How to Fish for King Salmon in Alaska

How to Fish for King Salmon in Alaska
Anglers visiting Alaska are either after halibut or salmon, and if they want the latter, the fighting king salmon is hard to beat for fishing excitement. Also known as chinook, the king salmon averages 50 pounds (the state record topped the scales at 97 pounds). Anglers pursue a variety of techniques to catch and land this trophy fish, and you can read on to learn about them.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Heavy-duty flyfish rod or baitcasting reel
  • bait and tackle
  • Alaska fishing license
  • King salmon permit stamp
Step 1
Hire an experienced guide to help you catch king salmon. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game conducted a study that shows solo anglers unfamiliar with local waters will spend an average of 40 hours fishing before they hook a king salmon. Anglers with trained guides showing them the way might spend only a few hours before hooking their prize, the study showed.
Step 2
Fish from a boat. King salmon lurk in deep water and you'll need a boat to reach them. Fly anglers can catch pink, coho and sockeye salmon all day from the riverbanks--and occasionally a king salmon--but if you are serious about catching one of the big kings, a boat in open water is the answer.
Step 3
Troll live herring or herring chunks off the stern. Some boat captains will also rig lines with herring attractors to draw more wild baitfish toward the boat, in turn attracting more king salmon.
Step 4
Fly fish for the big kings using pink or chartreuse streamers cast over deep pools and eddies. You'll need at least a 9-foot rod and reel equipped with a reliable drag mechanism spooled with plenty of backing line--at least 100 yards. A king salmon on a long run will make a cheap flyreel squeal like a pig in hot oil.
Step 5
Cast toward the tail-end of a pool or areas of slow-moving water behind rocks and boulders where king salmon hang out. These fish are territorial and may attack your hook out of sheer hostility than hunger.

Article Written By James Clark

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.

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