Fishing and boating with my kids in Alaska

Fishing and boating with my kids in Alaska

Alaska, the largest and northernmost state in the United States, is famous for many things – and that includes amazing fishing! Ask any angler their fishing list and Alaska will love it. With so many ways to fish – and a variety of species – you may never want to fish anywhere else!

Our family drove to Alaska on the ALCAN Highway, a road built between Canada and Alaska during World War II. The road is rough, to say the least, but the scenery is absolutely breathtaking.

We’re big salmon lovers – even the kids are fans! Of course, salmon fishing was high on our Alaska bucket list. We had dreams of a freezer full of salmon when we got home, but we knew we’d be arriving a little late in the season for that. We were lucky anyway!

We drove from Seward, Alaska, about two hours from Anchorage, on our charter from The Fish House that we found on Take Me Fishing. Our knowledgeable guide Steve helped us equip life jackets for the kids and rods for the whole family. He was super patient with the kids, which I really appreciated. It can be a little intimidating to take four young children on a boat in the middle of the ocean, but he taught us all a good lesson that made us feel more confident in our fishing skills. It didn’t take long and we were on our way.

Although we only caught the end of the season, it was a great year for salmon here. Alaska’s salmon season is a little complex, but so fascinating that I’m going to give you a quick lesson.

There are five different species of salmon in Alaska. They come from the ocean and all swim upstream in Alaska’s rivers. The type of salmon you catch largely depends on when you come to fish.

Alaska’s salmon plan

  • Late May – early July: King Salmon (this is the largest species of salmon, also known as the Chinook)
  • June – end of July: sockeye salmon (this is the most commercially fished salmon)
  • Mid-July-August: pink salmon or chum (probably the least desirable type for flavor)
  • July – October: Coho salmon (this is the newest type of run, also known as silver)

There are plenty of other incredible species to fish in Alaska too, like halibut and stonefish, but we were looking for salmon on this trip!

We make our way across Resurrection Bay to find the perfect fishing spot. We settled in a beautiful little place called Emerald Cove where we started casting. Steve cut up pieces of herring for bait and hooked them in for us. After about 15 minutes of patience, Ethan, our four year old, staggered his silver salmon #FirstCatch! He was so excited and proud!

After our first catch, we got a visit from some large sea lions, who scared away all of our fish. It was a bummer, but we caught a few small stone fish that we threw back. And most importantly, we had our big silver salmon for dinner.

The kids had fun all day riding around the bay, observing wildlife, and catching fish. It was the perfect end to our time in Alaska. We had a great time, we are already planning a fishing trip back to Alaska next summer!