The people in Alaska are all proud of the incredible fishing available in their state. Everyone agrees that Alaska is one of the world’s best fishing destinations. However, it is hotly contested as to which port city is the best for fishing. In all likelihood, you will find the answer heavily biased towards the preferred port of call for whomever you are asking. Remember, Alaska is an immense state – more than twice the size of Texas. Objectively, the absolute best fishing destination probably changes between a handful of cities each year depending on the random returns that peak in that particular season. The truth is you are in the world’s best waters fishing most anywhere in Alaska. However, we are from Ketchikan, so naturally, we make the argument that Ketchikan is the BEST!
Ketchikan is one of the most popular cruise destinations for Alaska adventures. The area is famous for its breathtaking, authentic Alaska Native totem poles, both large and small, sprinkled throughout town. Nearby are salmon spawning streams interspersed among waterfalls and bays. Ketchikan is home to all kinds of abundant and diverse wildlife. That includes black bears, Alaskan wolves, and the majestic bald eagles soaring above. It’s indeed a sight that can only be appreciated in person. Here you are truly inundated with nature: the smell, the views, and the taste of the freshest salmon you’ll ever eat in your life. All these incredible experiences are all at your fingertips in Ketchikan.
Ketchikan is the first Alaskan city you hit when traveling north by ship. Many of the schools of fish that travel seasonally swim through the same channels of Southeast Alaska on their way north. This makes Ketchikan the travel epicenter for all of Alaska’s migrating fish.
On our half-day trips, it’s not uncommon to land a cooler full of fish. The kings are the most scarce. But between kings, cohos, chums, pinks, and other species, we are sure to get a bite. Often, due to state limits, we are catch and releasing pinks so we can continue the hunt for more appealing trophy fish. Just one generation ago, it was common Ketchikan lore that the streams were so overwhelmed with fish that you could walk across a river on the backs of salmon without getting your feet wet. We won’t make such a grandiose claim, but it is true that when the runs hit the rivers, you can practically pick up the fish due to their abundance. While impressive to see, the fish hitting the streams will not be our target. Salmon head upstream to spawn and then die. The fish you find in the streams and rivers are on their way out and are a far cry from the brilliance of a bright king caught in the deep ocean. Either way, you are in for an incredible treat and once in a lifetime experience, when you come to Ketchikan for a wild salmon fishing charter.