Ketchikan Fishing: The Complete Guide For 2024

The complete guide for fishing Ketchikan in 2024. Whether you’re sailing to Alaska on a cruise ship or staying in town for multiple days. This complete guide provides everything you need to know for fishing in Ketchikan. Fishing charters in Ketchikan for salmon and halibut make for a great way to enjoy Alaska with family and friends. 

In addition, private Ketchikan charters offer an exclusive experience for those included. The best charters offer daily trips for both salmon and halibut, which are both accessible just a short run from downtown ports.

Ketchikan is surrounded by unparalleled beauty by way of land and sea. Nestled in the heart of the Tongass National Forest where the fjords meet the ocean. These waterways are home to an immense amount of marine life. 

The geographic location of the Pacific ocean supplies constant nutrient rich waters to the inside passage. Making it a perfect place for halibut and salmon, as well as whales and sea lions. Furthermore, the rich fishing grounds are paired with scenic beauty as far as the eye can see. Resulting in Ketchikan being world renown as a fishermans paradise. 

Best Fish To Catch In Ketchikan

The Ketchikan fishing is so wildly generous that there are five species of salmon. That’s not all, there’s also halibut, lingcod, rockfish, crabs and shrimp available in these deep depths.

Below we’ll talk about the favorite species to catch and eat! Not only is there a plethora of fish species to catch, but the quality of eating fish is phenomenal. This makes Ketchikan, Alaska a top destination for fisherman who want to catch fish and have it processed and shipped home.  


Ketchikan is known globally as, “The Salmon Capital of The World!” This is for good reason as all 5 types of wild pacific salmon migrate into local waters annually. King salmon, silver salmon, pink salmon, chum salmon, and sockeye salmon all make Ketchikan a great place to salmon fish.

In fact, salmon fishing in Ketchikan is the best port to fish during an Alaskan cruise. Due to the quick boat ride to the fishing grounds compounded with calm waters makes salmon fishing in Ketchikan a family favorite. Nevertheless it’s recommended as the most popular fishery in all of Alaska. People travel wide and far to catch salmon in Alaska. Salmon are fun to catch and great to eat.

The best salmon fishing in Ketchikan takes place from June through September. King salmon fishing is best from June through July. While silver salmon fishing takes place from Ju;ly through September. Lastly, the pink salmon run occurs in July and August. 

Salmon fishing charters in Ketchikan come in a range of options. The most popular salmon fishing excursion for cruise ship guests is the four hour salmon fishing excursion. While in town guests have more time, they commonly opt for the 6 flour salmon fishing charter.  


The mighty halibut holds the reputation for a wildly hard fighting fish that peruses the deep ocean floor. Halibut remains one of the top species pursued while fishing in Ketchikan. Furthermore, halibut is revered around the world as a top fish to eat in many ways. 

Fishing for halibut in Ketchikan, Alaska means you’ll be bottom fishing in waters from 200-400 feet deep. Using a variety of deep sea fishing equipment your expert captain will have you jigging for this bucket list fish over sandy bottoms. These powerful fish provide adrenaline filled battles followed by high fives and rejoiceful moments once landed. 

Ketchikan’s Finest Fishing Charters offers the best halibut fishing charters in Ketchikan. Providing everything from 4 hour halibut fishing excursions tailored towards cruise ship guests, all the way up to 8 hour trips from full day clients. The best time to fish for halibut in Ketchikan runs from May through September. 


Fishing in Ketchikan for the top species such as salmon and halibut can leave one uncertain of where rockfish fall into the mix. Rockfish are considered by many as one of the tastiest of all the species to go after in Alaska. What they lack in size they make up for in volume. It’s not uncommon to catch them two at a time with relentless ferocity. 

Alaska contains over 50 species of rockfish available in area waters. While this may overwhelm most, we’ll focus on the category of rockfish that is open for legal retention in 2024. 

Pelagic rockfish is the category of rockfish that Ketchikan fishing charter guests are legally allowed to retain. This category consists of black rocks, yellowtails, duskies, and others.

How to catch rockfish in Alaska: Jig metals jigs with light tackle equipment proves the most effective method. Furthermore, rockfish is best fished during the months of May through September. 


Lingcod is best recognized as the fish in Alaska often referred to as ugly. That’s because lingcod look prehistoric with a dragon style head. Not to mention, the lingcod mouth can open wide enough to swallow entire fish whole. These characteristics make lingcod a highly sought after trophy fish in Alaska. 

The season to catch lingcod in Ketchikan opens up May 1. In addition, the legal requirements allow for one lingcod per year for all nonresidents. Lastly, lingcod makes for a delicious eating fish with flaky meat and a dense body of fat and oils in the meat.