Fishing on the Kenai Peninsula
If you’re mad about fishing, you’ll love this four-day itinerary that takes you to some of Southcentral Alaska’s most popular fishing destinations. You’ll fish for salmon in downtown Anchorage or alongside humpback whales near Seward, and angle for halibut at the terminus of the U.S. road system.
Day 1: Anchorage
If you think you have to travel far to fish Alaska’s waters, think again! Ship Creek is one of the most unique fishing spots in existence, thanks to its location in downtown Anchorage. Collect your luggage, rent a car, and you can be casting flies for silver and king salmon within about 15 minutes of leaving the airport. Several downtown outfitters offer rental fishing equipment, including the hip or chest waders you’ll need to fend of Ship Creek’s notoriously muddy banks. Spend the night in one of Anchorage’s many hotels.
Day 2: Seward
Get up early for the 125-mile drive south to the port community of Seward. Charter a boat from the busy small boat harbor to fish for trophy halibut, and keep an eye out for wildlife as you fish: Seward is the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park, a hot spot for viewing wildlife like humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, otters, puffins, and more. Once your fishing charter returns, spend an hour or two at the Alaska SeaLife Center, a combination rehabilitation and research facility for marine wildlife, or hike out to Exit Glacier with your camera for a scenic photo op.
Day 3: Cooper Landing and Soldotna
From Seward, it’s a 95-mile drive to the inland fishing town of Soldotna. Along the way you’ll have a chance to stop in at Cooper Landing, an outpost at the beginning of the world-famous Kenai River. Cooper Landing offers excellent guided fishing trips, scenic float trips, hiking, and horseback riding. If you want a less crowded fishing experience, stop and fish here. If you want access to more services, more guides, and a number of boardwalks and public fish walks that give independent anglers easier access to bank fishing, keep going to Soldotna and fish there. For any non-fishers in your party, the nearby Kenai National Wildlife Refuge offers family-friendly attractions and displays on the life cycles of salmon.
Day 4: Homer
Your last stop is in Homer, another 75 miles down the road from Soldotna. Homer marks the western terminus of the contiguous U.S. road system and some of the best halibut fishing in the world. It’s also the gateway to the spectacular, remote Kachemak Bay State Park and State Wilderness Park. Try netting a record-breaking halibut from a fishing charter in Kachemak Bay, or rent a rod and reel from a local outfitter and cast a line from the banks of the Homer Spit lagoon, known by locals simply as the “the fishing hole.” Depending on the season, both king and silver salmon are plentiful here.
Board an Alaska Marine Highway ferry for the 11-hour sailing to Kodiak Island, or take a regional flight to the island. Kodiak is a renowned sportfishing destination and offers a multitude of tours and charter fishing excursions, including remote wilderness lodges that can only be accessed by float plane.
A fishing license is required for visitors 16 years of age or older, and for residents between the age of 16 and 59. Licenses can be purchased online or at most sporting goods or groceries stores in Alaska. Prices vary according to length of stay and species fished.
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