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Alaskan Salmon Fishing Techniques

If you’ve got an Alaskan fishing trip booked, you’re probably looking for the best tips on how to catch salmon. After all, many people consider Alaska the source of the best salmon on the planet. Not only is it delicious and healthy, but fishing for salmon can provide one of the most scenic, fun adventures that Alaska has to offer.

Whether you’ve already got a trip booked or you’re considering one, these Alaskan fishing tips will help you catch your own dinner. Don’t worry if you’re a complete novice, either. Our helpful guides will teach you what you need to know for a successful trip.

How to catch salmon

There are three main techniques for catching salmon, depending on the variety you’re targeting and where you’re fishing:

  • King salmon: King salmon can be downright tricky to catch thanks to their preferred depth and light bite. They like to swim in the deepest parts of a river, right down the center. That makes it hard for shoreline anglers to haul in a catch, but fishing on a boat makes it much easier. They’re easiest to catch a couple hours before and after a tidal change. You should use large, bright flies and lures and let them move with the current. If the fly stops moving, you may have a bite. Herring (if you’re near saltwater) and salmon roe should be used for bait. Use a weight to ensure that the bait is held under the water or to bounce with the current.
  • Red salmon: Red salmon is found in the Russian, Kenai and Kasilof rivers. Unlike king salmon, they swim close to the shore. Like king salmon, they’re also light biters. You’ll use a technique called flossing, which involves laying the line low in the river. When the fish bites, you’ll set the hook by drawing on the line, which anchors it in the corner of their mouth. One important tip to remember: Make sure that you keep your line taut while moving it at the same pace of the current. Red salmon are plentiful, and you should be able to catch plenty of them this way.
  • Silver, pink or chum salmon: These salmon can be caught much the same way as king salmon. The major difference is that these types of salmon prefer to swim in or on the edge of clear water, where a clear stream meets a murky one. If you’re having trouble locating them, look for deeper areas where the water slows down. These fish spook easily, so dark fly and lure patterns are more effective when the sun is bright.

This is just a brief overview of salmon fishing techniques. Avid fishers will enjoy researching the different complexities and nuances involved, while novices can learn from experienced guides.

Whether you’re a novice or have spent your life on the water, an Alaskan fishing trip is a bucket list experience. Experience the state like you’ve never seen it before—from one of our heated boats! Call Phantom Tri-River Charters to book your trip today.