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The Ins and Outs of Fishing in Alaska

Planning a trip to Alaska means immersing yourself in some of the best wildlife experiences our planet has to offer. One highlight for many is the variety of fishing available in different parts of the state. Whether you’re looking for freshwater, saltwater or fly-fishing, Alaska offers choices for the novice and experienced angler.

In Alaska, fishing brings in roughly $652 million annually by visitors, so it’s not surprising that various parts of the state cater to different fishing experiences. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular destinations in the Last Frontier:

  • Juneau- The capital city is one of the more popular fishing destinations, and for good reason. Excursions can be accessed by plane or boat, or you can even explore via floatplane for a truly unique vantage point. Here, fishing season runs May-September with a peak in July, but halibut and rockfish are caught year-round.
  • Anchorage- With over 30 lakes to choose from, it’s easy to see why this populated city is a destination for fishing hobbyists around the world. In fact, Anchorage earned a spot on Field & Stream Magazine’s list of America’s Best Fishing Cities. In summer months, waters are plentiful with Salmon, Arctic char and Arctic grayling.
  • Fairbanks- If relaxing scenery and stunning views are calling your name, Fairbanks may be just the place for you. Here, you’ll find salmon and trout in abundance, with waters so clean during summer months you can spot your prize before you catch it. The Chena River and surrounding lakes are prime spots for anglers looking to escape the crowded waters of more popular destinations.
  • Ketchikan- Known as the “salmon capital of the world,” be sure to add Ketchikan to your list if this popular fish is what you’re after. With a population hovering around 8,000, residents of Ketchikan are passionate about fishing and love sharing their knowledge with visitors. In addition to five different species of salmon swimming in the waters of this small town, halibut is an occasional catch, but much heavier than salmon and perfect for those seeking a more adventurous excursion.

Once you’ve settled on a fishing destination, you’ll want to make sure you’re fully equipped for your adventure. Check with your tour company, they may be able to assist you with organizing your fishing excursion including your fishing license and necessary equipment such as:

  • Insect repellent
  • Waterproof rain jacket
  • Wading boots
  • Fishing pole/equipment

More information can be found by visiting www.adfg.alaska.gov.

Taking advantage of a once in a lifetime fishing experience on your Alaskan adventure is sure to provide memories to last a lifetime, and perhaps some bragging rights, too!