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When is the best time to go fishing in Alaska?

/When is the best time to go fishing in Alaska?
When is the best time to go fishing in Alaska?2019-02-24T22:07:51+00:00

When Is The Best Time To Go Fishing In Alaska?

If you are looking for a once in a lifetime salmon fishing trip in Alaska, you need to plan ahead.  We have heard too many stories from people who had dreamed of an incredible salmon fishing trip only to miss out because they waited too long to book.  We partner with other captains to do our best to help everyone make it out, but the longer you delay, the less chance there is we can accommodate your needs.  The cruise ship passenger numbers for next season is projected to exceed 1.3 million. Ketchikan has continued to expand its facilities to receive cruise ships. The growth in the number of tourists far exceeds the number of seats available for charter trips.  If you would like to book a charter for Summer 2019, you need to plan on having the trip reserved by early April.

A Main Port Of Call For Cruise Ships

Ketchikan is one of the main ports-of call for cruise ships in Alaska. Ketchikan receives up to six ships daily from May through September, with an expected 1.3 million passengers visiting in 2019. The average length of cruise ships has increased over time. In the 1970s, 550-foot long ships were common, and now ships with lengths over 900 feet are becoming the operational standard. These post-Panamax cruise ships, which are larger than those that have been coming through Alaska’s Inside Passage previously, are expected to reach the Port of Ketchikan in the summer of 2019.

Can You Fish Year Round?

It is important to note that if you are willing to step outside your fishing comfort zone, Alaska does provide year-round fishing. This could involve salmon fishing with snow on the ground.  This is not something that everyone is used to. If you can go this route be prepared for the winter’s severe weather and short days. We do not currently provide these charters, but if you are looking for winter guides, we would be happy to help.  

If you are hoping to do some salmon fishing in the summer, give us a call.  Your best bet is to head to Alaska between May and September. Specifically, the best time to fish for king salmon is usually in June.  Some years you can still find coho, dog, and pink salmon into October. If you are pursuing sockeye salmon, you should definitely plan your trip between June and July. From mid-July to late August, you will have luck finding silver, pink, and chum salmon in the Alaskan waters.

An Alternate Fishing Experience, Halibut

If you are thinking that you also want to fish for halibut, you are in luck because the season is the same as salmon fishing! Specifically, you’ll find the Alaskan waters abundant with halibut from mid-May to mid-September. 

In terms of the perfect time to fish for halibut, experts suggest around high slack tide. Since halibut tend to hang out at the bottom of the sea, fishing at high slack tide will be when it is easiest to keep your line on the bottom.

a group of freinds get together for a fishing trip in alaska

The Importance Of Choosing A Local

If you are going on a charter, be sure to find someone local.  This will ensure that you have a guide that knows the waters and can get you to the hotspots.  On all of our charters, we aim to meet the fish bag limit. Success is not guaranteed, but when you book with locals, your probability drastically improves.  

We hope this guide helped you determine the best time to plan your fishing trip to Alaska. No matter what time of the year you choose to visit, you are not likely to leave empty-handed. If you are traveling with a group, get together before you book the trip and decide which of the Alaskan fish you are most looking forward to catching so that you can choose the appropriate time and place to visit. We hope to see you on our charter boat soon!

Book Your Fishing Experience Today!

Our mission is to offer travelers from across the world unrivaled fish-on experiences at a selection of hand-picked Ketchikan fishing destinations.

MEET YOUR CAPTAIN

Locally born and raised fisherman Jos Govaars is at the heart of Alaska Go Fish. He has chartered extensively throughout the Inside Passage and knows the waters perfectly, so you are sure to enjoy your fishing adventures.

Man holding fish in alaska

Jos Govaars

President & Founder

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