Planning Your Own Alaska Fishing Adventure

Planning Your Own Alaska Fishing Adventure

Denali on a clear day!

It’s not too late to plan a summer adventure in Alaska. Now is the ideal time to visit the Last Frontier and experience fishing for species like salmon and halibut. 

Based on a recent Caribou Gear trip to Alaska, we thought we’d provide a review and some ideas for planning your own Alaska fishing adventure. 

Alaska Ocean Pros
Captain Gabe Linegar and Crew


Whether it’s fishing or hunting, one of the keys to planning a successful trip to Alaska is to plan early. With spring into summer salmon runs and great halibut fishing, June, and July in Alaska is no secret, but let's not forget fall silver runs. Everything from hotels to fishing guides will book up quickly. So start your planning as soon as possible. 

Alaska hunters you're already here!  September is still good fishing for silvers, so before you head home plan a DIY, or book a guided fishing trip. 

The main items you’ll want to check off your list first include airfare, hotels, rental car and fishing charters or guides.

When we visited Alaska, one of the biggest pinch points was finding a rental car. Since COVID, many rental car companies have reduced their fleets. But with so many people seeking outdoor recreation, the fishing season in Alaska was still as busy as ever. This meant that rental cars were in high demand, but still available.  

Your hotel stays and your rental car dates will largely depend on where you’ll be fishing. So assuming you’d like to charter a halibut boat or book a river float trip for salmon, we’d recommend starting with those services and book them as soon as possible. From there, you can work backward through your trip itinerary, lining up hotel rooms, transportation and airfare.


For a great Alaska fishing adventure, we’d recommend flying into Anchorage and starting your trip from there. Airfare from hubs in the lower 48 is relatively reasonable. And from Anchorage, you can easily access some outstanding fishing locations. 

We rented a car in Anchorage, and drove from there out to Homer and Kachemak Bay. This scenic drive can take between four and five hours and is a great way to experience this part of Alaska. 

We highly recommend a rental car for getting around because it allows you to make stops, take side-trips and generally be on your own schedule. There are buses and tours available – but being on your own agenda and timetable adds a lot of freedom to the trip. On the trip down to Homer from Anchorage, Seward is a worthwhile detour, for example. In Homer, be sure to check out the Salty Dawg Saloon, where dollar bills cover every inch of the walls and ceilings. 


Lodging options for an Alaska fishing trip can range from hotels, to cabins, VRBO rentals and even campgrounds. When you book your fishing charter or guide services, try asking them if they have recommendations in the area. Additionally, do your own research to find an ideal spot based on your budget and expectations for the trip.

For example, if you’re trying to do the trip on a shoestring budget, something like a KOA campground might be the ticket. If you’re traveling with a group of friends or family, renting a VRBO house might be the best option. Or if you’re hoping for a relaxing stay and a comfortable bed after a long day of fishing, there are some good hotels to choose from.

Whatever you decide, book it early! This will help you secure the best possible price for your stay. When hotels only have a few rooms left, they tend to increase the prices for the remaining rooms. By the time fishing season in Alaska is approaching, hotels and other accommodations can get very expensive.


I was offered a chance to hunt a nuisance black bear.  GOT EM! 

Sharon with a fine cod. In fact she ended up catching more and bigger fish on this trip, but the king below was mine!  


The highlight of our fishing trip was open ocean fishing for halibut. On that trip, we saw humpback whales, killer whales, walrus, seals, otters and more. Plus, we came home with some excellent Alaskan halibut.

Alaska Ocean Pros fishing boat called the Casino

We did our fishing with Alaska Ocean Pros, operated by Captain Gabe Linegar and fabulous crew. We fished off their boat called the Casino, a smooth fast catamaran boat.  What an outstanding experience!  Depending on the time of year and the type of fishing you’re interested in, there are also opportunities to fish for cod, rockfish and other ocean species. Just so you know we bought all of the above. Caption Gabe and crew were very helpful, entertaining and simply made sure everyone caught fish!   

In addition to fishing trips, Alaska Ocean Pros offers self-guided black bear hunts, providing the boat, on-board lodging and meals for the trip. These hunts can be combined with halibut fishing, making it an ultimate spring adventure in Alaska. 

DIY Fishing 

DIY: My good friend Louis Cusack and I.
We caught our fair share of sockeye, a little walk from the crowd. 

There are also opportunities to fish the area’s rivers for spring run salmon. In fact, DIY anglers can find excellent fishing for sockeye salmon this time of year. If you do any DIY fishing, make sure you know the exact regulations – regulations are different on every river and in each location. 

For example, the Russian River is a great place to find DIY salmon fishing. But fishing is only allowed on one side of the river (the side opposite the highway). So anglers must take a ferry across the river before they are allowed to fish. Finding places to fish and learning these regulations can take some legwork. But anglers who do that work, learn what fishing techniques to use, and make appropriate plans, can be rewarded with some excellent DIY salmon fishing. 

It can get a little crowded

Here's a tip: go to the nearest tackle shop and ask what flossing is, or better yet ask what flys are best for flossing. Be sure to buy split shot line weights. After you have your tackle and fish stringer go to the river and observe. You'll be looking for the rig set ups and fishing technique of the locals. Ask questions as many will be happy to help Alaska's newcomer or greenhorn, called a "Cheechako".
Last but not least, when you hook up, you better hang on!!!

For more information about the Russian River Ferry          

Russian River Ferry at Sportsman's Landing
This is a must for a DIY great time!   

Guided Salmon Fishing

Alternatively, there are excellent opportunities to hire a guide service for float trips down wild and scenic Alaska Rivers. Depending on the river and the time of year, this can open opportunities to fishing for king salmon and more. Like everything else, if you wish to do some guided salmon fishing, book those services as early as possible to secure the best dates, locations and guides. 

Getting Your Fish Home 

With most charters and guided fishing services, they will offer options to process your fish. Once your fish are filleted, there are many local places to take your fish to have them flash frozen into vaccum-sealed bags. 

We took our halibut to a local processor, where they flash froze and vacuum-sealed them for us. From there, we purchased a fish box, and shipped it back home. In Alaska, this is an everyday thing and not at all difficult or complicated. No matter where you’re fishing, there are options for getting your fish home. If you’re not sure where to begin, ask your guide service for recommendations. Or, you can always ask for recommendations at your hotel or inquire with local businesses.


Ready to plan your Alaska fishing adventure? Don’t wait! Now is the time to line up the logistics for a trip during the peak fishing season. If you have questions, please feel free to contact the great folks at Alaska Ocean Pros. If you need gear for this adventure or any of your upcoming trips, check out our gear right here at Right off the top we recommend our Koyukon Duffel Bags and rain poncho (did we mention it rains a lot!) We’d be happy to help you pick out the right items for your next fishing or hunting trip.
Koyukon Duffel Bags

Homer Harbor D23, Homer Alaska 99603
Phone 907-299-7498

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