Alaska Cruise Salmon Fishing: How To Be Successful

Alaska Cruise Salmon Fishing: How To Be Successful

So Your Going On An Alaska Cruise And You Want To Go Salmon Fishing

Salmon Fishing Off An Alaskan Cruise

Catching Salmon In Alaska Is Something Everyone Must Do While On Cruise

Don’t worry; even your grandmother can do it!

Fishing comes second nature to me and any opportunity I get to fish, I take it! I have never been salmon fishing before, but an opportunity presented itself last August that I could not refuse. Through my mistakes and my luck, I want to help you pick out the best trip financially, best value and most fun. Last June, my mom called up and asked me if I wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise with the family and selfishly I said yes knowing I would try to spend most my time seeking out fishing. My fiancé, who admittedly loves fishing more than myself, was tied up in work and could not go with me but, life must go on. Alone, I flew into Anchorage, drove into Whittier where we boarded that ship with my parents and proceeded to take off to Skagway. While in route to Skagway I searched every inch of the brochures we were given about excursions bound to find one or two good fishing trips.

Unhooking Salmon In Alaska

After Catching The Salmon, The Capt Must Measure To Ensure A Keeper


One could choose Juneau or Ketchikan for their fishing trips. I had my eyes set on Juneau, but my mom persuaded me to go whale watching which turned out being one of the best parts of the trip asides from fishing! Ok, so it had to be Ketchikan which was just south of Juneau but would have to do. There was two type of fishing to choose from, and I promise you I decided the best one. Listen carefully, salmon vs. halibut is a no-brainer. I was expecting for this trip to break the bank somewhat but I was prepared to pay whatever it cost because this was once in a lifetime trip, but it was only $225 but if you good through sportfishingketchikan.com they charge $200. I am assuming the extra $25 was a fee that the cruise ship added. The $200 included a 32 to 44 ft boat with large cabins in case you get cold or need come coffee with bathroom included. They provided drinks and snacks too, in my case homemade cookies and coffee. Captain Bob and his deckhand also provided all the bait, tackle rods, and reels. Gas for the boat is included in the $200 too.

It was mid-August, mid 50’s with a gentle breeze. Our ship docked up, and they shuffled us to our designated area where our tour guide would drive about of 25 of us to the boats. I was by far the youngest and only female on the bus, but I did not let that scare me. Most of the older guys were very curious why a young blond lady was riding to the boats with them and not shopping with the other tourist. I sat there in silence and let them ask me questions, but I was determined to out fish all these city fishermen. I kept imagining me hooking a massive king salmon, giving me the fight of my life and all the men asking if they can help but I would politely decline while sweat rolled off my brow. I would gaff the massive beast and pull it aboard while they all cheered and applauded for me. Ok ok, my imagination can get away from me sometimes. We got to the building where they paired us up without captions. There, behind the crowd of men, I saw him. I saw the caption that I know I had to fish with. Captain Bob was probably 95 years old, but I had faith. I know this ruff old man knew all the secrets of the sea, I knew he would put me of the big king salmon.

Finally, I happened to get my captain along with three other strangers in which we all boarded the small vessel. This vessel was like no other I had ever seen. It was silver and made especially for going through ice or what ever else you encountered. Once aboard we had to get our salmon fishing permit. It was $25, make sure you have this in cash because there is no way to use a credit card here.

Salmon Fishing Boat

Salmon Fishing Boat In Alaska

When Is The Best Time To Go Salmon Fishing In Alaska?

The kind of salmon you want depends on what time you should go, but there are a few things you should consider. If you go during the main king salmon season, your boats will be packed to max capacity which could be 6 to 7 people. If you go during the end of the season, you won’t be packed in the boat like sardines. Why does the amount of people make a difference? Well, you aren’t assigned to a rod. Therefore you share the catches. For example, we had a total of 4 people, and we caught eight fish. Because the three guys were together, they kept five fish, and I kept 3. See how the odds are better with fewer people?

Alaska has a very very short season, May through September which may sound like a long season but there is no fishing the other seven months. Plus the Kings only run a short period. The seasons are as following

-May & June are the most popular seasons specifically for king salmon AKA Chinook, black mouth or spring salmon. They are highly prized for their fight, size, texture, and taste. They average 20 pounds all the way up to 40 pounds. Talk about bragging rights

-July & August you will find Chum and Pink Salmon. Both reach nice sizes and have a mild flavored pink meat which is good for smoking. Pink salmon are typically 4 to 8 pounds, and Chum salmon reach 8 to 12 pounds.

-August & September are known for silver salmon AKA coho salmon. These fish provide an elegant show when pulling them in because of their acrobatics and jumping. Silver salmon have red meat with intense flavor. The average is 8 to 12 pounds. There are also the pink salmon or humpies that are probably the smallest out of the group but are very flavorful. The pinks are the one we hooked up on. We must have gotten into a school of them because that is all we caught.

You can expect to be out in the channel for about 4.5 hours, but if goes by so fast it will seem like 20 minutes. On the way back inshore, captain Bob will ask if you want it served of the ship for dinner or shipped back home. I chose to send back the salmon I caught where I could prepare it how I want. I am very particular about salmon and how it’s cooked. Mostly I like cooking it on cedar planks with dill, lemon and garlic salt. The cost to send home is about $100, and you will need to know when you will be home so you can set up a delivery date.

Pink Salmon

Whatever You Catch You Can Get It Sent Home

We hope you will try salmon fishing whole on your next Alaska cruise. There is nothing better than spending a day on the water fishing. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to leave us a comment below or email us at info@HFDepot.com. We would love to share who to book with or tips to ensure you have the time of your life. We want you to send a cooler full of meat home. We would love to see all your salmon fishing photos from your Alaska fishing trips. Make sure next time your family goes on an Alaska cruise that you take a day to go salmon fishing and experience everything Alaska nature has to offer.

 

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