Alaskan Fishing Calendar

Alaska’s Fishing Seasons

Alaska’s Fishing Seasons can vary, influenced by factors like environmental conditions and fish migration patterns. To ensure the best experience, our team crafts a personalized itinerary tailored to your group and the latest fishing conditions. In Alaska, the fishing calendar starts with king salmon runs in late spring, followed by sockeye in summer, and silver salmon peaking in the fall. Each season offers a unique opportunity to experience the rich biodiversity of the Kenai Peninsula. If you are looking for a specific fish please get in contact with our team and we can cater you the perfect fishing charter plan. Use the below chart to see Alaska’s Fishing Seasons.

Kasilof spring king salmon - Alaska

Spring

Kasilof King Salmon

The May arrival of the Kasilof River king salmon marks the beginning of our fishing season on the Kenai peninsula. This scenic river is approximately 13 miles south of Soldotna and is a quiet, drift boat fishery. We fish out of stable 20 foot willie drift boats, typically back trolling plugs and other baits through the holes where these fish lay. We often use other techniques such as float fishing and back bouncing while fishing for Kasilof kings. Kasilof River king salmon average 10-30 pounds, but larger fish are possible. The Kasilof river is home to a strong hatchery program which allows for a liberal 2 King salmon per day limit. These first run Kings fresh from the ocean are fantastic light tackle fighters, and also make excellent table fare.

kenai river sockeye - Alaska

Early June – August

Kenai River Sockeye Salmon

If a priority for your Alaskan vacation is to bring home a box of fish, look no further than the kenai river sockeye salmon. Between 4-7 million of these tasty 6-13 lb fish return to the cook inlet every year, making them the ultimate sustainable resource. They first show up as a trickle in early June as the 1st run fish head to the Russian river, then again in July as the massive 2nd run brings tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of these fish into the river per day. Following these fish is a spike in tourism in July, as tourists by the thousands flock to the public fishing areas. This can make fishing for these fish at public fishing areas a stressful, and at times dangerous affair as you stand shoulder to shoulder with other fishermen, all vying for the best spots.

By booking a guided trip for sockeyes, we can get away from the stress of the public fishing areas as we fish the best spots which are accessible only by boat. Here you won’t typically have to worry about the stranger next to you hooking you or loosing your spot if you step out of the water for a minute to take a break. We use our 20′ Willie powerboats to get you to and from productive fishing spots, and to leapfrog huge schools of these fish as they head upriver. Kenai River sockeye salmon limits usually begin at 3 per person, then late July or early August often become liberated to 6 fish if AK Fish & Game deems appropriate. One thing many anglers notice is that Kenai River sockeye salmon tend to run larger in size than other rivers in Alaska. In the fast flowing waters of the Kenai River these salmon put up an impressive acrobatic battle. This is a prime time in terms of Alaska’s Fishing Season so make sure to book ahead! 

Kasilof sockeye - Alaska Kenai River

June – July

Kasilof River Sockeye Salmon

Because the bulk of the Kenai River sockeye run doesn’t typically show up until mid July we spend much of our time between June 20- July 15th fishing on the Kasilof River, which has an early run of sockeye. Because we have Kenai National Wildlife Refuge permits we are able to fish the productive gravel bars located on the refuge waters of the upper Kasilof river. Not only can the fishing be excellent on this stretch of river, it is also minimally developed providing for an amazing Alaskan experience. Here it is common to see moose and other wildlife while drifting or slowly motoring this scenic 9 mile stretch of river. The salmon pushing through this fishery are fast traveling fish heavily influenced by the tides. This makes it important to keep an open mind on the possibility of an early morning start time to ensure we can put you on a productive spot. The Kasilof River sockeye salmon limit starts out at 3 fish per person, but typically gets raised to 6 fish per person sometime in July. If you are in Alaska during late June-mid July spending a guided day on the Kasilof River fishing for sockeye salmon will make for great memories, and with just a bit of luck lots of salmon fillets.

When booking a sockeye salmon trip I can promise to give you all the one-on-one teaching you need to become proficient at the very specific technique used to catch these fish. Don’t be surprised to find us standing next to you in the river helping correct technique and fine tuning your sockeye flossing skills. There is nothing we want more as guides than for you to catch fish and we will give as much effort on our end as it takes to help get you 100% dialed in.

Kenai kings - Alaska

July

Kenai King Salmon

July is the beginning of our Kenai river fishing season, where we can target the largest kings in the world out of the comfort of our specially designed 20′ powerboats. We fish for these hard-fighting fish by back-trolling large plugs or spin-n-glos on a jet diver, utilizing bait when legally allowed. Fishing for Kenai king salmon is not a numbers fishery, however, the raw power and sheer adrenaline rush an angler experiences when they hook one of these giants more than makes up for it. The incredible fight these fish put up can defeat even the most experienced angler.

The Kenai River run may be subject to closures due to low abundance.

kenai river sockeye - Alaska

June – July

Kenai River Sockeye Salmon

If a priority for your Alaskan vacation is to bring home a box of fish, look no further than the kenai river sockeye salmon. Between 4-7 million of these tasty 6-13 lb fish return to the cook inlet every year, making them the ultimate sustainable resource. They first show up as a trickle in early June as the 1st run fish head to the Russian river, then again in July as the massive 2nd run brings tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of these fish into the river per day. Following these fish is a spike in tourism in July, as tourists by the thousands flock to the public fishing areas. This can make fishing for these fish at public fishing areas a stressful, and at times dangerous affair as you stand shoulder to shoulder with other fishermen, all vying for the best spots.

By booking a guided trip for sockeyes, we can get away from the stress of the public fishing areas as we fish the best spots which are accessible only by boat. Here you won’t typically have to worry about the stranger next to you hooking you or loosing your spot if you step out of the water for a minute to take a break. We use our 20′ Willie powerboats to get you to and from productive fishing spots, and to leapfrog huge schools of these fish as they head upriver. Kenai River sockeye salmon limits usually begin at 3 per person, then late July or early August often become liberated to 6 fish if AK Fish & Game deems appropriate. One thing many anglers notice is that Kenai River sockeye salmon tend to run larger in size than other rivers in Alaska. In the fast flowing waters of the Kenai River these salmon put up an impressive acrobatic battle

Kenai River Fishing Group

August – September

Coho (Silver) Salmon

Coho salmon, more commonly referred to in Alaska as silver salmon are a locals favorite. Loved for their size and willingness to bite both bait and lures they are a great fish for any angler. Silver salmon are excellent light tackle fighters known for the spectacular jumps and lightning fast runs they provide. We use many different techniques to catch silver salmon but some of our favorites are casting spinners, twitching a jig, drifting a bobber or simply relaxing in the boat and back bouncing eggs or swimming a plug. For the experienced fly angler silver salmon are very eager biters and will crush a streamer with a vengeance. Silver salmon limits vary by river and season between 2-3 fish per day.

Guy that caught a fish in Alaska

June – November

Rainbow Trout & Dolly Varden

The Kenai River is home to some of Alaska’s largest trout, and is certainly the best drive to trout fishery in the state. Trout season opens in June, and the fishing just gets better as the season goes on, eventually reaching its peak as the salmon begin to spawn in August and September. Trout fishing trips are customizable and I can cater to both fly and spin fishers. Trout on the Kenai river average 12-25″, with larger fish very common. For an angler looking for lots of action this is the perfect trip, as some days we can boat 70-100 fish. By law all trout species on the Kenai river are catch and release only.

Guy that caught a fish in Alaska

June – November

Rainbow Trout & Dolly Varden

The Kenai River is home to some of Alaska’s largest trout, and is certainly the best drive to trout fishery in the state. Trout season opens in June, and the fishing just gets better as the season goes on, eventually reaching its peak as the salmon begin to spawn in August and September. Trout fishing trips are customizable and I can cater to both fly and spin fishers. Trout on the Kenai river average 12-25″, with larger fish very common. For an angler looking for lots of action this is the perfect trip, as some days we can boat 70-100 fish. By law all trout species on the Kenai river are catch and release only.

August

Pink Salmon

Available on even numbered years pink salmon provide plenty of action, and they are a blast on light tackle. At times pink salmon are so abundant you can catch one on nearly every cast. These are a fine eating fish when they are bright and fresh from the ocean. Many people smoke or can these 3-8 pound fish. With a liberal 6 fish limit its easy to fill a fish box when fresh pinks enter the river. This is a great species to target for the angler just looking to bend a rod on many aggressive fish and have a good time.

Fishing that works for everyone

Book your trip now and create memories that will last a lifetime and make sure to check our Alaska’s fishing seasons chart above to pick the best time! 

Alaskan Fish Showcase - Kenai River

Fishing that works for everyone

Book your trip now and create memories that will last a lifetime and make sure to check our Alaska’s fishing seasons chart above to pick the best time! 

Alaskan Fish Showcase - Kenai River

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Alaska Kenai River Fishing Guide