Fishing season starts the beginning of May and goes through September. You can expect to catch fish anytime during these months. Depending on whether you are going after halibut and/or a specific species of salmon will determine what part of the season that you’ll want to come.
Halibut and King Salmon Saltwater Combo Trips
The season beginning with May and going through the first week of June, gives you the opportunity to target both King Salmon and Halibut at the same time while enjoying the midnight sun. There are hundreds of thousands of salmon migrating through Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay to the many rivers. Along with these, comes the “feeder kings” or the King Salmon that come to feed and not spawn that year. We fish in shallow water close to shore, mainly with herring to catch the chrome, bright fish. Halibut also tend to be in shallower water during this time period, than later in the season.
The weather in May tends to be a sunnier month with temperatures ranging from 50-70 degrees. It’s still a good idea to plan on cool weather, and to bring appropriate clothing such as extra sweatshirts and raingear. The raingear also helps keep your clothes cleaner when a fish comes aboard.
Saltwater Halibut and King Salmon on the Kenai River
After the first week of June, we start to just target halibut. If you’re just targeting halibut, this is a good time to come as they are in both shallow and deep water.
For the Kenai River, this is a great opportunity for you to have a chance to catch a world class Kenai King Salmon. The early run has about 15,000-30,000 fish that average 30 to 45 pounds with an occasional 50 to 60 pounder. The world record King Salmon (97 lbs) was caught in the Kenai River on May 17, 1984. There are fewer people on the river in June for that Kenai River fishing experience.
June tends to be the driest month of the year with temperatures ranging from 50 to 85 degrees and the sun being up all night long.
Kenai River Kings and Saltwater Halibut
The second run of Kings enters the Kenai late June and continues through July. (Which ranges on average from 30,000 to 60,000 fish). When planning a trip during this time, it is good to know that on Sundays and Mondays the river is closed to King Salmon fishing, but those halibut are still out there running strong in the saltwater. The average King weighs 45 to 55 pounds with 60 to 75 pounders caught frequently. Along with the larger run of Kings, come a lot more anglers. With limited space on the boats in July, it is a good idea to call early.
Red Salmon also run in the month of July. These are also fun to catch and good to eat.
Saltwater and Kenai River TripsWhile fishing for halibut during this month, we tend to go out a little further as the halibut are moving towards deeper water. During the latter part of August, we do combo trips for both silvers and halibuts. When an angler hooks a silver, he has a battle on his hands! We also fish for silvers in the Kenai River with spinners. They are very fun to catch as they torpedo through the water and fly through the air.
Pink Salmon are available on even numbered years and you usually catch a fish on every cast!
The weather in August has temperatures ranging from 50 to 80 degrees and it actually gets dark around 11pm.
Saltwater and Kenai River Trips
We go out of Homer for Halibut and Silver Salmon. Silver Salmon are still available on the Kenai River. The weather can be more of a limiting factor during this month on the saltwater. Consequently, it is good to plan a couple of extra days in your trip incase you get a blow off day.