A local guide will tell you that although many people come to Ketchikan in June searching for Chinook, another equally delicious and plentiful species is silver salmon or coho. The coho salmon run starts around mid-late June and lasts through the early fall. During June, coho average about eight pounds. By the time August arrives, most are approximately 10 pounds. If you’re lucky, a local professional can direct you where to go for larger fish that are closer to 15 pounds. In September, silver salmon average about 14 pounds, and there have been reports of 20-plus pound catches, too!
While June draws fishermen to Ketchikan primarily for salmon runs, you’ll also have a chance to catch halibut at this time of year, too. Halibut gravitate to the warmer, shallower waters that are generally prevalent along the coastline by June. They’re drawn inward to shore by their food supply, which is salmon, cod, herring, and other smaller fish. If you’re planning a fishing expedition through Alaska, be on the lookout for this species all across southeastern Alaska.
Although they don’t steal the limelight like king salmon, rockfish is another species that you can catch in summer. Other than making fantastic fish and chips for any seafood feed, they are unlike seasonal species, and the fishing run for rockfish continues year-round. This is a great excuse to get out on the waters in a typical offseason. Rockfish typically stay in the same general area through adulthood. Rarely do they go beyond a five-mile radius. Rockfish have an average size 3-5 pounds, which means they are quite often a valuable food source for larger fish species, but they can reach up to 20 pounds.
Summer in Alaska is one of the most beautiful times of the year, and it’s also one of the best times to go fishing. June is the best king salmon season, and it’s not uncommon to catch fish that are 30 pounds or more. If you really want to have the best fishing experience, contact a local professional to either take you out on a fishing charter or direct you where to go.