Check out the exciting array of fish you can find when you stay with us.
The nickname King has meaning. Chinook Salmon, Alaska’s state fish, is the largest of the Pacific Salmon species as well as the largest and scarcest of the five species of salmon found and fished for in Alaska. The average size of an Alaskan King Salmon is 3 feet long and about 30 pounds, but they can be as big as 5 feet in length and well over 100 pounds and every weight and size in between. The largest Chinook Salmon ever documented was actually caught in a fish trap near Petersburg, Alaska in 1949 and weighed in at 126 pounds. Alaska’s present state sport fishing record for King Salmon is 97 ¼ pounds, caught right where we fish on the Kenai River. As a matter of fact, 9 of the top 10 record-holding King Salmon were all caught sport fishing on the Kenai River.
Known for their size and drag burning runs, these are truly the “kings“ of Alaska freshwater fishing, as well as the King of all Salmon. Although Kings are large by nature (20-90 lbs), Kenai River kings stay in the ocean longer than other strains which helps them grow to their world record sizes. Popular fishing methods are used in both fresh and salt water for King Salmon include trolling, back bouncing, dragging and back trolling. The season is May through July with 2 distinct runs.
The Kasilof River is also home to 2 King runs. And because of a hatchery program they are plentiful. Although not usually as large as a Kenai King, these Chinook can still reach weights in excess of 50 lbs. Fishing for them from a drift boat also brings an extra amount of excitement for expert and novice alike.
Coho season on most of the Kenai Peninsula runs from August 1 through September, however, Silvers can be caught in the salt in Resurrection Bay and on various fly ins. The Kasilof River and the Kenai River both have strong runs as well. Many people consider Silver season the best. It is certainly more relaxed with fewer regulations and more abundant fish. Coho Salmon (Silvers) are smaller than the King (8-20 lbs) but are also very feisty and acrobatic. Fly fishing and light spinning tackle can be used on these aggressive fighters. Fishing techniques are essentially the same as with Kings but with lighter tackle and smaller terminal gear.
Sockeye Salmon (Reds) are the most sought salmon. They may also be the strongest pound-for-pound. Known for their tasty red meat, these fish travel close to shore on both the Kenai River and the Kasilof River and can be caught from the bank with conventional, spinning or fly gear. Enormous runs of up to and over 1 million hit the rivers starting in June and ending in mid-August depending again on the river. When in spawning colors, these powerful, fast fish are bright red with green heads. The common technique for these tasty battlers, is unique to Alaska.
Humpback Salmon (pink salmon) migrate up most of the Kenai Peninsula rivers biannually in even years. They run at approximately the same time as the silvers, but are smaller and not as sought after. They make an excellent target for the fly fisherman . . . because of their willingness to bite. Their light colored flesh is not considered great table fare by most, but some people insist they are great especially if cooked right after catching.
The Kenai River and its tributaries have large numbers of resident rainbow trout that are all catch and release. Feeding on salmon eggs and flesh and carcasses from decaying or “cleaned” salmon, the acrobatic rainbow can be caught with beads, flesh fly, bait and a few other secret flies. They gorge throughout the summer and grow to enormous size (over 20 lbs). The pride of the fly fisherman, they can be caught from boats or walk-in trips. Spin fishing for these giants is also an option.
Dolly Varden, Dollies, a close member of the Arctic Char family, are aggressive eaters. Feeding on the same food as the rainbow, they grow to 5+ lbs regularly and are very strong fighters. Their fall colors are spectacular and when eaten fresh, the naturally high oil content in their flesh makes the meat very tasty . . . great for a shore lunch. The Kenai River population of Dollies will make your fishing vacation unforgettable.
Only a few of the Peninsula rivers, the Kasilof River, Anchor River and Deep Creek have a steelhead run which winds down in the spring and starts again late fall. These sea-run rainbows are known for their fighting ability especially in the smaller, skinnier water and on fly fishing gear or light spinning tackle. Few guides attempt to catch these wily creatures.
Grayling are a very unique species inhabiting some of the rivers and high lakes of the Kenai Peninsula. Smaller in size than the trout or salmon, they are aggressive feeders that will inhale a dry fly . . . they are great sport on light tackle and can be a fun part of a hike-in adventure.
You never know what to expect while fishing for Halibut as, no matter what the size, they are very powerful fish. Even a small 20 pounder can have the strength to rip the line from your reel. Since halibut sometimes feed on small fish throughout the water column, they can on occasion be coaxed to the surface with very minimal effort. But do not be deceived by the apparent lack of resistance from your fish. . . . At some point in its journey your halibut will decide that he much prefers the comfort of the waters bottom and will head there with a willful determination. If you underestimate this fish, it will easily leave you empty-hooked, empty-handed and frustrated.
In another often unexpected scenario, Alaskan Halibut are often hooked while fishing in Seward for Alaska Salmon and Rockfish. These fish require a lighter tackle than is normally used to target Halibut. The surprise battles that ensue will often last for an hour or more as the powerful halibut makes numerous runs to the bottom in search of safety and the fishermen is nearly powerless to control him on such light tackle. Only through using all of your skills will you win this epic battle between man and fish.
Alaska Halibut - “Barn Doors” - over 300 lbs. can be caught out of Anchor Point, Deep Creek, Homer and Seward, Alaska. The Kenai area waters limit still remains at 2 fish per person with boat limits almost every trip.
Neither a cod nor a ling, these fish are sought after for their great white boneless meat. Plentiful in Resurrection Bay in Seward and Cook Inlet out of Homer, Anchor Point or Deep Creek.
Yelloweye is a snapper that lives for over 100 years.
Black Bass (Rock Fish) are also plentiful, tasty, and a great experience reeling in.