Alaska, the United States’ largest and northernmost state, is famous for many things—and that includes incredible fishing! Ask any angler for their fishing bucket list, and Alaska will be on it. With so many ways to fish—and a wide variety of species—you may never want to fish anywhere else again!
Our family drove up to Alaska on the ALCAN Highway, a road constructed during WWII connecting Canada and Alaska. The road is rough, to put it kindly, but the scenery is absolutely breathtaking.
We are huge salmon lovers—even the kids are fans! So naturally, salmon fishing was at the top of our Alaska bucket list. We had dreams of a freezer full of salmon when we got home, but we knew that we were arriving a little late in the season for that. We still had some great luck, though!
We headed out from Seward, Alaska, about two hours from Anchorage with our charter from The Fish House, which we found on Take Me Fishing. Our knowledgeable guide Steve helped us get outfitted with lifejackets for the kids and rods for the whole family. He was super patient with the kids, which I so appreciated. Taking four small children on a boat in the middle of an ocean can be a little intimidating, but he gave us all a good lesson that made us feel more confident in our fishing abilities. Before long, we headed out.
Even though we only caught the end of the season, it’s been a great year for salmon here. Alaska’s salmon season is a bit complex, but it’s so fascinating, so I’ll give you a brief lesson.
There are five different species of salmon in Alaska. Coming in from the ocean, they all swim upstream into Alaska’s rivers. The type of salmon you’ll catch depends largely on when you come to fish.
Alaska’s Salmon Schedule
- Late May – Early July: King Salmon (this is the biggest salmon species, also known as chinook)
- June – Late July: Sockeye Salmon (this is the most commercially fished salmon)
- Mid July – August: Pink Salmon or Chum (probably the least desirable species for taste)
- July – October: Coho Salmon (this is the latest running species, also known as Silver)
There are also plenty of other incredible species to fish in Alaska like halibut and rockfish, but we were looking for salmon on this trip!
We set out across Resurrection Bay to find the perfect fishing spot. We settled in a beautiful little place called Emerald Cove where we started casting. Steve cut up pieces of herring as bait and hooked them for us. After about 15 minutes of patience, Ethan, our four-year-old, reeled in his silver salmon #FirstCatch! He was so excited and proud!
After our first catch we got a visit from some big sea lions who scared all our fish away. It was a bummer, but we did catch a few little rockfish that we threw back. And most importantly, we had our big silver salmon for dinner.
The kids had a blast riding around the bay all day seeing wildlife and catching fish. It was the perfect end to our time in Alaska. We had such a great time, we’re already planning a fishing trip back to Alaska next summer!