Four Alaska Sportfishing Tactics

Alaska is one of the fishing meccas of the entire world and every angler, professional and casual dreams of the day they can get to this remote area and fish for some of the monster fish that dwell there. There is something about the wilderness and the reported size of the fish in the area that make grown-ups act like children when they think about getting their lines in the waters of Alaska. There are many issues to take into consideration when planning a fishing trip to this region. Time of year, type of fish and where to angle for the different species all play a part in the planning process. The following are four Alaska sportfishing tactics that can mean a fun and lucrative fishing trip:
1. Fishing for Salmon – Alaska is one of the few areas where all of the Pacific Salmon species can be located. There are a total of five, but the most popular is the King Salmon. The best time of the year to fish for the salmon in Alaska is from May through August. The great thing about fishing during this time of year is that the sun is up longer than during the winter months when the state is bathed in darkness. They can be found around the Kenai Peninsula and in the Kenai River. This is one of the largest species of salmon and nine out the ten were landed in this area. While professionals and experienced fishermen can go out on their own to catch these huge fish, the novice would be better to hire a charter company. They bring all the gear and help with preparing the caught fish for shipping back home.
2. Trout Fishing – The Steelhead Trout is one of the most popular of the trout species to angle for in Alaska. They can grow to large sizes and offer a great deal of sport for the fishermen. The largest Steelhead Trout topped forty pounds with the average catch being between seven and nine pounds. They are great to eat and can also be caught and released if one is only angling for the pleasure of it. Find them located off the Kenai Peninsula August through October and Crooked Creek in April through May. There are two basic techniques for fishing for Steelhead, drifting and fly fishing. If fishing from shore of a stream, fly fishing is the best option but when out in the waters of the peninsula, drifting is the option that should be utilized.
3. Angling for Halibut – When it comes to salt water fishing, nothing beats the halibut. This is one of the largest species of game fish in Alaska. These beauties can grow to humongous proportions with the record weighing in at four hundred and forty pounds. This is considered a flat fish and they dwell at the bottom of the water in the sandy bottom. The halibut is brown on top and the eyes are both located on the top side of the head even though when they are first born, both eyes are either side and do not migrate until after they reach maturity. The underside is white. Because they are bottom feeders and are so large, special equipment is needed to reel them in. As with the King Salmon, the beginner should only fish for halibut with a group that knows what they are doing such as a charter group.
4. Northern Pike in Alaska – This is one of the most popular fish in Northern America and Canada to fish for and one of the few species that can be angled for all year round. They can be found in the northern parts of the state. The Tanana River is the main area for catching the Northern Pike and over half of the fish that is caught come from this river. Do not waste your time in the southern areas as the waters do not have any pike in them. You can use all of the same baits and lures that you would use for pike in any other area with the same effectiveness in Alaska.
Fishing in Alaska can be a fun and productive area to go fishing. If you are planning a fishing trip to this area you need to know what you want to catch, what time of year you want to go and where you should drop your line in order to catch them. The beginner should always contact a charter group when fishing for the really large species like the King Salmon and halibut. This can offer opportunities that may not be available when you attempt to go it alone. Fishing for trout or pike only needs the same equipment that is used in other parts of the country but you should know when the best times to fish for them occur in order to get your limit of the fish.

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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