One reason Alaska is a "bucket list" destination to many is that it is an angler's dream! Cruise ship guests can get a taste of the Alaska wild while in port by either taking the cruise line excursion or setting up a reservation with a fishing charter.
Types of Fish Available
- Salmon - One of the most sought after while fishing Alaska, Salmon is available through the whole cruising season. Many itineraries include a port stop in Ketchikan, known as the "Salmon Capitol of the World." The earliest to hit peak season is King Salmon from May to July. Sockeye comes in from June to August. Humpty, Chum, and Coho will be big starting in July and August, with Coho extending into September.
- Halibut - If Halibut is what appeals to you, pick an itinerary that includes Homer. Located on the southern tip of the Kenai Penninsula, it is known as the "Halibut Capitol of the World. You can fish this white meat fish during the whole Alaskan cruising season, May through September.
- Rockfish - While there are over 30 varieties of rockfish in the Gulf of Alaska, only about a third are sought after. The most popular are the Black Rockfish and the Yelloweye. Rockfish is available for fishing all seasons but due to overfishing, is limited to one fish per person, per day.
- Rainbow Trout - Since Rainbow Trout is a river-based species, anglers may want to consider a one-way cruise that either starts or ends in Anchorage or Seward. This will allow you to spend a few days either before or after your cruise to hit the Kvichak, Alagnak, Naknek, or Kenai river systems. The rainbow trout season runs from June through September.
- Dolly Varden - Often confused for a Rainbow Trout, the Dolly Varden is a actually a Char, with opposite coloring from the Rainbow. Like the Rainbow, they are a river fish, so it would be best to fish either before or after the cruise. One of the best spots to find them is in the Kenai River, from April to late May.
Whatever you are fishing for, be sure you have the proper angler license. If you are going to DIY your fishing expedition, also know the regulations on that fish and area.
A hired guide, charter, or cruise line excursion should either include the license or explain how to obtain it. Serious anglers and first-timers alike will benefit from their experience and equipment.
If you are ready to book your Alaska cruise or fishing vacation, click the button below. We'll be happy to help you get underway!