My Tentative Fishing Schedule
Below is a week by week listing. but in general my peak(s) fishing can be summed up as:
I get a lot of emails about where and when to fish in Alaska. So I thought I would post the most likely places I will be fishing
week by week. Now this doesn't mean people should stop sending emails asking me for specific information! I also know that
experienced fisherman in Alaska will be chuckling at a few of my selections. Alaska is a HUGE place with lots of opportunities.
This is a personal list from my past experience and once again where I intend to be fishing. But here are a few quirks about the
type of fishing I like so people can better understand why I chose the following locations:
1) I like BIG fish. I almost always opt for quality fish versus quantity of fish. But getting skunked isn't my idea of a great time...
maybe a good time, but not great.
2) I prefer salmon fishing to all other types of fishing. To me an average Pink Salmon is a HUGE trout.
3) I HATE crowds, but I can combat fish with the best of them. There are tried and proven ways to get around the crowds. One
is with a group of friends, the other is either with a good alarm clock or hiking shoes.
4) If I keep a fish, I'd rather catch them closer to the ocean then way upstream.
5) I lived on the Kenai Peninsula from Kindergarten through High School, I seem to prefer the Peninsula over anywhere else of
My favorite 10 day stretches
June 10 to June 20 - The peak of my "quantity" king season. Kasilof River, Ninilchik River, Ship Creek can all produce double
digit days of kings during this period. The only drawback is these kings tend to be smaller at 15 to 30 pounds on average.
July 15 to July 25 - Trophy fishing plus variety. You should be able to hit the peak of the second run Kenai kings famous for
their size. Also the second run of Kenai sockeyes should be flowing at 20,000 to 70,000 fish per day on a normal year. At the
end of the 10 days, you may even hit a few silvers. This is the period of time I take my summer vacation almost every year.
August 1 to August 15 - This year especially a fun time due to the pinks. But its a great time to hit pinks, silvers, & chums. After
the king season the crowds dwindle rapidly. Much easier to appreciate "Alaska fishing" when you aren't fishing with 1,000 people.
My tentative weekly fishing schedule
Okay, contrary to popular belief and my wishful thinking, I have to work to fund my fishing habit so the date I'll list indicates the
Saturday of the weekend I'm fishing for the most part.
Keep checking back though because this list will change as more information comes in! I'll place in BOLD the fishing I actually
did or know I am going to do!
Susitna River- Big Rainbows, Dollies and Grayling. Most of the tributaries running into the Su should hold good fish
tributaries are free of ice.
Lake Louise - Ice should be good through Mid May. Take a look at the logs from this winter and you know why I think this is a
Homer Spit - Great casting practice. Cod & Pollock past 10 pounds, chicken halibut, Sea run Dollies, flounder, Irish Lords, and
maybe an early King!
Susitna River - Tribs should be open by now.
Kasilof River - Okay its a bit early but the first few kings should be showing up anytime now!
Deep Creek Saltwater: The Halibut should be showing up and all those kings we are waiting for have to pass through here first!
Kenai River Saltwater - Huh, Saltwater, Kenai River? Yup, head out of the Mouth of the Kenai River go out a couple of miles or
head north along the shore. Halibut to 50 pounds, cod, and a few sharks. If you have never caught a halibut in shallow water (30
to 50 ft) Its a blast!
Any Lake - New Open water tends to turn the trout on. In stocked lakes you can often see big rainbows cruising the shoreline
looking for a place to spawn. I don't feel too guilty catching and even keeping a few of these fish since there are no suitable
spawning habitat on many of the stocked lakes. Even lakes in Anchorage like Delong, Jewel, and Sand kick out some Big FISH in
the spring time past 20 inches.
Susitna River - Its getting a bit late, but we still catch rainbows, dollies, and grayling!
Kasilof River - This the time of year I usually hook up to my first king. Still long hours for a few fish..But they are KINGS!
Big Lake - The water should be open and springtime is a great time to catch some nice rainbows and dollies.
Deep Creek Saltwater: Sweet-oh! I got a Call from Dan France of Salmon Herder Charters wanting to know if I would be
interested in some saltwater kings out of Deep Creek! Nah, I'm busy....yah right! I'm there! Dad and I will be going out with
Dan on May 20th. I think we are taking a smaller boat so let's hope for good weather. This should be a blast! Two weekend in
a row I get to go learn from the "Herder"!
Kasilof River - Our annual pilgrimage for the Memorial Day Weekend, with effort, we normally all catch a king or two.
Ninilchik River - Almost a guaranteed king, if you can find a place to fish!
Deep Creek Saltwater - Prime time for saltwater kings. The halibut fishing should be good as well.
Kenai River - The water is usually clear cold and low. Not too many kings, but even fewer people. Great time to hook a monster!
The world record 97 pounder came in May!
May 28 (Sunday)
I'll be on the Kasilof River with Dan France of Salmon Herder Charters.
Dan's a lifelong Alaskan and I have chartered with Dan every year at the
beginning of the season for the past several years. Check out the logs on my
last three trips out with Dan by selecting the year. 1997 1998 1999 . I
have my own power boats, but the Kasilof is a drift boat only fishery. He
has always gotten us onto fish. In my opinion he is one of the best on the
Peninsula. He's one of the few guides I will "chase" on the Kenai river.
Chase? The guides are on the river every day almost every hour they are
allowed, when I'm fishing on my boat and I see Dan run down river with a
client, I follow! If he's running kwikfish instead of spin-n-glos, then we
switch over as well. I'd say there are only 2 or 3 other guides I "chase" on
the Kenai. From years of watching the boats who seem to always catch fish
with a great deal of envy, I know which guides work for their clients and
which guides are going through the motions. As good as he is, he might be
all booked up by now for the peak of the season, but give him a shout if you
have limited time or are new to King fishing. One day with a pro, is worth
several years of poking around on your own! Don't believe me? Look at the
guided versus unguided fishing data provided by the Alaska Outdoor Journal
you can find right here! The guides ratio of hours per fish is nearly half of
the unguided anglers!
Ship Creek - 30 pound kings 5 minutes from home, and very productive. Get the combat gear out!
Homer Lagoon - Like shooting fish in a barrel. Oh, except these fish can be up to 40 pounds! Can be frustrating at times when
you can see hundreds of fish, but can't get them to hit.
Ninilchik, Anchor, and Deep Creek - All good spots depending on water clarity. Ninilchik is the most consistent producer of the
three for me.
Kenai River - Okay, with a possible world record in the river anytime during the open season is a good time to fish the Kenai!
Kasilof River - should be just about the peak of the run! If you can't catch a king on this weekend, either the run is exceptionally
bad or you aren't trying hard enough!
Ship Creek- I don't necessarily recommend this to non-Alaskans, but this is the peak of the run. On good days, in our group of
four or so, we should be hooking up every 5 minutes! I'm not kidding! Kings in downtown Anchorage, how can you not try it if
you live here!
Kenai River - Did I mention the 97 pound king? Oh I did? enuf said.
Kasilof River- Getting toward the end of the peak. Still should be good fishing though.
Ship Creek- Lots of people, Lots of King!
Russian River- May be a tad early depending on the run. I think the season opens on the 15th. First run sockeyes!
Kenai River BIG kings
Big Su Tributaries - Willow, Montana, Sheep, Kashwitna, and about a dozen others. Mainly a weekend fishery. Its still might be a
touch early for the peak, but the kings should be there in good numbers.
Kasilof River - Lots of kings turning dark already but should be decent still.
Ship Creek - fewer people, but fewer fish.
Russian River- The red run should be going hot and heavy by this time!
Kenai River HUGE kings
Big-Su Tribs Should be some fast and furious action. The salmon are turning colors by now, but Ive had 20 fish days!
Kenai River MASSIVE Kings
Kenai River Unfortunately this has always been a weird week. With the Kenai River the only place I ever seem to fish. Its not
the peak of the 2nd run Kings but it should be happening soon. Big Su tribs are basically closed for Kings by this weekend. Its a
good week to golf or do something else because by next week things can get BUSY! Still since I end up fishing every week, the
place to be is the Kenai River. Why? MONSTER kings!
I'm still open for suggestion on this week!
Kenai River The only place to be! Unfortunately its no secret, it will be crowded! The second run Kings should be peaking and
the red run could hit ANYTIME! Once the reds and kings begin the peak of the run, there is absolutely nowhere else I will be!
The reds and kings epitomizes everything I like about catching salmon....except the crowds. This year, like most, I take at least a
week of vacation time during this period This year I am taking 10 days from July 15 to the 25th..
Kenai River The reds should be fast and furious and we will be putting in long hours in search of that trophy King. Why fish
Kenai River If we havent scored the big King, well most likely be on the Kenai River. If we have scored our kings, the silvers
should be showing up at anytime.
Resurrection Creek If the king or red salmon is a bust, or you are just plain sick and tired of the people, grab your ultralight and
try some pinks! I'm not kidding! On four pound test, they WILL test your skills.
Russian River The wave of reds should be approaching the Russian. Still, I much prefer to fish these same fish when they are in
the lower Kenai? Why? More space and the fish fight much better. People never seem to understand that. But you try
swimming a hundred miles against a swift current without eating ( like the salmon) and then tell me you have more strength after
the swim then before. I don't think so.....The reds are no different. The eating qualities also suffer.
August to September
Kenai River Silver salmon fishing has been spotty but it should be good. If not go nuts on the pinks.
Homer Lagoon Silver fishing should be great and even in August, you can catch a huge second run king up to 70 pounds from
this gravel pit. Amazing
Anchor, Ninilchik, & Deep Creek All should have good quantities of silvers and a few pinks.
Ship & Bird Creek Closer to home, the silver fishing can be amazingly good despite the number of people.
Big-su Tribs Good silver fishing north of Anchorage. Mix in a ton of pinks and some big bad chums and you have all the fixins
for a great time. Earlier is better for the pinks
Trout time! Trout in the lakes will be gorging out preparing for winter. Some great trout fishing! The streams with salmon
spawning can be awesome!
Kasilof River - Kings should be there in good numbers