People often ask where to fish salmon in Alaska. Well, look no further than the Nushagak River in the region of Bristol Bay. This is a main river that opens into Nushagak Bay flowing south off its origin in the Kuskokwim Mountains. The river is world famous for sportfishing, hosting a variety of fish species. It’s long been considered WHERE to fish salmon in Alaska.
Still Best for Kings
The Nushagak makes the cut for a variety of reasons. First, there is still a harvestable king salmon (Chinook) run. Certainly fish count numbers for kings have decreased in recent years. Sadly this is the state of premium king salmon fishing everywhere. Still, if king salmon are your target species of choice, the first part of our season has been productive for kings with harvest historically allowed during the sportfish opening. We don’t know if that will eventually change in order to help protect the run. Catch and release for this mighty species is certainly a viable option, and it’s a conservation minded approach. It’s also a great fun for sportfishing enthusiasts. For some folks the trip is more about the experience of being outside in remote Alaska with the opportunity to catch a bruin like that than taking fish home.
Season Overlap with Lots of Sockeye
If harvesting fish is one of your main goals, you should look at dates during red salmon (sockeye) or silver salmon (coho) season. These fish are more abundant. Sometimes you will see an overlap of two species. Book your trip at the end of June into the beginning of July for the best chance to catch both Chinook and sockeye. Anglers in the third and fourth week of July shouldn’t be surprised to find a smorgasbord of Pacific salmon species. There can be sockeye and chum mixed with some kings that are still milling around. At the same time, the silvers could start showing up.
Variety of Fishing Technique
Once you come out to Nushagak River Adventures Lodge, you may fish a couple different techniques. Typically for kings we troll with four anglers in a boat. Kwikfish and other plug style lures are employed. Rods are kept in the holder so that an angler doesn’t set the hook too soon. With plugs, a king needs to grab it, turn sideways, bend the rod and peel line before the fight is on. One a king salmon mauls that lure, you can’t miss the take. The fight is on when the angler gets the rod out of the rod holder and holds it low to the water without letting tension off the line. Our expert guides talk you through the whole process.
You may elect to go sockeye fishing and we will propose available dates accordingly. The last few years’ counts give credence to fishing regulators who boast about record red salmon returns throughout all of Bristol Bay. It’s certainly a good time to go sockeye fishing. We employ a universally implemented flossing technique to line sockeye in the mouth as sport fishermen. Our guides will help you dial in your moves. The trick is landing these airborne rangers as they are surprising bruisers for their size. The limit has been liberalized in season, lately, and their meat is a delicious option to fill your fish box. The sockeye abundance is another good reason to select the Nushagak River for where to fish salmon in Alaska.
The Coho Rodeo
The season wraps up with the coho rodeo when these virile salmon come charging in like they own the place. Our guests love casting lures, trolling, and occasionally twitching jigs, for silver salmon. Ours is one of two lodges in full operation at this time of year on the Nushagak which makes fishing pressure minute. The remoteness and solitude are more great reasons to come out this way. Fall weather comes in during silver season. August takes summer’s last stand as we make our last stand to enjoy every last minute the Alaska salmon season has to offer.
If you decide the Nushagak is where to fish salmon in Alaska, all you need to do is choose which of the three prime species you want to target and give us a shout. We have some availability during each segment to make your salmon wishes into reality. The best way to initiate your booking is to fill out the REQUEST TRIP INFORMATION form on our website and our owner will reach out with details and dates.