While Alaska fishing has a reputation for the fish jumping into the boat, this of course is seldom the case. Making sure our clients fishing in Ketchikan are set up for success and expectation levels are realistic is important to us at The Alaska Catch. We offer our Ketchikan fishing charters from mid May through mid September. Different times of the year bring different species migrating to our area. If you have a specific species you would like to target, please let us know. You can also ask your fishing guide for the hottest bite leading up to the day of your arrival.
One way to answer the “When is the best fishing in Ketchikan” question is by telling you when the slowest time of the year is. Any honest guide in town will tell you the month of May. The old saying goes “You May catch them and you May not” and there is some truth to this when fishing in May. For the most action, we recommend halibut fishing in Ketchikan during the month of May. Crabbing is also another great option if you have enough time in town during the month of May.
For the most part, Halibut fishing is solid throughout our entire season on a Ketchikan fishing charter. It also provides the most action early in the season before Salmon fishing in Ketchikan opens for retention on June 1. While halibut fishing in Ketchikan we also catch pacific cod, ling cod, rockfish, along with other non target species. Our best Ketchikan Halibut fishing grounds are about 45-55 minutes from town and require a 5-6 hour timeframe for best results. Halibut fishing in Ketchikan is excellent May through September. With June, July and August being the peak months.
Salmon fishing in Ketchikan is available June 1 through September. May is generally catch and release. Different months bring different species of migrating salmon to Ketchikan. Ketchikan salmon fishing offers all 5 species of salmon. However, not all 5 species migrate to our area at the same time. When multiple species of migrating salmon overlap in our area, we see the most action while salmon fishing in Ketchikan. July and August are great month for catching multiple species of Salmon such as King, Pink, Chum, and Silver. However, June is great for Kings and early September is great for Silvers.
King salmon arrive first in May and are available for retention on June 1 in specific areas. Peak King salmon season is mid June through mid July. King Salmon fishing in Ketchikan may require patience. When the King is the only salmon around, its quality over quantity and often a strike out or home run type trip. The King salmon is a trophy fish and June and July is when we catch them. A King stamp is required to be purchased in advance in order to retain. Generally the limit is 1 King salmon per person per day with a 28′ minimum size limit.
July and August tend to offer both peak salmon and halibut fishing in Ketchikan. This is when our combo trips are the most successful and when our in-town and repeat clients generally book with us. With that said, if these clients want to focus on Kings they book in June through early July and if they want to target Silvers (Coho’s) they book from late July through early September. Each year the patterns can change a little so picking exact dates for the best fishing in Ketchikan can be a challenge. With Silver, Pink, and Chum salmon the limit is 6 and there is no size limit.
No matter the day you plan your fishing charter in Ketchikan, rest assured our experienced and knowledgeable guides will do everything they can to show you an excellent fishing adventure. We hope this article gives you some insight on species available and our common patterns throughout the season. If you would like more information on our Ketchikan fishing charter please reach out to us and we’ll gladly answer your questions.