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When is the Best Time to Go Fish the Inside Passage?

Many times we get asked questions. Questions like:

  • What are the fishing seasons in Alaska?

  • When’s the best time to come salmon fishing in Ketchikan?

  • Why are the fish from Alaska the best fish to catch and eat?

Important Dates to Know About the Fishing Season in Alaska

Catch & Release King Salmon The past couple years, we have seen regulations allowing catch & release king salmon fishing in May. For both ethical and conservation reasons, Alaska Go Fish, LLC does not fish catch & release.

Catch & Keep King Salmon The king salmon regulations change yearly and are governed by Fish & Game. Optimistically, we will be catching and retaining king salmon as early as May 15--but often it we have to wait until June 15.

Commercial King Salmon – Opens July 1 This is the start of the Commercial season and the fleet will hit the water hard. From here your likelihood of landing a Trophy King begins to decrease for the rest of the season. As Kings fade, you start to see the Coho, Chum, and Pinks start to show up. Each species peaks at different times.

Locals’ Tips

  • If you’re focused on kings, get here before the 4th of July.

  • For kings and silvers, target July 4th through mid-August. If you want the very best silver fishing, halibut, and ling cod, come after August 15.

  • If the quantity is your priority, pinks are the most numerous. The pinks start in late July and remain consistent through the end of September.

  • If you are after a monster halibut, be sure to book a FULL day charter. Halibut size is directly correlated with distance from town. If you book a full day charter, we can be sure we are going to untapped waters and the likelihood of hooking a barn door-sized halibut goes up.

  • Consider a full day combo charter. The only certainty in SE Alaska is uncertainty. Weather and fishing conditions are constantly changing. The best way to ensure a successful trip is to maximize time on the water and flexibility with conditions. If the salmon are not “on,” we’ll try a halibut hole. If halibut are scarce, we’ll drop some trolling lines.


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