Alaska Salmon Fishing for Sockeye
Best months: July
Sockeye salmon, also known as reds, are the most plentiful fish to spawn in the Nushagak River and throughout Bristol Bay. With over a million red salmon entering the Nushagak, the action can be exciting and fast. Over the last few seasons, there have been millions of sockeye that have moved past the sonar fish counters monitored by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Bristol Bay and the Nushagak River have seen record numbers of sockeye for the last three summers. The sockeye seem to arrive in recent seasons around the last week of June and it heats up for a couple weeks as these fish clog the river. They are around for another couple weeks as they make their way up the system until we are fishing for coho.
The method our guides share for catching reds is by fly or spinning rods. Alaska red salmon average from 6 to 12 pounds. ADF&G regulations on the Nushagak allows for 5 sockeye salmon per person per day. When the return numbers are enormous as they have been the last few years, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will sometimes see fit to raise the limit. We allow Alaska salmon fishing anglers to keep enough sockeye to offset their 50-pound boxes of king if you are here during that crossover season. In fact, if you prefer to catch and release kings and fill your box with sockeye, you are welcome. It’s a treasure to be here in Bristol Bay among all of this Alaska salmon fishing and it is our duty to respect this resource and protect it as our own.