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Fishing in Alaska

Alaska, United States, North America: fisherman reels in a big one on a boat in Prince William Sound's Chenega Bay.

Central Charter Booking Agency

Homer , Alaska
Tel: 907 235 2895

Knudson Cove Marina

407 Knudson Cove Road N.
Ketchikan , Alaska
Tel: 800 528 2486

Juneau Sport Fishing

Juneau , Alaska
Tel: 907 586 1887


Prince of Wales Island , Alaska
Tel: 800 544 5125's insider take:

Fishing in Alaska is easy: Find water, throw some string at it, and you're bound to catch something. Even in Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, a salmon stream runs through the middle of town—between late May and August, locals take their lunch breaks at Ship Creek, hoping to catch dinner. For something a little less urban, the Russian River and the nearby Kenai River, about 100 miles west of Anchorage on the Sterling Highway, get some of the largest salmon runs in the state. Record catch for the Kenai is a 97-pound king salmon. Fishing in any of these rivers in summer, however, turns into a combat sport, with anglers lined up shoulder to shoulder.

Homer, at the end of the Kenai Peninsula, is Alaska's fishing paradise: Charter boats seek out all five species of salmon; it's also the likeliest spot in the state to reel in a "barn door" halibut. (Those giants can top 400 pounds, although they taste terrible; stick to 20 pounds or less for the best eats.) Boats can be booked through Central Charter Booking Agency.

Southeast Alaska is better for salmon fishing than for halibut: In Ketchikan, try Knudson Cove Marina, one of the state's most experienced operators; in Juneau, Juneau Sport Fishing works with a number of different boats and will help you find the experience you're after. If you plan to do nothing but fish, look to Waterfall, a remote lodge on Prince of Wales Island. It's like a fishing ashram—they put you up in converted cannery worker houses, take you to Southeast's best fishing grounds in a private boat, and help you catch truth bigger than the fish tales you were planning to tell.

Limits on how many fish you can take vary by season and location (see the Alaska Department of Fish & Game Web site for more information). Nearly every coastal town has at least one business that specializes in packing and shipping; remote lodges also pack and ship. If you're flying out within a day or so, any grocery store can sell you a box and chemical ice so you can pack the fish as luggage (Alaska Airlines is used to handling fish boxes).—Edward Readicker-Henderson

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.