5 Famous Alaskan Fish Species that You Can Catch
Alaska boasts over 6,000 miles of coastline, which is more than the rest of America put together. With its vast waters, the state is home to an array of fish species, making Alaska a popular spot for fishing. Freshwater and saltwater fishing is a favorite activity of novice fishermen and seasoned anglers. Each species has challenges that make casting and catching them more fun.
It’s better to know which fish species are prominent in the state to ensure that your fishing trip goes smoothly. Here are the five fish you can catch in Alaska.
Alaska is home to the earth’s most abundant salmon population, with five species re-entering the state’s saltwater rivers annually to reproduce. The bountiful and sensational resource of this fish has become the foundation of Alaska’s vast sport-fishing industry. Thousands of local seasoned anglers and the causal fisherman take advantage of every summer through early May to September.
The most sought after salmon species in Alaska is the King or Chinook salmon. It’s the largest species that reside in Alaskan waters, and it can reach up to 120 pounds. You can distinguish the King salmon from other species with unique blue-green spots scattered along its back, letting you know you have reeled in a king. Other salmon species that you can catch in Alaska include the Chum, Sockeye, Pink, and Silver salmon.
Next to salmon, the Alaskan Leopard Rainbow trout is one of the most sought fish in the state, and it is also Alaska’s most prized sportfish. You can find this species in almost any of Alaska’s rivers, and the best time to hunt for a rainbow trout is from June to October. This fish is a big meat eater and only undergoes a small window of time to fatten up after the long cold winter arrives, so using large flies or the standard worms are the best baits you can use to lure in this prized fish.
While there are several areas in Alaska that have pike, there are only a handful of places with the bountiful numbers and pike size like in the Innoko River in the lower parts of Alaska’s Yukon River. Most pikes in the area average around 30 pounds and 25 to inches in length, which can be a challenging but rewarding battle. If you want to target large and aggressive pikes, you can find them in Alaska’s rivers throughout summer, starting from mid-June to September.
There are only a handful of fishing locations where seasonal anglers can cast and catch grayling native to the river. However, when fishing in Alaska, that won’t be a problem as the state is one of the Arctic grayling’s largest strongholds where they thrive with ease. The best time to hunt for this species is from June to early October, and they are easy to lure as they nearly eat anything you place in front of them.
The Dolly Varden or ‘dollies’ are a type of lake trout that’s plentiful in cold freshwaters, such as lakes and streams. You can catch these fish in almost any month of the season, ranging from June to October.
Regardless of where your fishing trip takes you, from far south to the cold north, the Alaskan fish species that you catch will always be guaranteed fresh, allowing you to go home with a whale of a tale to share.