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Chasing Monsters: The Ultimate King Salmon Fishing Adventure in Alaska

Are you looking for the ultimate fishing adventure? Look no further than Alaska for the trip of a lifetime. Here you can find the king of all salmon, the Chinook or King Salmon, which are highly prized by sports fishermen all over the world.

These monsters of the Salmon Family are the largest of the salmon fish, with the average size ranging from 24 to 36 inches and 10 to 50 pounds. However, the biggest King Salmon ever caught was a sport record of 97 pounds on the Kenai River in 1985, caught by Les Anderson (the commercial record is 126 pounds). Their size and fight make them so highly prized by sports fishermen, and it's easy to see why.

But where and when can you find them? King Salmon have a life cycle that involves both freshwater and saltwater, so you can fish for adult King Salmon in both types of water. In the oceans and bays around Alaska, the kings start to make their way from the deeper waters towards the inlets and deltas along the western shores and along the Gulf of Alaska. This process usually begins to peak in May along the Southeastern side of Alaska. Peak saltwater runs in the waters of the Bristol Bay Watershed occur in June, but along the Kenai Peninsula the saltwater peak season for King Salmon is extended and runs from May through August.

To catch King Salmon, you need to understand their behavior. When they get ready to head upstream to spawn, they undergo a major metamorphosis. They begin to gorge on food and then their body changes so that they can move from saltwater to freshwater. Part of the change that they undergo is that they stop eating. They have only one mission left in their life, and that is to spawn. However, salmon are aggressive fish, and that high level of energy causes them to react to things in their environment. Part of their biological drive is to give their offspring the best chance they can for survival. So, they strike at things that look like other salmon eggs because by consuming the eggs of other salmon, they give their offspring more opportunities to find food come spring when their own roe hatches.

Fishing for King Salmon in Alaska is an experience like no other. Charter boats for ocean fishing, such as those provided by some of the Alaska fishing lodges or from any of the charter services, work well for trolling for salmon. Drift boat and shore fishing are both fine methods for catching King Salmon in the rivers, lakes, and estuaries.

When it comes to flies and lures, salmon flashers work well in the saltwater arena because salmon are predators and they eat small fish such as smelt and herring. The salmon are still gorging because anything they can eat will help them pack on energy or fat they devour. In the freshwater habitat, smaller spoons and brightly colored flies work well. By choosing fly colors that mimic the natural colors of salmon roe, fishermen have a better opportunity to temp a King to strike. Brightly colored flies, spoons, and spinners in pink, orange, red, silver, neon green, and sometimes even yellow are all colors that work well with Kings. Fly sizes at six and under.

If you are in a river that allows bait fishing, consider using salmon roe in netting. As a substitute, you could try trout roe too. Tie a dab of them in small gage netting, about the size of a regular marble, then just place it on the hook. It is also a good trick to use for Steelhead too.

It's important to note that King Salmon typically hang out along the bottom of the river. So the best place to place your fly is towards the bottom.

Fishing for King Salmon in the ocean waters around Kodiak Island is an experience of a lifetime. The Kings here are known for their immense size and fighting spirit, making them highly prized by sports fishermen. With peak saltwater runs occurring in May and June, and extended runs from May through August, Old Harbor on Kodiak Island offers plenty of opportunities to catch these giants. The ocean waters around the island are also home to other fish species, including halibut and rockfish, providing a diverse fishing experience. Additionally, the stunning natural beauty of Kodiak makes it an unforgettable backdrop for any fishing trip.

So what are you waiting for? Head to Alaska and book your trip with Harbor Adventure Lodge today!

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