Alaska Salmon Fishing

When Is the Best Time to Fish For Salmon in Alaska?

Nothing quite compares to Salmon fishing in Alaska.

Alaska offers more coastline than the entirety of the US and has millions of lakes full of bustling aquatic life. This region provides unparalleled opportunities to anglers because Alaska offers five Pacific Salmon species, namely Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Pink Salmon, and Chum Salmon.

The presence of these fish species, crystal clear waters, and the stunning scenic beauty of the state, make Alaska the destination for fishing enthusiasts.

For the best saltwater sportfishing, sightseeing, and family adventure in Sitka, Alaska, book an experienced and reputable company like Action Alaska Sportfishing.

That being said, when exactly should you go fishing for Salmon in Alaska?

When Is the Best Time to Fish For Salmon in Alaska?

Simply put, the best time to fish for Salmon in Alaska is during the summers.

Peak Salmon fishing season in The Last Frontier starts in May and goes all the way through to the end of September. This period is best for catching the five major Salmon species at different times spread across the entire summer season.

Hence, you can fish for at least one of the five species throughout the summer. If nothing else, you can fish Halibut all summer in Alaska.

Let’s discuss each Salmon species and the best time to fish for each in Alaska.

Chinook Salmon (King Salmon) – Peak Time – Mid-May to July

Chinook Salmon, or King Salmon as it is more commonly known, is the ultimate catch you will find in Alaska, and rightfully so. It is the official state fish of Alaska. Catching King Salmon is hard and they typically weigh around 30 pounds. 

However, you may even find ones that weigh upwards of 50 pounds.

The bigger your catch, the better, and you can find some big ones during peak times from mid-May till the end of July.

Coho Salmon (Silver Salmon) – Peak Time – July to September

Coho Salmon or Silver Salmon, the feistiest of the five Salmon species, are fast and strong, which makes for an excellent fight show when you hook one. You can easily find these bad boys from July all the way through to September.

Sockeye Salmon (Red Salmon) – Peak Time – Mid-June to Mid-August

Alaska is full of the strange-looking Sockeye or Red Salmon. They are the most abundant of the five Salmon species, and the best part is that they are also the most delicious. So, you might want to catch as many as possible to fill your coolers.

Runs of millions of Red Salmon flock to Alaskan waters during the summers, and the best time to fish for them is from mid-June to mid-August.

Pink Salmon (Humpback Salmon) – Peak Time – Mid-July to Mid-August

These are the smallest of all Salmon species and typically weigh around just 5 pounds; however, it is not uncommon to find bigger ones. The peak time to find these little Salmon is from mid-July to mid-August. However, you will want to target them on even-numbered years.

This is simply because they have a two-year life cycle, which means you have to skip a year to find the massive number of Pink Salmon runs that come to Alaska.

Chum Salmon (Dog/Keta/Silverbite Salmon) – Peak Time – Mid-July to Mid-August

Despite only weighing around 10-15 pounds, Chum Salmon has a lot of fight in them, which is possibly why they are known as Dirty Dogs in many places. Do not underestimate the Chum Salmon; once hooked, they will fiercely punch above their weight to surprise you.

You can easily find the Chum Salmon when you go coastal fishing in Alaska from mid-July to mid-August.


You can have a great time salmon fishing, and summers are the best time to fish for Salmon in Alaska. However, you should apply for and buy your license at the beginning of summer to get it soon without a long waiting period and enjoy fishing for Salmon in Alaskan waters.

Keep in mind, there are different licenses for different areas and a separate King Salmon tag if you want to fish for Chinook Salmon. Moreover, there are daily limits to fish catching in every area, with some areas being strictly catch-and-release.

Additionally, as most experienced guides like Capt. Cody Loomis of Action Alaska Sportfishing will tell you, it is better to let female Salmons go. This is not a rule, only a suggestion to help sustain the ecosystem. Besides, male Salmons taste much better.

If you want to learn more about the best time to fish for salmon in Alaska or want to book Action Alaska Sportfishing for the best salmon fishing experience in Sitka, Alaska, visit our website today.