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What Time of Day Do Fish Normally Bite the Best?

Alaska is one of the best places in the world for salmon fishing, but even up here, timing is important when planning your fishing excursions. There are certain times of day at which you’re more likely to get frequent bites, and also times of the year at which the fish are likely to be more active.

In general, the best time of day to fish for salmon (or pretty much any other kind of fish) in Alaska is going to be early in the morning. At this time of day, fish are naturally more active in searching for food, before the sun rises high in the sky and makes the water warmer. You might also have some good luck fishing in the evening, though most serious anglers will prefer early morning fishing, as there’s a more extended window during which the fish are biting in larger numbers.

While you may be able to catch some salmon in the middle of the day, this typically isn’t going to be a recommended time for heading out to the water.

Consider the time of year

As we mentioned above, it’s not just the time of day that’s important when you are trying to get the best results out of your salmon fishing excursion—it’s also the time of year. The best time of year for salmon fishing in Alaska will vary depending on where you want to fish.

For example, the Kenai River is one of the biggest salmon-fishing sites in North America. The river will have more than a million sockeye salmon that average between eight and 12 pounds, which arrive in late May each year and stay in steady numbers into August. Pink “humpback” salmon also flock in large numbers for several weeks in late July through mid August. There are also silvers, reds and kings through October—there have been fish weighing up to 98 pounds reported as being captured during salmon season on the Kenai.

If you want to fish in the ocean, you’ll have the best luck in May and June specifically targeting king salmon. There may be some stragglers later in the summer, but the best results are early in the season, before the salmon move on elsewhere. Silver salmon also run through the Sitka area (home of the state’s largest silver salmon fishery) in July, August and early September.

If part of your reason for visiting Alaska is for the fishing, you should also consider the level of experience you have as an angler. Some anglers want to visit the state specifically to angle for certain prized fish, which might affect their timing. Other anglers, particularly beginners, might simply be interested in an introductory Alaskan salmon fishing experience, in which case coming in the early summer can be a good idea.

To learn more about when is the best time of day to fish and when certain types of salmon show up during the season in Alaska, contact Phantom Tri-River Charters today. We look forward to welcoming you soon!