How to Fish in Alaska for Salmon & Halibut

How to Fish in Alaska for Salmon & Halibut
Fishing for salmon and halibut in the icy and deep waters of Alaska is a popular tourist and local activity. For those from out of state, figuring out how to fish in Alaska may seem a bit overwhelming. But there are charters and guides that make it easier to hit the water and land those dream fish. In the end, you can enjoy the fishing Alaska offers and dip into the resources available from the "Great Land."


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Formulate a Plan

Step 1
Determine what part of Alaska you want to fish for salmon and halibut. Your best options include the waters of southeast Alaska, also known as the panhandle; the Kenai Peninsula and waters surrounding Seward or Homer or into Prince William Sound. Research the fish runs for each part of the state you are interested in, and then cross reference with your available times for fishing.
Step 2
Purchase the appropriate fishing license from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, through its online website or sporting goods stores in the state. Decide if you want to fish for salmon and halibut on your own, or with a charter. Ask the charter operator if licenses are provided.
Step 3
Prepare for your trip by researching the weather for the time of year and location of your trip. Bring rain gear, boots, hats, sunglasses, warm clothing and gloves. Ask your guides or charter operator if they provide the use of fishing gear, tackle and bait. This is especially important for the halibut portion of the trip, as halibut gear is very specialized and expensive. If you need to provide your own gear, ask the guides what they feel is best. If you do not want to bring or buy your own halibut gear, go with a charter that provides the use of the fishing gear.
Step 4
Check the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's fish run chart to help maximize time on the water. Use the salmon run charts and halibut openings chart to help decide when and where to go.

Tips & Warnings

If you are visiting from out of state, going with a guide or charter provides a cost effective way of fishing for salmon and halibut, especially charters that provide all fishing gear, tackle and bait.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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