|Sockeye salmon (“Reds”) are the most popular fish to catch on the Kenai Peninsula. The smaller, early run starts around the beginning of June and lasts 2-3 weeks. Although these fish can be caught in most places on the Kenai River, these reds will collect in larger numbers at the confluence of the Moose River and the Kenai River in early June (about 15 miles from us) and in even greater numbers around mid June to mid July at the confluence of the Russian River and the Kenai River (about 40 miles from us). Since the first run is generally smaller fish and in fewer numbers, most local anglers wait to fish the larger second run starting the middle of July and lasting through the first week in August. Good red fishing can be found at the public fishing area one quarter mile from the cabins and the Russian River. This fishery is so popular, that anglers tend to be shoulder-to-shoulder when fishing in the public areas. I have fished these areas with great success but prefer to go very early in the morning or late at night to get a good spot. Some anglers prefer to hire a guide to take them red fishing. If you plan to visit our area for the second run, plan early. July 15th through the first week in August can book up 6-8 months in advance. I love fishing Reds and also they are a great fish to eat. They require a special technique to catch as they don’t like to feed during their trip up the river to spawn. This can be somewhat frustrating for a beginner but is fun when mastered. Gogglel “catching sockeye salmon” for more information.
Pink Salmon (Humpies) run strong on even years (2016, 2018, 2020, etc.). They start coming in numbers around the middle of August. They bite readily on flashy spoons and are easier for beginners to catch. The canned salmon you see in Costco is typically Pink salmon. They don’t preserve very well if frozen and are mushy if not eaten fresh the same day. For that reason, most Alaskans don’t keep them unless they catch them to feed their dog teams.
The Coho salmon (Silvers) start running in numbers around the middle of August and last through most of September. They are best caught using salmon roe in slow moving spots of the river. They are very good to eat and are a great fighting fish.
Halibut can be caught most anytime in the summer. I prefer to charter a halibut trip in the spring but anytime is good. The closest place to launch for a Halibut charter is at Deep Creek. It is about 40 miles from us toward Homer. Charter companies launch their boats in the ocean by large tractor rigs several hours before low or high tide. Mike Hopley of www.AlaskanCharters.com is a good choice for a halibut guide.
Most charters for salmon or Halibut run around $220 - $250 a person. You can also fly in for fishing depending on the time of year and what is currently running. Talon Air is one of the best known fly-in charter companies that operate off Mackey Lake about 3 miles out of Soldotna. The fishing tab on our website has additional information.