Alaska Fishing - Kenai River Fishing
The Typical Alaska Fishing Trip
Alaska fishing adventures can vary greatly because there are just so many different ones to choose from. An Alaska fishing trip usually consists of targeting several different species of fish over several days. This is especially true in and around the Kenai River and Kenai Peninsula areas.
Summer in Alaska always means huge numbers of migrating salmon in search of their native streams. Alaska is native to all 5 species of salmon and millions of them are targeting the fertile rivers of the Kenai Peninsula. Salmon fishing in Alaska means king salmon, silver salmon, sockeye salmon, and pink salmon all making their way to these rivers in what is sure to be the largest migration on earth. In our nearby saltwater, we target halibut, 30 different species of rockfish, lingcod, and salmon before they reach the river. On many days we can target 3 to 4 species in a single trip.
Check out the summaries below for more details on each of these fisheries and click on each section to get a detailed explanation of this fishery, how we fish it, where we fish it, and what you can expect on your trip. Also, make sure to review the salmon run timing to determine the best time to fish in Alaska for the species you are most interested in.
Kenai River King Salmon Fishing
When people think about Alaska fishing, pictures of magnificent king salmon often come to mind. Landing a big Kenai River king salmon might just be the ultimate Alaska fishing adventure. King salmon start to arrive in mid-May and continue until about mid-August but King Salmon fishing ends by state regulation on July 31st. We fish primarily the Kenai River and the Kasilof River for these kings.
Kenai River king salmon are the largest genetic species of king salmon in the world. Landing one of these fish is no easy feat, and we do it better than most. Just check out how we helped two young anglers, on a mission to fish-all-fifty, catch two beautiful Kenai River king salmon to complete their 49th state.
Kenai River king salmon can often weigh between 60 and 80 lbs., with the majority averaging 30 to 50 lbs. They run deep in the river and watching your rod bend over and start spooling line on that initial strike will get your heart racing. It’s not uncommon to fight these fish to 20 to 30 minutes before finally landing it.
There are two distinct runs of these salmon that come up the Kasilof and the Kenai River. The early run is from May 15 – June 30 and the late run is from July 1 – August 15. The Alaska FishTopia App for iOS and Alaska FishTopia App for Android is a great way to keep track of all the fisheries throughout the state.
Follow the link below to learn more about where, when, and how we target Kenai River king salmon.
Kenai River Sockeye Salmon Fishing
Silver salmon fishing is one of the most relaxing of our Alaska salmon fishing adventures. We fish for Silver salmon on both the Kenai and Kasilof rivers starting in early August and continuing into late September. Significantly bigger than sockeye and daily numbers much higher than king salmon make this a phenomenal fishery.
Click the button below to see us in action as we put Alaska’s News Source Reporter Patrick Enslow on limits of beautiful Kenai River Silver Salmon.
We also target silvers on many of our fly-out fishing trips to the west side of Cook Inlet from late July through September and often combine these trips with our bear viewing and scenic glacier flights on the return.
Kenai River Sockeye Salmon Fishing
Sockeye salmon fishing is one of the highlights of all our guests when it comes to Alaska salmon fishing. Sockeye salmon will return to the Kenai Peninsula from around late May to mid-August and can be found in nearly every river on the peninsula. They arrive in huge numbers on Kenai, Kasilof, and Russian Rivers.
We encourage everyone to use the Alaska FishTopia Mobile App to track Alaska fish counts on all our major rivers to understand salmon run timing.
The Kenai River has two runs of sockeye with the early run beginning in late May and continuing until June 30th with most of these fish swimming up the Kenai River and targeting the Russian River nearly 70 river miles upstream. The late run starts July 1st and will continue until around August 15th and these fish can number into more than 100,000 coming up the river daily at peak times!
The second run of sockeye salmon are several pounds larger than the first run and the number of fish entering the river is significantly higher. These fish are easily targeted right from our banks just steps away from your lodging. This is a very popular time of the year to fish the Kenai Peninsula and there is action everywhere.
Kenai River Pink Salmon Fishing
Pink salmon only return to the Kenai River on even-numbered years and when they show up they do so by the millions. On the even-numbered years, they will start to arrive in late July and will continue into early September. These fish are incredibly aggressive and will strike nearly anything put in front of them. Weighing around 8-10 lbs on average it’s pretty much non-stop action once they arrive with annual limits of 6 per person per day and limits of these fish are very common.
Pink salmon fishing action can be so high that we have clients simply interested in seeing how many of these fish they can catch and release in a single day and more than100 in a full day of fishing has been attained more than once! And since these fish are so aggressive they make for an excellent introduction for youth anglers