- More Info on Kasilof River,
First-Run King Salmon Fishing -
- Visit the
Gallery Pages for loads of photos of Kasilof River King Salmon
- Visit our Alaska Fishing
Packages Page to see available packages that include fishing on
- Visit our
Day on the Kasilof Page for about what you might expect on a
Kasilof River trip!
Most popular of all of the Kasilof's
salmon fisheries, the first-run king salmon begin making their appearance in early May.
However, fishing doesn't really begin to pick up until mid-May with the river opening to
the use of bait on the 16th. By the last week of the month, king fishing is in full swing
with the run peaking around the 10th of June.
Alaska's most popular
driftboat fishery, first-run salmon fishing on the Kasilof River provides
the Kenai Peninsula's highest king salmon fishing
success, many times higher than
typical success rates on the nearby Kenai.
Late May Kasilof River King Salmon
The first-run Kasilof kings are
hatchery origin (check the Alaska fishing regulations page for more
information), returning to a small tributary named Crooked Creek about five miles
upstream from the river's mouth. This is one of the only fisheries in
the southcentral region in which anglers have an opportunity to harvest two
king salmon daily.
These fish are similar
to the highly-cherished 'spring chinook' stock of the lower 48, with the
fish returning heavily laden in body fat and rich in oils, providing some of the finest
eating of all the Pacific Salmon.
We generally run full-day trips for Kasilof kings,
although half-day trips can be arranged. This is far and away our most
popular salmon fishing trip in the months of May and June. Anglers looking
for an 'action' fishery for kings should consider this trip, it's not
uncommon to see a boat hook 25 (and sometimes more!) kings per day!
Mike Price brings a king aboard his boat for
Early run Kasilof kings typically
average about 20 pounds and will sometimes reach 30-35 pounds. Outstanding
fighters, they often leave rooster tails behind them in
their sizzling runs across the early-season shallow waters of the Kasilof.
Most of our early season fishing
consists of backtrolling sardine-wrapped kwikfish or jet diver/ spin 'n glo / egg combos,
although in certain instances, we will backbounce eggs directly under the boat.
We typically spend the majority of our
fishing trips in tidewater, looking for fish just entering the river. These fish are
typically are more aggressive and provide better eating qualities when fresh out of the saltchuck. We tend to avoid some of the other anglers on the river by concentrating our
efforts in the tidal water rather than the busy area at the mouth of Crooked Creek where
many guides congregate to fish over kings waiting to ascend the creek.
A late June Kasilof King, early second run
fish begin showing in the second half of the month.
As late June nears, we begin to
see a few of the second-run kings mix in with the first-run fish, surprising anglers
expecting fish of first-run size with trophy-class salmon in the 50-60 pound (or bigger)
On full day trips in late June, anglers may also have the
opportunity to fish for sockeye salmon as well as kings on the same day!
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