For a novice angler or a seasoned pro there are few fishing excursions that can compare to an Alaska King salmon fishing trip or holiday. There are some tips, strategies and fishing tricks that can make Alaska King salmon fishing successful and productive, even if you aren’t planning on hiring a guide or taking a charter to find the best fishing locations. Incorporating a few or all of these tips and ideas will definitely improve your chances of catching the King salmon, also known as the Chinook in British Columbia and some of northern Washington state.
Tips and Tricks
It is important to know the behavior of the salmon species that you are going after, and Alaska King salmon fishing is no different. In the spring and fall King salmon move closer into the shore, out of the deep water. Keep in mind the water conditions, temperature and clarity or cloudiness of the water as this will have a big impact on lure selection and bait choices.
In addition the following Alaska King salmon fishing tips may be of help:
Remember that in the height of Alaska King salmon fishing season there is almost twenty four hours of daylight, so it is not necessary to fish standard hours like other fishing locations. Often just before the minimal dark time and during the very brief dawn period is the best time for fishing from the shore.
In the deeper ocean fishing for King salmon it is typical to use cut herring or herring attractors as bait, and then use a slow trolling speed against the movement of the fish. Fish finders can be extremely beneficial if you are not familiar with the natural movement of the fish.
The higher the tides the longer the trolling line should be, and trolling speed will typically increase slightly as well. Typically downriggers will also be set at several depths to identify how deep the salmon are feeding, but usually this can only be properly completed by an experienced angler.
There are many different types of lures that can be used, largely depending on the water conditions and type of fishing. Popular lures include bait egg clusters, t-spoons, Wiggle Warts, Kwikfish, flatfish, spinners and tadpolys using a smaller boat set on a low trolling speed across the mouth of rivers and shallow bars.
Shore tactics for Alaska King salmon fishing are slightly different with heavier weights and a large spoon to allow the lure to appear to bounce off the bottom. This behavior of the lure will both attract and irritate the salmon, likely resulting in a hit on the lure.
Although a guide or charter adds a bit more cost to an Alaskan King salmon fishing trip, it is usually recommended, at least for your first visit. Once you become familiar with the area and the fishing techniques used you will be ready to strike out on your own.