What Species of Fish Are You Likely to See on an Alaskan Fishing Trip?

What Species of Fish Are You Likely to See on an Alaskan Fishing Trip?

August 25, 2017

There is no shortage of fish species in Alaska’s streams, coves and oceans. As such, Alaskan fishing trips have grown popular with people looking for good fishing in the great outdoors.

Imagine yourself on an Alaskan fishing trip––fishing off the back of a boat in calm, island-protected waters, surrounded by verdant mountain ranges and hooking a silver salmon out of a large school swimming near you, fighting it back to the boat. As this is going on, in the background you see an enormous bald eagle swoop down, and snag a bait fish off the top of the water. Surely you are starting to see why Alaska’s such a paradise for sport fishers!

Here are just some of the most common fish you’re likely to encounter here in Alaska.

Saltwater fish

  • Silver salmon (Coho): Usually about eight pounds, or as much as 15 pounds. They’re silver-colored fish, hence the name, and are very popular game fish. They’re considered one of the best tasting salmon.
  • Red salmon (sockeye): Blue-grey salmon that becomes red when it reaches spawning maturity. Usually weighs about five pounds, but can be seven or eight.
  • Pink salmon (humpies): The smallest and most abundant salmon species. They usually come in from three to five pounds. They’re called humpies because, when they swim upstream to mate, they develop a dorsal hump. Catch them too long after their humps develop, and you might notice a decrease in meat quality.
  • King salmon (Chinook): The largest salmon—not uncommonly 25 to 40 pounds, and sometimes growing as large as 100 pounds––with the richest flavor. No other salmon fights like a king salmon.
  • Halibut: A very popular bottom fish. You catch a halibut by putting heavy weights on your fishing line to take your bait to the ocean floor. Once you’ve hooked one, you’re in for a fight. These guys can be huge, well over 100 pounds, but even the smaller ones, sometimes called “chickens,” can really be difficult to reel in.
  • Some other common saltwater fish: Lingcod, pacific cod, rockfish, and flounder. Alaska is also home to Dungeness and king crab.

Freshwater fish

  • Cutthroat trout: The most common trout species in Southeast Alaska, you can find these fish in rivers, lakes and stream systems throughout the area.
  • Rainbow trout: A beloved fish among sport fishers for its hard-fighting attitude, rainbow trout is abundant in Alaska. Rainbows also occur in a saltwater variety known as steelhead trout.
  • Dolly Varden: A plentiful and hard-fighting fish. During salmon season, when salmon swim into streams to spawn, you can often find Dolly Vardens swimming below them, eating their eggs.
  • Grayling: Rare and beautiful freshwater fish, they’re known for their big sail-like fin, and vibrant-colored spots.
  • Northern Pike: They can be enormous, often as big as 35 pounds, and they’re predators, eating small fish, frogs, crayfish and even birds if they come too close. They can be a lot of fun to fish. They’re in shallow warmer water in spring, and cooler deeper waters in summer.

We at Phantom Tri-River Charters know the best places to fish, know the regulations like the back of our hands, and truly enjoy seeing people experiencing the best fishing of their lives. If you fish with us, you’ll create memories that last a lifetime. Get it touch with us today to book your Alaskan fishing trip!

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