Sep 3

fishing in alaskaIf you are planning to go for fishing in Alaska, it is an excellent idea. Alaska is anglers’ paradise and you will realize it during Alaska fishing trips. But it is safe to know the territory of this robust and equally beautiful state beforehand. Alaska is really huge with 13.77% of water. It has 34,000 miles of vast shoreline but most of it lies in uninhabited areas. And most fishing destinations are in untamed wilderness making it essential for an angler to know about the climate, animal life and forests, because though you might take up a guided fishing excursion, the territory knowledge can help you any time.

Alaska is divided into four parts, viz. Southeast, South Central, Northern Extremes and Interior Alaska, and climate varies significantly in each of them.   

Southeast Alaska

It is usually wrongly assumed that entire Alaska is freezing all the time. E.g. the Southeast Panhandle and Juneau – the capital city – have an oceanic climate. This is the only region of Alaska having temperature above freezing point all the time during winter months. It you come here even in summer, it is wise to be equipped with layered clothing and raingear to tackle abrupt rains.

southeast alaska fishing

Fishing in Southeast Alaska

Southeast Alaska, with its streams and shore waters brimming with halibuts and salmon almost all through the year, is an anglers’ heaven. To add to it, rainbow, cutthroat, brook and steelhead trout also are in abundance. What’s more, crabs, shrimp and a range of bottom fish too abound here. Alaska’s state fish is Chinook salmon and forms a major catch. Being anadromous, they can be caught both in saltwater and freshwater, with trolling with rigged herring as the most preferred method in saltwater and salmon eggs and lures in freshwater. Other favorites are pink salmon and Coho.

South Central Alaska

Even South Central Alaska has mild climate compared to many other sections of the state. The reason is its vicinity to the coast. Anchorage – a supposedly sub-Arctic city with short cool summers – lies in the South Central part. Trout and salmon flourish in this climate and waters.

south central alaska fishing

Fishing in South Central Alaska

The zone offers an extensive scope for inland as well as saltwater fishing. The Bristol Bay abounds in rainbow trout, while many water bodies brim with Dolly Varden and arctic char. Some areas show tremendously varying and astounding salmon runs, which include sockeye, red salmon, Chinook, Coho, Silver salmon, pink salmon and chum. Halibut too are found in plenty, but only during high seasons and in Cook Inlet, Gulf of Alaska and Prince William Sound. Burbot and grayling are found in some streams, while pike and lake trout are commonly found in south central lakes.

The Northern Extreme

The Northern Extreme side of the state is real arctic, the actually frozen tundra – a land which almost never melts. Summers here are very short and even July has a pleasant temperature of 34 degrees Fahrenheit. Fishing is usually scheduled in summer and spring. This is just apt for adventurers. You will have to stay in the boat as waters are freezing and sometimes you have to pierce right through the ice.

northern alaska fishing

Fishing in the Northern Extreme

Major regions of drainage here are rivers – Sagavanirktok, Colville, Canning and Kuparuk. These are home to the diadromous Beaufort Sea Dolly Varden. Hundreds of lakes which are too shallow to provide thriving ground for fish are also accompanied by dozens of other lakes which brim with arctic char, arctic grayling, lake trout and burbot. However these fish grow very slow and can be harvested only in minimal quantities.

The Interior Alaska

The interior parts of the state introduce you to truly sub-arctic climate. Both highest and lowest temperatures can be noted in and around Fairbanks. Summer can show as high as 90 degrees F, while winter can descend even up to -60 degrees F. You can expect for sockeye, cod and Dolly Varden here.

interior alaska fishing

Fishing in the Interiors

Though this is a region of extremities, it is also paradise for anglers because the variation also brings about a tremendous variety in fish. As many as five species of Pacific salmon and northern pike, along with some of the largest sheefish of the world, as huge as weighing 60 pounds are found here. Lake trout, Dolly Varden, arctic char and grayling too abound here. As a pleasing sunshine and warm weather brings about satiated fishing, summer is the best season for fishing here. Winter too can offer full-hearted ice fishing with burbot in the river ice and trout and land-locked salmon.

So, when will you embark upon your mission for fishing in Alaska?