Alaskan King Salmon Fishing
Tips on fishing for and catching Alaskan king salmon a.k.a. chinook salmon
The King of Salmon is one of the most sought after Alaskan fish.
The king salmon, also known as the chinook salmon, outclasses all other salmon in size and strength and that makes Alaskan king salmon fishing some of the most thrilling fishing in the world.
The largest of Pacific salmon, its sheer size makes this fish a big draw for sport fishermen.
salmon are mostly prized for their flavorful meat and their size
(record catches go well over 100 pounds) but any angler who catches
one will soon discover the strength of the king salmon. Struggling with one of Alaska's great kings is an experience not to
Fishing for Alaskan king salmon will yield the most successful results if done during certain hours. The best times for fishing are generally between 9:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. and between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. Due to the great strength of chinook salmon, anglers should use a medium-action, back-bounce or spinning heavyweight casting rod and a heavy tournament quality reel. A variety of brightly colored spoons, spinners, flies and drift bobbers is recommended when fishing for king salmon in freshwater.
With rich and tasty deep red flesh, king salmon make a fine meal. These fish can be enjoyed whether smoked, grilled, or canned.
Identifying Alaskan King Salmon While Fishing
Of all Pacific salmon species, chinook salmon are the largest. The average weight for king salmon is around 18 pounds, but it is common to find kings that are 30 pounds or more and there are record breaking fish that have weighed in at over 100 pounds. Chinook typically measure 30 inches or more in length.
King salmon have silver sides, white bellies, a dark blue coloring on their backs and crossed markings on the upper part of their sides and fins. The tail is forked and broad with spotted lobes. Perhaps the most significant characteristic for identifying king salmon is the appearance of black gums on the lower jaw.
Spawning kings change in color to be brownish-red, brown or copper, often with dark purple or black markings. Chinook males are further transformed with more dramatic coloration, hooked jaws and ridged backs.
Best Locations For Alaskan King Salmon Fishing
South Central King Salmon Fishing Spots
Kenai: Kachemak Bay, Ninilchik, Kasilof, Anchor, Deep Creeks, Moose, Kenai Rivers, Lower Cook Inlet
Lower Cook Inlet: Chakachatna, McArthur River Systems
Upper Cook Inlet: Chuitna, Lewis, Ivan, Theodore Rivers, Little Susitna
Wrangell Mountains: Tonsina, Klutina, Gulkana, Taslina River Systems
Chugach: Passage Canal, Orca Inlet, Resurrection Bay, Valdez Arm
Kodiak: Chiniak Bay, Red Rivers, Karluk
Willow, Sheep, Montana, Little Willow, Lake, Alexander Creeks, Talkeetna, Talachulitna Rivers
Places in the Interior for King Salmon Fishing
Tanana: Chena, Salcha,
Locations for King Salmon Fishing in the Southeast
Petersburg: Wrangell Narrows, Duncan Canal, Frederick Sound
Haines: Chilkoot, Chilkat Inlets
Klawock, Prince of Wales: Gulf of Esquibel, Bucareli Bay
Juneau: Stephens Passage, Lynn Canal, Chatham Straits, Cross Sound, Favorite, Saginaw Channels
Skagway: Taiya Inlet
Wrangell: Stikine, Sumner Straits, Eastern Passage, Zimovia
Yakutat: Akwe, Situk Rivers, Yakutat Bay
Gravina Island, Behm Canal, Clarence Strait
Northwest King Salmon Fishing Spots
Norton Sound: Unalakleet, Inglutalik, Tubutulik, Shaktoolik Rivers
Places in the Southwest for King Salmon Fishing
Alaska Peninsula: King Salmon, Nelson Lagoon, Meshnik, Sand, Chignik Rivers
Lower Yukon: Anvik, Andreafsky Rivers
Bristol Bay: Wood, Togiak, Alagnak, Naknek
Aniak, Goodnews, Arolik, Holitna River Systems