Master The Art Of Alaska Salmon Fishing - 7 Best Spots

Alaska Salmon Fishing

Alaska is known as one of the best fishing locations in the world for salmon fishing. This is because of the millions of salmon running its various rivers throughout the year. Not only can you score five different salmon species on an Alaskan fishing trip, but there’s also ample opportunity for successful halibut fishing and trout fishing.

Planning the perfect salmon fishing excursion in Alaska depends on which species of salmon you’re trying to catch. Here’s a quick rundown of what time of year you can expect to find each salmon species for a successful cruise excursion or fly fishing trip:

  • Chinook salmon or king salmon start their run towards the end of May

  • Coho salmon or silver salmon run from May through October

  • Pink salmon run from mid-July to mid-August

  • Sockeye salmon or red salmon run from mid-June to the end of August

While you’ll likely catch both female and male salmon during the salmon season in Alaska, it’s frowned upon to kill female salmon before they’ve had a chance to lay their eggs as it removes thousands of natural reproduction possibilities.

You can easily identify a female with eggs by their soft bellies and slightly bulging ovipositor. Keep this in mind during your salmon fishing excursions in Alaska to preserve the population.

Keep reading and we’ll guide you on mastering the art of salmon fishing in Alaska along with valuable tips for discovering the best spots to fish.


1) A Professionally Guided Salmon Fishing Trip In Hoonah, Alaska

Not only is Hoonah, Alaska home to a cruise port that makes it convenient to reach the area for salmon fishing, but Icy Strait Point Excursions has fishing tours available that can help you make the most of your visit to the island without wasting precious time.

One of the fishing trips available is a freshwater fishing excursion with some of the most professional fishing guides on Chichagof Island! A fun fact about Chichagof Island is that there are seven bears for every person residing on the island. Although the population is one of the highest of anywhere in the world, you’re not guaranteed to run across one of the creatures on your fishing trip.

Forest service roads and old logging roads weave through the island leading to some of the best salmon runs around. For freshwater fishing trips you’ll receive a rod and reel as well as waders and other equipment to help you navigate the waters on your excursion.

You can also choose to join Captain Billy on a saltwater fishing excursion. Captain Billy is a locally raised Tlingit of Hoonah and is one of the most knowledgeable guides. Your excursion stays close to shore so you’re never too far from land which means you won’t waste any precious fishing time or worry about missing your cruise.

Contact us at Icy Strait Point Excursions before your vacation dates so we can help you plan the most unforgettable fishing trip of a lifetime!


2) Discover Alaska Salmon Fishing On The Lower Kenai River

The Kenai River has some of the most abundant salmon runs in all of Alaska and spills out into the Kenai Peninsula. Because of the incredible salmon fishing opportunities along the river, it’s worth noting its different sections as their own premium fishing spots.

When people think of salmon fishing in Alaska, Kenai River king salmon are usually at the top of the list. The Lower Kenai River still holds the record for the largest King Salmon ever caught with a weigh-in of a whopping 97 pounds!

The Lower Kenai is wide and wild and offers incredible sockeye salmon fishing right from the shore starting in July while king salmon are widely caught in the early season in May, June, and July.

The abundance of salmon caught here throughout the early seasons makes this part of the river one of the best locations for king salmon fishing near the Kenai Peninsula.


3) Salmon Fishing The Middle Kenai River During Salmon Season

Some of the best fishing can be found along the Middle Kenai River in Alaska. Through the salmon season in July, the runs are filled with shining sockeye salmon, while silver salmon fishing is best in the later seasons from August to October.

This section of the river has only grown in popularity over the years as record numbers of sockeye salmon are pulled into shore throughout the season. The Middle Kenai River offers incredible spawning grounds for the Pacific salmon species, including sockeye salmon, pink salmon, king salmon, and silver salmon.


4) Discover Salmon Fishing On The Upper Kenai River

The Upper Kenai River is a hustling, bustling location full of anglers ready to cast their lure for some premium salmon fishing! There is ample parking and a plethora of easy access points to get you close to the river for a successful fly fishing trip or shore excursion.

Later in the summer, you’ll find plenty of king salmon and pink salmon running the river, followed by sockeye salmon and silver salmon making their way toward the Russian River.

One of the unique aspects of fishing here is the opportunity to witness the breathtaking wildlife that calls this area home. Keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles soaring overhead, moose grazing along the riverbanks, and even the occasional bear fishing for its own feast.


5) Trek To The Kasilof River For Great Salmon Fishing

Known as the little brother of the Kenai River, the Kasilof River might not be as easy to reach, but it’s one of the premium spots in the area for catching fish during salmon season.

The lower section of the river is popular for driftboat anglers. Drifting along the gentle currents of the river, you’ll have the chance to cast your line and target various salmon species, including the prized king salmon, sockeye salmon, and coho salmon. The combination of the river’s scenic beauty and the thrill of battling these powerful fish creates an unforgettable fishing adventure.

For those seeking a more secluded and serene fishing experience, the upper end of the Kasilof River is the place to be. This section of the river is known for attracting silver salmon and the sight of these acrobatic fish leaping out of the water is truly mesmerizing.


6) Fly Fishing And More At Cooper Landing

Cooper Landing, nestled in the heart of the Kenai Peninsula, is a paradise for fly fishing enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. With its pristine rivers, crystal-clear lakes, and breathtaking scenery, this charming town offers an unforgettable fishing experience.

Cooper Landing gives anglers easy access to areas like Kenai Lake, Skilak Lake, and more for a successful day of fishing. With its proximity to various locations, you can easily reach fishing spots teeming with chum salmon, coho salmon, and some of the finest king salmon fishing in Alaska.

This is definitely a location to keep on your radar if you’re looking for an all-in-one spot for salmon fishing in Alaska.


7) Fishing At Cook Inlet

Cook Inlet is a renowned fishing destination that attracts anglers from all over the world. With its vast expanse of water and diverse ecosystem, it provides an ideal habitat for various species of salmon. This is another location where you can find plenty of professional guides to help you find fishing spots housing all species of salmon for a successful fishing excursion. Whether you’re looking for King Salmon or Chum, you’ll likely find it here at Cook Inlet.

Cook Inlet is renowned for its King Salmon fishing, with the possibility of reeling in trophy-sized specimens. The thrill of battling these majestic fish in the pristine waters of Cook Inlet is an experience that every angler dreams of.

Chum Salmon, known for their strength and acrobatic displays, are another popular target for anglers at Cook Inlet. These fish, also called Dog Salmon, are known for their aggressive strikes and powerful runs. Hooking into a Chum Salmon can provide an exhilarating fight that will test your skills and endurance.


The Best Salmon Fishing Around

Here at Icy Strait Point Excursions, we want to help you have the most memorable salmon fishing experience in Alaska. Salmon fishing might seem like an easy feat when you consider the millions of fish swimming in our rivers, but our guides will help you find all the best salmon fishing spots for the most successful excursion in all of Alaska.

Contact us at our website to find out everything you need to know about our services and how we can help you make the most of your fishing trip to Alaska. We can’t wait to help you reel in the catch of a lifetime!

3 hours
Group Size
Up to 10

Wilderness Tour and Brown Bear Search - LEO, Military, Teacher Discount!

This Alaskan wilderness and bear search tour is offered on Chichagof Island, a one-of-a-kind location with the highest population of bears per square mile of any place on Earth. Depending on the season, catch the bears coming out of hibernation and looking for food; or later on in the season when the bears are mating and eating grasses on the tidal flats. Older males fight each other for dominance and mating rights with the females, who at times are not receptive and force the male to give chase. This is truly an experience for the books, and cameras.

3 hours
Group Size
Up to 30

Guaranteed Whale Watching Tours in Icy Straits - LEO, Military, Teacher Discount!

Join us for the best show in town, a 3-hour whale watching excursion (includes transportation time and approx 2.5 hours on the water) which begins when you board the bus that departs from the Icy Strait Point Excursion Hub, just a short 5-minute walk from your cruise ship. Travel just 1.5 miles through the picturesque landscape of Hoonah, Alaska. On arrival at the Hoonah Harbor, it's “All aboard!” and you’re off for the waters of Icy Straits and the ultimate whale watching experience. The area near Icy Strait Point, with its proximity to Point Adolphus and Glacier Bay, is home to one of the largest summer populations of humpback whales found in Alaska and the whale watching is second to none.

3 hours
Group Size
Up to 6

Saltwater Fishing Adventure

Join local maritime hero Captain Billy, a locally raised Tlingit of Hoonah, Alaska on this unforgettable fishing adventure. His knowledge of area waters is unsurpassed and his desire to share it with you is second to none! Southeast Alaska and Icy Strait in particular, is home to some of the best halibut and salmon fishing around. The biggest halibut on record was caught inside Icy Strait! Hoonah is just a stones throw from Icy Strait so no time is wasted getting to the fishing grounds and the hooks down!

3 hours
Group Size
Up to 12

Kayak Adventure

Your Kayak experience will take you into the peaceful waters of Port Frederick. Enjoy the serenity that can only be had while quietly gliding across the waters near Icy Strait Point enjoying the beautiful Alaskan scenery. Wildlife such as; eagles, seals, sea lions, Sitka black tail deer, whales, and even a bear on the beach are possible sightings. Take a journey into this serene kayak adventure on Icy Strait for an unforgettable experience!

3 hours
Group Size
Up to 14

Whales, Wildlife & Drones

This whale watching tour is personalized, as it takes out a maximum of 14 guests at a time. This allows for a great crew to guest ratio, ensuring your experience is personal. The areas we search near in Hoonah near Icy Strait Point and Point Adolphus are known Humpback whale feeding grounds. Josh has captained in this area for many years and knows the area well! He know how to find the whales! Add in the communication he has with other captains on the other boats, and it's a perfect whale finding system!

What really makes this tour unique is the Drone imagery. Drones are able to see below the water surface and broadcast live video back to the boat.
View pods of orcas effortlessly gliding under the waves, on rare occasions, see humpback calfs playing with their mothers, on rare occasions, the amazing phenomenon of "bubble-net" feeding by groups of humpbacks is seen. Your personal view of the whales is not repaced with drones; just supplemented! You will experience seeing and hearing these amazing animals with your own eyes and ears, and then we take you to the next level with our displays onboard.

4 to 5 hours
Group Size
1 to 6

Freshwater Stream Fishing

Professionally guided stream fishing excursions on the hidden edge waters of Chichagof, Island.

3 hours 30 minutes
Group Size
2 to 10

Icy Strait Birding & Nature Experience

Come experience the birds and nature of Chichagof Island, near Icy Strait Point! Every trip is an adventure in this lush rainforest where Brown Bears outnumber humans. While we love delivering stunning target birds like Varied Thrushes, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Red-breasted Sapsuckers, Bald Eagles, and Steller’s Jays, we aren’t just about birds on this tour. You will be led by an expert birder and naturalist who will set the stage by sharing the human and geological history of the area. You will then get to see how the birds, fish, mammals, plants, forests, rivers, and climate all weave together to create this lush, vibrant ecosystem!