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Kenai River Fishing

Fly Out Adventures

Salt Water Fishing

Kenai Peninsula Fishing Information

May starts our fishing season on the Kenai Peninsula

In May, king salmon will start to enter the Cook Inlet on their way to the many rivers of the Kenai Peninsula. We target these salmon in the salt water as they begin to migrate into the local river and streams. The salmon are chrome bright and are at the peak of health, strong and ready for their long upstream struggle. There is a limit of one king salmon per day in the Cook Inlet.

Anglers are also allowed two halibut per day. These great-tasting halibut are often found in less than 100 feet of water during this time of the year. In the Cook Inlet in the Deep Creek area, we offer both halibut only and combo trips fishing for both salmon and halibut.

Out of Homer, starting Memorial Day weekend and continuing until about Labor Day we offer halibut only or after July 1, we offer halibut/lingcod combo trips. 

We also offer trips out of Seward.  In the months of May and June, we offer two specific trips: a trophy halibut trip and a king salmon/halibut/rockfish combo trip. These combo trips can be very exciting and productive fishing adventures.

While fishing these coastal waters, you may often see whales, sea lions, seals, otters, and puffins. The fishing is fantastic and the scenery is truly amazing.

June is the time of the year we fish the Kasilof River

June is when the first run of king salmon starts to migrate into the waters of the goregous Kasilof River. These fish are the first of the year, full of fight and great on the grill or smoker.  Bait is opened on the Kasilof in mid-May, which will help increase your odds of catching these king salmon. We target these 15-30 lb. kings with salmon roe and shallow running plugs. The Kasilof River is a driftboat-only river and is the best river to fish for early-season king salmon. The run on the Kasilof will hit its peak by mid-June with a two fish per day limit. The fishing on this river is action-packed and the scenery is wonderful.

 At the end of June through July we fish the Kenai River

Mid-June through the end of July brings long days here on the Kenai Peninsula. This is the time of the year that we will start fishing on the Kenai River, which comes alive with salmon. This is the home of the world-record king salmon. These king salmon average 25-35 lbs. and can exceed 50 lbs., with the occasional salmon weighing in at 60 to 70 lbs. These salmon are a very powerful game fish, and can be quite a thrill to catch.

As the king salmon fishing builds up in mid-July, the Kenai River sockeye salmon will begin to enter the river by the thousands. These sockeye can range from 6 lbs. to 12 lbs. The sockeye salmon, also known as red salmon with their bright red flesh, are equality as good on the grill as well as on the smoker. With limits in early July at three fish per day, up to a limit of six fish per day by mid- to late July, this is some action-packed fishing!

Starting July 1 through mid-September, we offer three different fishing trips out of Seward. First we offer a trip for trophy halibut only. We also have a combo trip for halibut, rockfish, lingcod, and silver salmon. Finally, we have a trip for silver salmon only.

Fishing August through mid- to late September is on the Kenai River

In August through mid- to late September, the silver salmon arrive at the Kenai River. They are known for their hard strikes and high jumping escape attempts. The Kenai River silver salmon generally weigh in between 10 to 15 lbs., with the occasional silver reaching up to 20 lbs.

On even-numbered years the silver salmon are joined by large numbers of humpback salmon entering the Kenai River. The humpback salmon are also known as pink salmon, or humpies. With runs in the millions, the Kenai River will come alive with fish. This is a sight to see, watching a steady line of fish moving up the Kenai River on their way to the spawning grounds. This is an incredible fishery for everyone including kids, novice and the expert angler. The humpback salmon are very aggressive and will strike at nearly anything thrown in front of them. The run of humpback salmon on the Kenai will peak between mid to end of August.

 The middle of June through late October is trout fishing time on the Kenai River

From mid-June through late October, the Kenai River is open for rainbow trout fishing. These rainbow trout grow large here by feeding on the remains left behind by the millions of salmon that have spawn all summer long. The trout fishing can be action-packed, with rainbows averaging between the 3 to 6 lb. class. Trophies reaching 10 to 15 lbs. are occasionally caught. We fish for rainbow trout here on light tackle, spinning or fly rods. This can be a challenge even for the most experienced anglers. Spending a day on the Kenai river fishing for trophy rainbow trout should be a part of every fishing adventure here on the Kenai Peninsula.

Fly-out fishing trips

Fly-out fishing trips across the Cook Inlet start around mid-June, where we will target sockeye salmon at Wolverine Creek. While fishing for sockeye you may also see some of Alaska's coastal brown bears. This is a great opportunity to get some great photos. Silver salmon fishing will start around the middle to later part of June; this fishing is done both at Big River Lakes and on the Kustatan River.

Kenai Peninsula Salmon and Halibut Fishing Calendar

Month/species May June July Aug. Sept. Oct.
King Salmon alt alt alt alt alt alt
Sockeye Salmon alt alt alt alt alt alt
Silver Salmon alt alt alt alt alt alt
Halibut alt alt alt alt alt alt
Rainbow Trout alt alt alt alt alt alt