World Record Chinook Salmon
For the most amazing and picturesque fishing experience of a lifetime, the choice is the Kenai Peninsula. The turquoise waters of the Kenai River are breath taking. Kenai River King salmon fishing has produced some of the most noteworthy catches on record and produces more every year. The World Record King Salmon was caught on the Kenai River – 97 lb 4 oz !
2015 King Salmon Predictions
Alaska State managers say they expect strong conservation measures to continue in 2015 to ensure enough fish make it up the river to spawn. The announced 2015 forecast of 96,000 to 163,000 King Salmon is up from the 70,000 to 117,000 predicted last year. The 25-year average is double the forecast size, around 243,000 fish. The State says “If the forecast does come to fruition, we should have a few more Chinook in the river than the 2014 season. It’s a forecast; we won’t really know until the season begins. If we start with an early season closure, like in 2014, it’ll give us the opportunity to be conservative for our approach to the season. It’s going to be a well below average run, based on that, we certainly need to be, again, conservative in the 2015 season.”
King Salmon have been and always will be the prize of the Kenia. No matter what time of year you come, there are plenty of other fish to catch in the Kenai River other than the Chinook or King Salmon. If salmon are your goal, also consider Red or Silver Salmon fishing.
Best King Salmon Fishing Times for 2015
King Salmon are usually running in the Kenai River in the second week of June with the strongest numbers in the third and fourth week of June. There have been Kings caught as late as August. The most Chinook Salmon are usually caught in the month of June.
How to Fish for King Salmon
I’ve been fishing King Salmon, sometimes called Chinook, on the Kenai River for 11 years. I usually fish from a boat using an ugly stick, the finest fishing pole made in my humble opinion. I use 50 lb test line on a durable spinning reel with a steel leader and a single barbless hook. I use a spoon in three feet of water or a chuck of row (a chunk of processed salmon eggs) on the bottom depending on my mood. Kings are extremely strong swimmers. They will charge straight up the swiftest current they can find so ripping a spoon in about three feet of water through the middle of the river or bouncing row off the bottom has been the most productive.
These guys are an angry fish. King Salmon are on a mission and if you hook one, he will let you know he is not happy about it at all. They will run up stream for thirty yards and turnaround and run twice as far down stream jumping and zig-zagging the width of the river all the way. It is best to give King Salmon time to get tired before trying to land them.
Please use a net to bring the King Salmon aboard and be sure you don’t hurt him in case of size restriction or regulations. The fish can’t leave the water if you are going to release him, for example, during some restriction period.
Bank Fishing for King Salmon
I’ve also spent many days bank fishing for King Salmon. When bank fishing on the Kenai River, I use a ugly stick with 50 pound test line on a sturdy spinning reel. I put about 18 inches of leader with a steel leader I recommended for the last few six inches or so. I found bouncing row (processed salmon eggs) off the bottom and drifting it down stream to be the most effective. Some of my favorite spots on the Kenai River are, of course, Kenia Magic Lodge. I have had good luck at the convergent of the Kenai River and the Moose River. Six Mile Creek from Cooper Landing float has some of the greatest fishing anywhere on the Kenai Peninsula.
Flyout King Salmon Fishing
Flyout trips for King Salmon give you an opportunity to fish areas that most folks will never see.
Things to take with you King Salmon Fishing on the Kenai River
There is lots of daylight in Alaska when you will be King Salmon fishing. June 23 is summer solstice with 20 hours of sunshine. A quality pair of sunglasses are must, polarized lenses are highly recommended for spotting fish.
Be certain that someone in your party has a camera. The most common problem we hear from visitors is they didn’t have enough space on their camera, so please bring some extra storage, you are going to need it. You will want to have a memento of your fishing day holding up your record Chinook Salmon.
Rain gear is another thing you don’t want to be without the weather changes without notice. Warm, layered clothes are good since you can put on or take off layers as needed. The morning temperatures will be in the 40s and afternoons in the 80s. Warm wool socks and an extra pair in your back pack is always a good idea. You’ll find wrestling a King Salmon on your pole is hard work and you can work up a sweat landing your King Salmon. Find some more tips on what to bring here.
After the Fishing the Kenai River
When the day is done and you are back at Kenai Magic Lodge, you’ll be telling stories at dinner of the outstanding day all the wildlife and how you really caught the biggest fish and the ONE THAT GOT AWAY.
You’ll enjoy a filet from your daily catch. Plan to have some of your salmon packaged at professional processor and shipped home. The cost is about $2.00 per pound to have it packaged, boxed and shipped. The actual price will vary depending on transportation costs. We have three or four professional services we can refer you to that we have dealt with for years. They have treated our clients fairly and professionally.
You will enjoy memories of your Kenai River King Salmon fishing all year when sharing filets with your friends.