Keep scrolling for month-by-month information to learn what you can expect when fishing on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula with Alaska’s Widespread Fishing Adventures.
May, the start of the Kenai Peninsula fishing season
May brings large runs of King salmon through the Cook Inlet to the many rivers of the Kenai Peninsula. On our saltwater fishing charters, we target these 20 – 40 lb. salmon as they migrate into the local rivers and streams. The saltwater salmon are chrome bright and at the peak of health, strong and ready for their long upstream struggle.
In addition to one King per day in the Cook Inlet, anglers are allowed two halibut daily. These delicious flat fish are often found in less than 100 feet of water in May and June. Salmon/halibut combo trips can be exciting and productive freezer filling adventures. Whales, seals, puffins, otters and sea lions are often sighted while fishing these coastal waters. The fishing is fantastic and the scenery is nothing short of amazing!
June Kenai Fishing
June is a special time of year on the Kasilof River. The first schools of king salmon hit the icy glacial waters of the Kasilof. These fish are the first of the year, full of fight and delicious on the grill!
Bait is opened on the Kasilof May 16th which drastically increases catch ratios! We target these 10-30 pound kings with cured salmon roe and shallow running plugs! This is a drift boat only fishery and is by far the best game in town for early season fishing! This run will peak in early to mid June with two fish a day limits, lots of action and great opportunities for putting fish in the freezer!
Late June through July fishing the Kenai Area
Late June through July brings endless daylight to the Kenai Peninsula. This is the time of year that the mighty Kenai River blossoms. World record class King salmon flood the river. These brutes sometimes exceed 50 lbs. with the occasional 60+ pounder. They are powerful game fish, not intended for the faint at heart.
As the King salmon fishing builds in mid-July, the Kenai River experiences a true natural phenomenon. Huge schools of Sockeye salmon enter the river by the hundreds of thousands. These acrobatic torpedoes range from 8 lbs. to 14 lbs. The Sockeye salmon is often called red salmon for their tasty, bright red meat. With limits ranging from three to six fish per day, sore muscles and full coolers are common.
Fishing early August through late September on the Kenai Peninsula
In early August through late September, the Coho or silver salmon storm up the rivers. These feisty fish arrive with bad attitudes and are known for their wicked strikes and high-jumping attempts at escape. The Kenai River silver salmon generally weigh in between 8 to 12 lbs. and with the occasional fish over 15+ lbs.
On even numbered years as the silver salmon enter the rivers, they are accompanied by hordes of humpback salmon, known as “pink salmon” or “humpies”. With runs between 4 and 6 million pinks, the Kenai is literally alive with fish! It is a sight to behold watching a steady line of fish moving up the river seeking their native spawning grounds! This pink salmon run is one of Mother Nature’s amazing sights to see. This is an incredible fishery for kids, expert, and novice anglers. Pinks are extremely aggressive and will strike at nearly anything you can put in front of their face! This run will peak between the 15th and 30th of August.
From mid-June through late October trout fishing on the Kenai River.
From mid-June through late October, the Kenai River is open for rainbow trout and Dolly Varden char fishing. This fishery is one of the river’s best kept secrets. These rainbows and dollies grow huge by feeding on the eggs and flesh left behind by the millions of salmon that spawn all summer long.
The trout fishing is usually action packed with rainbows in the 4 to 7 lb. class and trophies in the 10 to 15 lb. bracket occasionally landed. On light tackle, spinning or fly rods, these giants can challenge even the most experienced anglers. Spending a day pursuing trout and char should be part of every fisherman’s Kenai river experience.
Whether fishing small streams in a drift boat, running the Kenai River in a powerboat or chasing halibut in the coastal waters of the Cook Inlet, Alaskan Widespread Fishing Adventures can accommodate your fishing fantasies.
Kenai Peninsula Salmon and Halibut Fishing Calendar