Alaska salmon fishing is all about timing. Alaska’s freshwater streams boast five different species of pacific salmon. They are the Chinook Alaska name is (King), sockeye (red), Coho (silver), chum (dog), and the pink (humpy) salmon. All of the species are hatched in freshwater lakes or rivers and then migrate to the ocean after spending a short time in the freshwater. The salmon will then spend anywhere from 2 – 6 years in the ocean growing to become mature adult salmon.
Salmon Fishing 101
Once they hit maturity, the salmon will migrate back to the original location that they were hatched. This is one of the great mysteries of Alaska salmon is that they are able to navigate back to their origin. Once back to their native location, the salmon will pair up with a fish of the opposite sex and begin to spawn. Shortly after the completion of spawning, the salmon will die. This completes the life cycle of the Alaska salmon. Some rivers will have all five species that return each year, while others may only have one or two species that return each year. The person that desires a successful salmon fishing trip to Alaska must first decide which salmon species they desire to chase after.
The King salmon is the largest of all salmon. The state record is 97 pounds. Depending on which king salmon river you are fishing will determine if the fish you caught is large in comparison to the average. For instance, a 45-pound king caught on the Kenai River is nothing to brag about. Whereas a 45 pound king caught on the Nushagak River is a large fish. The other difference is on the Kenai River; an angler will spend an average of 43 hours of fishing to catch their king. On the Nushagak, anglers typically have days of catching 20 to 30 kings.
The red salmon are the most plentiful of the salmon. The Bristol Bay red salmon run is the largest in the world with the commercial catch of over 20 million fish each year. They are also the best fish to eat.
The silver salmon are extremely aggressive and are very acrobatic once hooked. These fish range in size from 8—18 pounds and are also good eating.
The dog salmon is extremely underrated as a sport-fish. These fish are not good to eat, but are excellent for the angler that wishes to catch and release a bunch of hard-fitting 15-pound fish on a fly rod. The pink salmon return to their spawning grounds only on even numbered years, 2000, 2002, 2004, etc., These fish are very plentiful and they allot of fun for the catch and release angler. Call us today for more info or to reserve your fantasy trip!