Just the thought of Alaska and salmon fishing in the same mental picture conjures images of grandeur, pristine forest, snowy peaks, and a pole bent double while the line rips through the water. Alaska salmon fishing has been discovered closer than you could expect and more beautiful than all the pictures you’ve seen. This secret location is…
Alaska salmon fishing is closer than you think. A few hundreds miles north of Seattle is the southern most tip of Alaska. Prince of Wales Island is the largest island in North America and the closest Alaska salmon fishing grounds that has extreme fishing success.
If you choose not to drive up the Alaska Highway you will arrive in Ketchikan Alaska via commercial airlines, and take the ferry over to Prince of Wales Island or a commercial float-plane will fly you over to the island. There are resorts, lodges and guides that will accommodate you based on your vacation budget.
Craig and Klawok are two villages that welcome salmon fishers from all over the world. Coho or King Salmon arrive off the Island of Noyes bringing in the first salmon harvest for the year. There are thousands of miles of inland shores to fish without ever reaching the Pacific Ocean. Most of the king salmon fishing is within a cast of shore. To reach the early arriving king salmon you will need to meet them on the edge of the Pacific as they feed up to the inlets that flow in and around the Prince of Wales.
Expect the grandest of fishing trips with the widest array of visual candy. Gray whales, sea lions, sea otters, puffins, geese, bald eagles, loons, seals, majestic mountains, peaceful lagoons, bear, deer, cranes, killer whales, sea ducks and more waterfowl. A week on Prince of Wales will usually show you afternoon showers and then sunshine. The weather in April will be cool but not freezing. Bring a raincoat and pants. Oh, and you are going to see some fish! 30 pound king salmon is not uncommon. 60 pound kings come every year. And don’t forget Prince of Wales is one of the best locations to catch barn door size halibut.
Silver salmon are 8 to 12 pounds, fight very hard and will show up in huge numbers. You are allowed a 70 pound “fish box” by the airlines on your return trip. You will fill two of these boxes in 5 days of cleaned frozen filets. Silver salmon are later to show up to the party. Plan on a June trip for silver salmon. You have an option, have some of your salmon smoked. Never have you experienced salmon till you have tried fresh smoked.
Sockeye salmon, the most red meat of all salmon is next to last to arrive in late June or July in large schools. Sockeye salmon are usually 4 years old and weigh 5-12 pounds. A local guide and boat is a must for sockeye salmon fishing. Try driving your RV up or staying in a log cabin resort for the ultimate experience. You will dine on Dungeness crab, Alaska shrimp, sockeye salmon and halibut. If you have never fished Alaska you are in for the fishing trip that will make memories for a lifetime!
Salmon fishing has been a way of life for Alaskans. For the sports fisherman, salmon fishing in Alaska is a dream come true. I’ve been there, you won’t be disappointed!