caught on wet or dry flies. For more details check here for articles about fly fishing.

About The Pacific Salmon Family

Pacific Salmon are born in and remain in freshwater streams for the early years of life. The number varies by species. Afterward they migrate to the Pacific Ocean waters where they bulk up and prepare for their once in a lifetime spawning run up the freshwater stream where they were born. They will instinctively return to their birthplace, spawn and die. They are found in the streams which empty into the ocean, and adjoining ocean waters.

Salmon Organizations

Atlantic Salmon Federation

Atlantic Salmon Trust

Atlantic Salmon Museum

Pacific Salmon Commission

Pacific Salmon Foundation

Alaska Department of Fish & Game

Visit the website for fishing reports and information about salmon fishing in Alaska.


Salmon fishing waters and information, by state.

AK Salmon Fishing CA Salmon Fishing CO Salmon Fishing ID Salmon Fishing IL Salmon Fishing IN Salmon Fishing MA Salmon Fishing ME Salmon Fishing
MI Salmon Fishing MN Salmon Fishing MT Salmon Fishing NC Salmon Fishing ND Salmon Fishing NE Salmon Fishing NH Salmon Fishing
NJ Salmon Fishing NM Salmon Fishing NV Salmon Fishing NY Salmon Fishing OH Salmon Fishing OR Salmon Fishing PA Salmon Fishing
RI Salmon Fishing SD Salmon Fishing VT Salmon Fishing WA Salmon Fishing WI Salmon Fishing WY Salmon Fishing

Learn the life cycle of salmon

The more you know about the life cycle and seasonal migration of salmon, the more likely you are to be looking in the right area next time you visit Alaska salmon fishing waters. Visit the salmon fishing page for more information about the life cycle of the different species of salmon.

Contribute AK Salmon Fishing Knowledge

If you have information, articles or photos relating to salmon fishing in Alaska, which you would like to see published here, please submit them for consideration.