Are Fish Active During Winter Fishing Tours in Alaska?

Are Fish Active During Winter Fishing Tours in Alaska?

March 9, 2018

We often think of winter as a time for hibernation and inactivity. Is this true for the fish of Alaska? If you’re considering a fishing tour in Alaska, you want to go at the best time of year. No one wants to invest in a tour if the fish aren’t active. Is it worth going in winter? Will you encounter any fish?

Yes, you will! Here’s the scoop.


Alaska is known for its salmon. Five varieties are normally found throughout the state. In the winter, King Salmon are active and much sought-after. These fish, particularly the Feeder King Salmon, migrate up from the Pacific Northwest and Canada for feeding. They then return to their rivers to spawn. As they grow fat during this season, they are a popular treat for winter fishing tours in Alaska.


Halibut are another common treat of fishing tours in Alaska. Winter is not the best season to look for these fish, since most of them migrate out of the area for the season to spawn. However, many fishing tours in Alaska encounter halibut as they fish for King Salmon. You may catch one, but they are typically not the target.

Stocked Areas

Many lakes and ponds throughout Alaska offer great winter fishing opportunities. Stocked lakes in the Fairbanks and Delta areas offer great winter catches, as do many smaller stocked lakes across the state. Stocked winter catches include silver salmon, Arctic char, lake trout and rainbow trout. Many of these stocked locations offer great opportunities for ice fishing.

Ice Fishing

Fishing in Alaska in the winter is common. It’s simply done through the ice if necessary. Fishing tours in Alaska during the winter months can target Arctic char, rainbow trout, Arctic grayling and salmon. Other common catches for ice fishing include Rockfish, which can be caught all winter long in some parts of Alaska.

Winter Fishing Mindset

Winter fishing tours in Alaska offer a unique experience. Many fish slow down during this season. They may not move very far to feed, making them more challenging to catch. However, some are active, and waiting for their bite offers fishermen the chance to take in the breathtaking winter scenery of Alaska. It’s the best time to see the Northern Lights, and other wildlife is more visible among the winter foliage. These features of Alaskan winters make winter fishing tours in Alaska a favorite for many visitors and locals alike.

Enjoy the Wonders of Winter

Winter fishing tours in Alaska offer experiences you won’t find elsewhere. Don’t let the cooler temperatures fool you. Winters in Alaska are a prime time to take in all the state has to offer. This includes King Salmon, halibut and other wildlife. Whether you want to find a remote stocked lake you travel to by snowmobile or schedule a guided fishing tour in Alaska, you are sure to enjoy your experience. For expert assistance to help you create memories for a lifetime, contact the staff at Phantom Tri-River Charters. We’ll help you schedule the best time for your tour to get the catches you desire.

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