How And When To Fish Alaska: Alaska Fishing Calendar – Ketchikan Fishing Charters

Ketchikan’s fishing seasons ebb and flow throughout the summer months ranging from May through September. The fishing possibilities are endless with anglers enjoying the opportunity to fish for halibut, salmon, lingcod, rockfish and crabs. While fishing in Alaska throughout the summer is nothing short of world class, there are specific times when different species are more likely to be caught. Below we’ll cover a month by month guide on the full Alaskan Fishing Season.  

Fishing Ketchikan, Alaska In May


Fishing in the month of May provides bottom fishing thrills for those who like to deep seas fish for halibut, rockfish and lingcod. However the few king salmon that are around are closed to retention during the current 2024 Ketchikan salmon fishing regulations. Meaning fishing during the month of May is purely a bottom fishing focused experience. Furthermore, the retention of lingcod opens on May 15, 2024. Legal size limits range from 30-35 inches in Ketchikan, Alaska.


As a conclusion, when booking a fishing charter in Ketchikan during the month of May, you can expect halibut, cod, and rockfish. The water temperatures are still considerably cold fishing for halibut in Alaska during the month of May. Which means you typically fish deeper depths as the halibut are still yet to populate the later season spots that consist of shallower water. Lastly, fishing for pacific cod is great in the month of May! They love the cold water and the best thing yet, there isn’t a size or number limit on pacific cod. Which makes for a great way to make up ground for not being able to catch and keep salmon that time of year. 

Fishing Exursions Ketchikan Alaska

June Fishing Calendar Ketchikan, Alaska


The mighty king salmon makes his presence known fishing during the month of June in Ketchikan. King salmon fishing is all the rage when the restrictions of salmon fishing finally lift on these prized species. Limited areas open in the first two weeks of June followed by the great June 15 date which marks the wider openings to catch and keep king salmon. Alaska salmon fishing charters, commercial fisherman and recreational anglers alike hit their favorite spots to take part in this annual salmon fishing bounty. Fishing in June in Alaska means King salmon fishing.


Halibut fishing in June starts to pick up as well! Warming waters trigger the halibut to move into prime fishing grounds in greater numbers. Towards the middle of June and into the end of June it’s not uncommon to limit out on halibut, along with king salmon in short succession. Additionally the halibut fishing spots that range from 200-300 feet really come alive with bottom species including halibut, pacific cod and rockfish.

Fishing Ketchikan, Alaska In July – Best Months To Fish In Alaska


Ketchikan fishing charters celebrate the independence month of July fishing. That’s because every species is absolutely redhot. King salmon fishing remains superb in the early weeks of July. Secondarily, the first pulses of silver salmon trickle into the nearby salmon grounds and ignite fast action fishing scenes. Not to mention its quick  boat limits with halibut fishing as one drop scenarios can have everyone hooked up instantly. On top of all that the pink salmon aka humpies make a full blown assault with fast action and high number counts. 


July commands the reputation as one of the months I recommend to fish in Alaska. For visitors who ask when is the best time to fish in Ketchikan? One can expect the answer to be, the month of July. With all the talk of silver salmon lighting the action on fire it’s worth mentioning every year the runs alter slightly. Meaning sometimes the silver salmon schools push in earlier or later. Except for some years when they don’t really run much at all. It’s historically traditional for the month of July to hold these phenomenal silver salmon runs. But, at the end of the day. It’s fishing and nothing is quite guaranteed. 


August FIshing In Ketchikan – Best Months To Fish Alaska


After discussing in depth as to why July is one of the best months to fish in Alaska you can expect to hear a lot of the same for August! Minus the amount of king salmon in local waters there really isn’t much change from July to August in terms of species being caught. Salmon species caught in August remain to be silver salmon, lots of pink salmon, some king salmon, and a few chums and sockeyes in the mix. With the headliner species clearly being the pursuit of large silver salmon aka cohos. 


August and July both represent when experienced anglers visit Alaska every year. Furthermore, repeat guests with Ketchikan’s Finest Fishing Charters make sure to reserve their prime fishing days in July and August, years in advance. Simply put, once you see the fishing during these months, you’ll keep coming back. It’s just that good. 

Ketchikan Halibut Fishing Charters

September Fishing In Ketchikan, Alaska


September means a change of the seasons is quickly settling in upon us. The fleet of Ketchikan fishing boats feel the weather becoming more sporadic and temperamental. September can provide the most glorious weather and fishing days. Or subsequently pummel your ambitions with gale force winds and rainy days on end. Those who are brave enough to gamble in September are in position to reap the rewards of less crowded waters, large silver salmon and a local vibe in the community.  


Halibut fishing in September remains strong throughout Ketchikan and Southeast Alaska. Silver salmon are in tighter schools which result in flurries of catches in bursts. But the silver salmon in September are giants when compared to the July and August runs. Big cohos make big filets and they’re a quick way to fill a box of fish. Rockfish and lingcod fishing also continue to be strong in September. In summary, September means less consistency on weather and fishing, but the wins are big when it aligns.