Ask the Pro's: King & Sockeye Salmon Fishing from the Shore
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Me and my family have been looking into planning an Alaska salmon fishing trip this summer during around end of June - first week or so of July. We want to preferably target Chinook and Sockeye at a river that is accessible to bank fishermen, meaning not too wide, as we will not have a boat. Would it be possible for you to recommend a good river that fits this criteria as much as possible?
Thanks so much, Jascha!
Thank you so much for your question. You have to be super careful with any chinook/king salmon fishing you do from the shore. This year, there are very strict regulations about targeting and harvesting wild king salmon, especially down here on the Kenai Peninsula. You also need to know that regulations change drastically in the form of Emergency Orders as well as seasonally (end of June into July 1, the chinook/king salmon regulations change drastically).
Probably one of the only places you can target both king/chinook salmon as well as Sockeye Salmon is on the Kasilof River (below the bridge). As of right now, you must use a single hook and can only harvest hatchery king salmon on the Kasilof River. You can not harvest, nor can you remove wild king salmon from the water - this area is patrolled heavily, so be sure to know the regulations.
Further, you can target sockeye salmon on the Kasilof, though the success rate from shore access is rather low. You might have more success on the Kenai River at the confluence of the Kenai and Russian Rivers. Here too, the area and species are heavily regulated. Absolutely no bait, single hook (3/8" hook gap maximum).
Hopefully this helps!
- DaveDave Lisi - Owner/Guide for Cooper Landing Fishing Guide, LLC located in the small mountain town of Cooper Landing, Alaska where he is a year-round resident, guide, carpenter and trout bum. On any given day, you will most likely find Dave on the banks of the Kenai swinging for trout with his best friend and future wife, Jackie. Cooper Landing Fishing Guide, LLC was built in early 2017 with the goal of sharing the love and passion Dave and Jackie have for the Kenai Peninsula and the fish that live there.
Your best two options are the Kasilof and the Kenai River. Sockeye Salmon run in shallow water along the banks, so don’t let the wider rivers intimidate you. The Kasilof would be best option for King Salmon from the bank. Both will have Sockeye and Kings, but there are already quite a few restrictions on King’s as our returns have not been good and don’t have great projections for the year. Sockeye returns are projected to be good. Mid to late July would be better for the second run of sockeye in the Kenai.
Anything we can do to help, please let us know.
Thanks - MikeMike Brown - Owner of Mossy's Fly Shop in Anchorage, Alaska
Congrats on you and your families upcoming trip to AK.! End of June can be tougher for sockeye, whereas the first week of July can be better for both kings and sockeye. For sockeye you are going to want to focus down south on the Kenai Peninsula specifically the Russian River. It is a smaller river with good access but it is also a very popular location. For kings you have options of both the Kenai and Kasilof rivers. The Kenai will more than likely be catch and release for Kings. The Kasilof allows for harvest. Another option for harvesting kings is Ship Creek in Anchorage. Good luck!
Cheers - AdamAdam Cuthriell - Part owner of FishHound Expeditions. His wife Kathryn Cuthriell and business partner Dave "Reps" Repta make up the rest of the company as well as their dogs Hatch, Rado, and Pike. They fish, live, and guide in Alaska year-round. When not guiding on the rivers they guide ice fishing on Alaska's numerous lakes. Originally from Colorado, he began guiding at the age of 19 while receiving a degree in Outdoor Recreation Leadership. Adam is also a current state of Alaska EMT.
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