Ketchikan is the Salmon Capital of the World. Like many places in Alaska, there are an abundant number of salmon swimming around our island. Because we fish in saltwater, the salmon we catch are of the highest quality. When salmon head into their rivers to spawn, they will often stop eating, their bodies then start to deteriorate, and the quality of their meat decreases.
Because in Ketchikan we fish exclusively in the salt water, the quality of our salmon is second to none.
There are two types of king salmon we catch. I would bet about 25% of the kings we catch are “White” or “Ivory King”. Most of us locals prefer the white king to the regular king salmon.
Like Mahi, when caught in the open ocean, king salmon have an “extra shine” to them. Sometimes the glimmer on their skin can be red, blue, green, and purple. Primarily, they are silvery on the side and white on the bottom. They have spots running down their backs and on their tails.
What Is A Keeper King?
A “keeper” king in the Ketchikan area is OVER 28 inches in length. We often call smaller kings “Shakers” or ‘Jacks.” Over the last 25 years of fishing, I have become very good at eyeballing a 28-inch fish. A fully mature king can sometimes get to almost double that length. The largest king I have seen was 104lbs dressed. That was a commercial caught king salmon, and the fisherman shot it with a .22lr to land the fish. The largest recorded king salmon is around 126lbs. However, even a 25lb king salmon can be a challenge for just about anyone to reel in.
King salmon have black mouths and gumlines. For your chance to catch this most interesting and exciting big game fish in Alaska, call Jos. We run a King Salmon Derby Special for locals starting in May.