The 10 Best Fishing Spots in Alaska This Summer

Written by Crystal
Published: September 8, 2022
© iStock.com/AntonyMoran
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A lot of the world’s wild salmon comes from Alaska!

Anglers from around the globe visit Alaska to catch high-quality salmon like silver, pink, chum, and sockeye.

May through September offers the best peak species fishing opportunities. However, knowing when to fish is just the start. The biggest puzzle piece is deciding where to fish. Once you know that, you can start planning the fishing trip of a lifetime.

Read on to discover the 10 best fishing spots in Alaska this summer.

1. Kenai River

There are at least 40 fish species in the Kenai River.

©iStock.com/Jonathan Nafzger

Take a trip to one of the 10 best fishing spots in Alaska this summer, the Kenai river. Over 275,000 anglers have tried their hand at catching fish here. The Gulf of Alaska is home to 5 base fish species. But overall, there are about 40 different fish species in Alaskan waters. The resident fish are anadromous and spend their entire life in the river. Here you’ll be able to catch red, silver, rainbow, and steelhead trout. There’s also pink salmon and northern pike. The salmon is incredible!

2. Kasilof River

The Kasilof River is on the Kenai peninsula.

©Own work / Creative Commons – License

Experience a world-class fishery when you visit the Kasilof River on the Kenai peninsula. It’s the perfect spot for finding salmon. This area is considered to be the little brother of Kenai. The river runs for about 18 miles, abundant with sockeye salmon, silver salmon, and king salmon. This spot is usually less crowded than Kenai. It’s the perfect place to find a bit of privacy. Because of the glacial flows of this river, the waters have a gorgeous green color.

3. Bristol Bay

Bristol Bay Management area includes nine major river systems. You’ll find that the bay is divided into five separate management districts, and each corresponds to major river drainage. The goal of each river is to maximize spawning goals. The bay has shallow estuaries and numerous freshwater lakes. It’s also the biggest commercial sockeye salmon-producing area in the entire world.

4. Kvichak River

The best word to describe the Kvichak river is bountiful. There is plenty of trophy rainbow trout, sockeye salmon, grayling, and more. You’re going to find millions of salmon on this river too. The water is pristine, and the landscape offers breathtaking views. Located about 250 miles below Anchorage, you’ll be near two small towns. There are also lovely fish lodges resting along the banks of the river.

5. Homer, Alaska

A closeup of a halibut head on a white background shows its right-facing eye
Homer is known for being home to halibut.

©Han Maomin/Shutterstock.com

For our next location on the list of the best fishing spots in Alaska this summer, we have Homer. It’s a city in the Kenai peninsula. Homer is the halibut fishing capital of the world. But there’s also plenty of salmon.

Homer is a family-friendly city. There are spots for clamming, which is a great activity for all ages. Fishing guides can help you make the most of your trip. You’ll be able to find special fishing spots that are off the beaten path, with a lot of gamefish species peaking during the summer.

The best months to visit Alaska, are between June and August. You’ll be arriving at the end of the king salmon season and the beginning of the peak season for pink, red, silver, and chum salmon.

6. Salcha River

Salcha River has some of the best returns for king salmon out of the entire Tanana River drainage. The river is a powerful stream right near Badger, Alaska. Along with king salmon, there are also regular catches for chinook salmon, European grayling, and northern pike. The summer-run chum salmon are also plentiful. Thanks to the Soldier River State recreation site nearby, you’ll have access to everything you need. There are campsites, bathrooms, a boat launch, and a public-use cabin. You can expect a large crowd if you’re going on a holiday weekend. If the campsites here are too primitive, you have options for the best campgrounds in Alaska.

7. Ketchikan

Largest Salmon - Coho Salmon
Coho salmon is abundant in Ketchikan.

©Keith Publicover/Shutterstock.com

Ketchikan is a city in Alaska that sits in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough. The area is famous for being abundant in salmon. Once you arrive, you’ll also have access to recreational fishing opportunities.

Go to Ketchikan if you want to explore the secluded wilderness areas with a small boat or plane. Be adventurous, and let a guide help you explore the remote wilderness areas.

A few fishing tips for this spot: Anglers report having the best luck using fillets rather than steaks as bait. Focus on using big bait to catch big fish. The best coho salmon fishing in this area is in July and November.

8. Kodiak Island

Kodiak Island is the second largest island in the United States. You can use the Alaska marine highway system to take a ferry from Seward or Homer directly to Kodiak; it runs four times a week. You’ll find the Kodiak is the perfect place for fishing pink, chum, silver, red, and king salmon. Troll the marine waters for king and coho salmon. Most of the action happens in the bay since it’s a feeding area for the king salmon.

9. Soldotna Creek

Soldotna Creek, Alaska, is famous for having coho salmon, pink salmon, and sockeye salmon. Salmon aren’t the only fish here, though. Resident species are making a comeback!

Recently, the creek was treated to kill off invasive northern pike species. Now that the pikes are almost gone from the stream, you’ll find plenty of rainbow trout, sculpin, and more.

The creek sits in the Kenai Peninsula and is only 3 miles from Soldotna. Spinning, baitcasting, fly fishing; the waters support all sorts of strategies. So grab your favorite rod and reel and get ready for a fantastic day of fishing.

10. Elkutna Tailrace

There are a lot of wildlife viewing opportunities when you fish in Alaska.

©iStock.com/N8tureGrl

Are you looking for a lazy day of fishing? Then check out Elkutna Tailrace. The remarkable fishery is only 25 miles north of Anchorage. You’ll find a small body of glacial-fed water with a blue-gray color. There isn’t a strong current, but there’s plenty of fish. The main area is stocked with pinks, chum, dollies, silvers, and kings.

The main area is right at the confluence of where the Elkutna Tailrace meets with the Knik river. It’s the perfect spot for setting up a lawn chair and leisurely fishing the day away. But there isn’t a lot of tree cover, so wear a hat.

Better yet, plan your visit at dusk or dawn. The twilight shadows put the fish at ease, making them easier to catch.

The water is murky and silty. Use bright colors so the fish can see your bait.

The first fish you catch in wild Alaska is one you’ll never forget. It’ll be a true adventure! Who knows, maybe you’ll even get to stare down an Alaskan grizzly.


The Featured Image

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska
© iStock.com/AntonyMoran

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About the Author

Crystal is a curious writer who's always looking to learn more. When she's not out in nature, she's writing about it. Animals, plants, survival tips, and more. It'll be exciting to watch this author grow and learn with her along the way.

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