How to Catch Salmon in Alaska

How to Catch Salmon in Alaska
No Alaskan fishing trip would be complete without catching the official state fish---the king salmon. Both a saltwater and freshwater fish, the king salmon is the largest Pacific salmon variety. Fishing takes place during the salmon's annual migration from May to August when they are caught in the ocean near the coast and in the rivers as they make their way to their spawning grounds. The current record weight for a king is over 97 pounds, though most kings average closer to 20 pounds. Kenai king salmon are typically in the 50-pound range.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fishing pole Heavy-duty reel Lures Roe bait Herring bait King salmon hooks Fishing weights Planers
  • Fishing pole
  • Heavy-duty reel
  • Lures
  • Roe bait
  • Herring bait
  • King salmon hooks
  • Fishing weights
  • Planers
 
Step 1
Make a reservation with a licensed professional fishing guide before you arrive. Contact fishing lodges to find recommendations for guides or check with your lodge to see if the service is offered. Guides know the best places to fish each season.
Step 2
Bait your hook herring bait if fishing in saltwater. Use spoons or spinner lures or salmon eggs when fishing in freshwater.
Step 3
Attach the weight recommended by your fishing guide to the line. Use heavier weights if casting more than one line per boat, and lighter weights or planers when casting only one line per boat.
Step 4
Drag your line behind the boat---this is called trolling. Troll when the salmon are spread out in the water and aren't in a tight school.
Step 5
From shore, cast your weighted and baited line out into slower moving parts of the river. Angle for the salmon using lures or or roe.
Step 6
Wait for the line to go momentarily slack---this means a king is mouthing your bait or lure. Snap your rod back to hook the salmon. Hold on tight or the rod will get pulled from your hands.
Step 7
Reel in your king salmon, but be prepared to fight for a little bit. Stay away from the current as much as possible when fishing from shore to make reeling in your catch easier.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Use a heavy-duty reel and pole to avoid breakage while fishing. King salmon do not eat once they enter freshwater but still mouth at lures and bait. A king on the line at first feels similar to a line snagging over rock.
 
Use a heavy-duty reel and pole to avoid breakage while fishing.
 
King salmon do not eat once they enter freshwater but still mouth at lures and bait. A king on the line at first feels similar to a line snagging over rock.
 
Avoid keeping your line too loose, or you will not feel the king mouth the lure.

Article Written By Jenny Harrington

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

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