Pages Navigation Menu


Fishing in Alaska

alaskaIf you were planning to visit this state for any reason the safe bet would be to know the territory. Just as you would plan your route and budget it is most important that you know what to expect, especially here. Alaska is a big place, it covers 663,268 miles is 2,261 miles wide and 1,420 feet in length. It is the absolute largest state in the Union add to that the fact that it is 13.77% water and you will see why it is a fisherman’s paradise. There are numerous islands that make up the state in addition to the connected land mass put together end to end and Alaska has 34,000 miles of shoreline but not much of it is sandy beach front property and most is in uninhabited areas. The Federal Government of the United States owns the majority of the land in Alaska out right. They own and manage 68% of the landmass and it is public land comprised of national parks, national forest and wild life refuges. The Arctic National Wildlife refuge is the largest in the world and coves an astounding 16million acres.  It is in these last bastions of untamed wilderness that most fishing excursions find their destinations. That is why learning about the climate and types of animal life other than fish is so important. Although you may be on a guided excursion you are still in the wild and everyone are vulnerable there.

Alaska LookingWest



The climate in Alaska varies greatly region to region. The state has been divided into four zones and each has its Beauties and Hazards. The weather itself can be a deadly foe in the wilds of this State.

Southeast Alaska

Contrary to popular myth Alaska is not freezing every where all the time. The Southeast panhandle and the city of Juneau have what is called an oceanic climate because it is reminiscent of the climate in the Mid-Atlantic. This is the only section of the state that has temperatures above freezing at all during the winter months.

Animal Hazards

Caution is required at all times in and outside the cities’ limits. There are bear here, the black, grizzly and brown, and they can be dangerous. Most any wild animal should be given a wide berth. If your fishing excursion includes outdoor camping be aware that the squirrels in Alaska are fierce little critters. So much so, they even have a bounty on their heads.

South Central Alaska

This area has a climate that is considered mild compared to most of the rest of the state. Being so close to the coast gives it that effect. Although it gets more snow the days are generally clear. Anchorage is located in the South Central part of the state. This city is sub-Arctic even without much snowfall because of its short cool summers. Salmon and trout favor these waters as well.

Animal Hazards

Again be cautious, as there are 5 large land animals in the area all three types of bear, Caribou (in the deer family), Moose (deer family), Dall Sheep and the Musk ox. Although not as easily provoked as the bear extreme caution is advised as these are herd animals and spooking them could get you run over. Be aware that mothers in the wild are fiercely protective of their young and leave the kids alone, no matter how cute.

The Alaskan Interior

The interior is where you begin to get into the truly sub-Arctic temperatures. Strangely enough both the highest and the lowest temperatures can be recorded in or around Fairbanks. It gets as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and as cold as a mind numbing –60 degrees Fahrenheit in winter.  You can expect to catch your fill of the Dolly Varden or Sockeye salmon as well as Cod.

Animal Hazards

The farther north you go the greater the danger as you will have just entered free-range wolf territory. The three bears (no pun intended) are ever present Moose and Caribou are also present.

The Northern Extreme

This is real arctic. The truly frozen tundra the land that only melts a little but is always cold. There is summer here but it only last a very short time and even in July the temperature is a balmy 34degress Fahrenheit. Fishing excursions here are normally schedule in the spring and summer months. The waters are freezing so stay in the boat. This is a trip for the true adventure seekers and some of it is done right through the ice.

Animal Hazards

All you have to do now is add the polar bear to your list of usual suspects from above and your picture is complete. Oh there may be a snow fox or two but hey they usually run at the sight of something larger unless they have something to fight for say a cub kit or two.

It is helpful to mention that these animals generally sleep during the middle of the day and unless you are out and about in the wee hours of the morning you may never see any. Here is where you get the latest in-depth information on all things pertaining to fishing in the great state of Alaska. Now that you are familiar with the territory you can begin to visualize what you will be up against. It won’t be just another fishing trip in Alaska it is always and adventure. Here are the types of fish you can hope to find in the Alaskan waters.

fishing1Fish Species

Fish Species Alaska

  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Halibut
  • Cod
  • Steelhead
  • Rainbow trout
  • Sheefish
  • Dolly Verdan




Each type of fish has its unique tackle needs for instance the King Salmon is best fished with a light-weight rod that is able to cast far. The bait should be spinners, eggs or flies on a 20-40 pound test line. The Red and Sockeye Salmon is fished with fly rods 7-8 weight outfits work best. You will also be able to catch them on spinners with a 8-10 pond line this depends on the size of fish you wish to catch. The other species are all caught using different techniques see our section on tackle and techniques for more information.


This is just a start but what a wonderful start it is. I’m outta here and “Gone Fishing”