Tag Archives: Prime Salmon Fishing

Kenai Peninsula Prime Salmon Fishing Times

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KING FISHING – Chinook or King Salmon is one of the premier fish of the Kenai Peninsula due to their large size. In the Kenai River they can vary from 20 to almost 100 pounds (the record is 97 lbs. 8 oz.). Due to their size and their fighting strength, it is almost impossible to land a King from the river bank, thus hiring a guide with a boat is a must.
On the Kasilof River, the first run Kings are mostly hatchery fish that range from 15 to 35 pounds, thus they can be caught from the bank. However, there are plenty of guides with drift boats (no motors allowed) to increase your chances of landing a King salmon. As the second run of larger (30 to 60 pounds) Kings enter the Kasilof, a guided drift boat is a necessity. The limit is two hatchery Kings or one hatchery plus one native on certain days. 

LOCATIONDATESFISH TYPE
COOK INLET & HOMERSPRING through JULY OCEANKINGS
KENAI RIVERMAY-JUNE 1ST RUNKINGS (20 to 100#)
KENAI RIVERJULY 2ND RUNKINGS (40 to 100#)
NINILCHIK & ANCHOR RIVERS,
DEEP CREEK
MEMORIAL WEEKEND
PLUS TWO WEEKENDS
1ST RUN KINGS
KASILOF RIVERMid-MAY to mid-JUNE1st RUN KINGS (15 to 35#)
KASILOF RIVERJULY peaks @ 20th2nd RUN KINGS (20 to 60#)

 

RED FISHING – I consider Sockeye or Red Salmon to be the best table fish. The Alaskan Wild Red Salmon has bright red meat and rich flavor which is high in Omega 3 oils. Plus it is one of the most exciting fish to catch. The red salmon doesn’t eat once it re-enters fresh water. To catch them, you must drag a fly-hook through their mouth hooking them, not an easy task and very exciting when you hook them in the fin or tail. Many a rod has been broken or rod & reel lost when a 8 to 12 pound red takes off across the river after being hooked in the tail. 

LOCATIONDATESFISH TYPE
RUSSIAN RIVERJUNE 15TH 1st RUNKENAI REDS (6 to 8#)
KENAI RIVERLAST 2 WEEKS IN JULY2nd RUN REDS (8 to 12#)
KASILOF RIVERMAY through JUNE1st RUN REDS (6 to 8#)
KASILOF RIVERJULY2nd RUN REDS (6 to 8#)

 

SILVERS & HUMPY FISHING – Silvers (Coho) and Humpies (Pink) Salmon come into the rivers at the beginning of August. However the Pinks only come into the Kenai River on even years. There are two runs of Silvers in the Kenai River, but only one in the Kasilof. Both species feed in the river and spawn in the river and side creeks; therefore, both baits (cured salmon eggs) and lures will attract the fish. Silvers tend to feed only in early mornings and evenings on sunny days, Pinks feed any time and will strike at about anything. Silvers are more oily than reds and have orange meat, Pinks tend to have pink, mushy meat (especially the males).

LOCATIONDATESFISH TYPE
KENAI RIVERAUGUST & SEPTEMBERSILVERS (8 to 20#)
KENAI RIVERAUGUST EVEN YEARSPINKS (4 to 6#)
KASILOF RIVER
NINILCHIK & ANCHOR RIVERS, 
DEEP CREEK
AUGUSTSILVERS (8 to 20#)
PINKS (4 to 6#)

 

TROUT & DOLLY VARDEN FISHING – Rivers, creeks and lakes on the Peninsula are normally open to trout and Dolly Varden fishing all year round except for closures in specific areas on certain dates. Be sure to check the fishing regulations concerning the closure dates, limits and where they have to be released when caught.

* I have personally collected this information over the years fishing on the Peninsula. 
The dates vary due to changes in the weather, water temperature, etc.

King catch
Big Red Catch
Kenai Reds
Combat Fishing
Tom and his King
Deb catches a Pink
Coleman and his Red
Cary’s Silver catch
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