The very mention of Alaska and salmon fishing brings up thoughts of grandeur, pristine forest, snowy peaks, and a pole bent double as the line rips through the water. Salmon fishing in Alaska is closer than you think, and it’s even more beautiful than the photos you’ve seen.
Check out Prince of Whales Island, near the southernmost tip of Alaska, located only a few hundred miles north of Seattle. Prince of Wales Island is North America’s largest island and the nearest Alaska salmon fishing site with exceptional success. The place to visit here is Craig a small fishing village that calls itself “The King Salmon Capital of Alaska”
If you don’t want to drive up the Alaska Highway, you can fly to Ketchikan, Alaska, and then take the ferry or a commercial floatplane to Prince of Wales Island. Depending on your vacation budget, there are resorts, lodges, and guides that will accommodate you.
Craig and Klawok are two salmon fishing communities that welcome visitors from all around the world. The first salmon harvest of the year arrives off the coast of Noyes Island in coho or king salmon. Without ever reaching the Pacific Ocean, there are thousands of miles of inland shoreline to fish. The majority of the king salmon fishing is done within casting distance of the coast. You’ll need to meet the early-arriving king salmon on the Pacific’s edge, where they feed up to the inlets that run into and around the Prince of Wales.
Expect the most spectacular fishing trips with the most diverse selection of visual delights. Gray whales, sea lions, sea otters, puffins, geese, bald eagles, loons, seals, gorgeous mountains, quiet lagoons, bear, deer, cranes, killer whales, sea ducks, and other birds can all be found here. During a week on Prince of Wales, you might expect afternoon rains followed by sunlight. In April, the weather will be cold but not frigid. Bring a raincoat and a pair of pants with you. Oh, and you’ll see some fish, too! It’s not uncommon to see king salmon that weigh more than 30 pounds. Every year, 60-pound kings arrive. Also, keep in mind that the Prince of Wales is one of the best places to capture barn door halibut.
Silver salmon weigh 8 to 12 pounds, fight hard, and reproduce in large numbers. On your return flight, the airlines will allow you to bring a 70-pound “fish box.” In 5 days, you’ll have enough cleaned, frozen fillets to fill two of these cartons. Silver salmon will arrive later in the evening. Plan a silver salmon expedition in June. You can have some of your salmon smoked if you want. You haven’t had salmon until you’ve had fresh smoked salmon.
Sockeye salmon, which has the reddest meat of any salmon, is the last to arrive in many schools in late June or July. Sockeye salmon are typically four years old and weigh between five and twelve pounds. Sockeye salmon fishing requires a local guide and boat. For the best experience, drive up in your RV or stay at a log cabin resort. They will serve Dungeness crab, Alaska shrimp, sockeye salmon, and halibut. If you’ve never fished Alaska before, you’re in for a fishing adventure that will last a lifetime!
For Alaskans, salmon fishing has always been a way of life. Salmon fishing in Alaska is a dream come true for sports anglers. I’ve been there, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!