How to Find the Best Alaska Fishing Trips
Alaska’s pristine waters teem with tasty fish. Whether you want to reel in a king salmon or try your hand at crab fishing, the Last Frontier is the place. Alaska fishing trips make it easy by providing the gear, some sage advice, and the ability to buy a fishing license ($25). On select adventures, you can have your catch prepared and served alongside local sides like warm sourdough bread. Custom packing and shipping is also available. Search our Alaska shore excursions to find Alaska fishing trips and charters.
Halibut fishing in Alaska
The Pacific halibut is one of the most sought gamefish found in Alaska waters. They can grow huge, sometimes over eight feet and swim on their sides. Nicknamed “barndoors” because of their heft, Pacific halibut are packed with deliciousness. One of the best halibut fishing areas in Alaska is Icy Strait Point, where you are taken via cruiser to a scenic local spot to drop your line.
The best time for halibut fishing in Alaska is mid-May through mid-September, nicely lining up with cruise season.
Salmon fishing in Alaska
In search of salmon? You’ve come to the right place. Alaska is renowned for salmon fishing and during peak run, the rivers and streams are packed (quite literally) to the gills. The five major species of wild salmon fill Alaska’s sparkling waters—king, sockeye, coho, pink and chum—between May and September. Coho (silver) salmon pack the coastal waters from June through August, peaking for a month starting in mid-July. Sportfishing charters typically depart around 6:30 a.m. and return between 5 and 6 p.m., though half-day options are available.
Alaskan crab fishing
Alaskan king crab does not come easy. Commercia Alaska crabbing is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country and so perilous it is spotlighted on the reality TV series, “Deadliest Catch.” Find out if you’re up for the job as you join experienced crab fishers on the Aleutian Ballad, a vessel once used on the show.
The shared personal stories are the real catch! This educational activity leaves from Ketchikan and remains in the Inside Passage’s calm waters, so don’t worry about rough seas. Read more about the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s Tour.
When is crab season in Alaska?
Alaskan king crab fishing takes place in fall and winter, with the peak between October and January.
Fly fishing in Alaska
Whether you’re a seasoned fisher or an absolute novice, Alaska fly fishing connects you deeply with nature. Take a classic floatplane to a quiet stretch of water—chosen by an experienced guide based on current conditions. With rod in hand, you’ll discover the pleasure of fishing in Alaska’s wilderness. If you're a first-timer, look for a trip with hands-on instruction—though even the more experienced can benefit from tips.
Where can you find the best fishing in Alaska?
Fishing the Kanai River
The Kenai River is a fish-filled glacial river that’s popular with anglers looking to reel in a huge king salmon. So popular, in fact that during certain times of year on certain parts of the river, hundreds of anglers descend to its banks. There are ten separate runs of various salmon. In July, it fills with kings and sockeye and August and September bring the silver salmon or the pink salmon (during even years).
Homer, Alaska fishing
Take your pick, anglers: Casting a line in Homer is easy, affordable and, at the manmade lagoon stocked with king and coho salmon near the Small Boat Harbor, even wheelchair-accessible. Visitors with deeper pockets can book charter boats from Homer Spit. The Halibut Fishing Capital of the World nets almost three million pounds of the flatfish annually—18 percent of U.S. commercial landings. In 2015, the community launched the Halibut Festival in mid-September, honoring fishing traditions in Homer.
The Salmon Capitol
Ketchikan is called the Salmon Capital of the World, and for good reason: all five different species of salmon swim its waters. Anglers shouldn’t miss the chance for a sportfishing excursion to hook a wild salmon—or another of Alaska’s iconic game fish, including halibut, cod or rockfish. Local fishermen offer small boat charters daily, and most can arrange to have your fresh catch smoked and processed to be sent back home.
Check out one of our favorite salmon fishing excursions around Ketchikan.
Seward, Alaska fishing
Seward also boasts all five species of salmon, but it teems with other alluring fish such as halibut, rockfish, and lingcod. From June to September, there are saltwater combo Alaska fishing trips. Feeling competitive? Time your Alaska cruise to coincide with the mid-August Seward Silver Salmon Derby, one of the state's oldest and largest angling competitions. It sells all the fish, and the proceeds go toward conservation.
An Alaska fishing trip is a blast from start to finish. Bond with fellow adventurers. Feel at peace with nature as you wait for that telltale pull. Book Alaska cruises to experience the best fishing in Alaska.