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Kenai River - Kasilof River - Cook Inlet

Kenai River Kings, Kasilof River Serenity, Cook Inlet Bounty


  KENAI RIVER - Early & Late Runs

May - June Fishery

Kenai River Early King Run Anglers The first run of King Salmon in the Kenai River appears in catchable numbers beginning in early May. Early summer finds the river very low and there are fewer boats and anglers on the water during this time. Although this run is smaller in numbers than the late run, the fewer anglers and shallow water make this a very enjoyable fishery which is quite productive because the fish are more contained in the existing holes and channels. The current world record of 97 pounds 4 ounces was taken by a local angler in mid-May of 1985. There are always trophy size fish taken from this run each season.

The run peaks in mid-June and carries good numbers through the month until we begin to see the July fish showing around the end of June. Regulations require this fishing to begin as an artificial lure only fishery, so we use back-trolling and back-bouncing techniques for these fish from both our power boats and drift boats. With the river clarity and shallow water at this time of year, this technique works very well. Use of bait may be allowed on short notice at any time if Fish & Game determines the run is above average in strength based on fish counts entering the river. In 2003, ADF&G instituted a "slot" limit for early run Kenai Kings. Kings smaller than 44 inches and larger than 55 inches are the only ones able to be kept. All fish over 55 inches in length must be registered with the ADF&G office as soon as possible after catching.

July Fishery

Kenai River Late King Anglers The second run of King Salmon in the Kenai River begins to show around the end of June and overlaps the end of the early run. Quite often we recognize the change-over with chrome-bright fish and increasing sizes in the general catch. This run officially begins July 1st by allowing the use of baits and scents in addition to artificial lures and we will use a variety of offerings to determine what the most effective presentation is. Back-trolling & back-bouncing are used depending on the location and most effective method at the time. This run is significantly larger in numbers than the early run and attracts a large crowd of anglers hoping to land one of these monsters. Since guided fishing is not allowed on Sundays or Mondays for either fish run, the number of days available in July is very limited so booking as early as possible is required. The past several seasons have been very successful and there were many days when fishing was so good it reminded us of the good old days. Boat limits were frequent and many very nice size fish were taken by anglers throughout July.


May, June, July Fishery

Kasilof River King Anglers The Kasilof River provides another great King Salmon fishery just 12 miles south of Soldotna. This river is smaller and shallower than the Kenai and can only be navigated by drift boat. It has a very healthy first run of King Salmon arriving in early May and running through June. With the restrictions on the Kenai River for Sunday & Monday guided fishing, the Kasilof River provides a great opportunity to continue to fish for King Salmon on these days in May and June. It's a fishery which annually produces about 4000+ King Salmon for anglers. And its a great king fishery for the younger kids as these kings, averaging 20-25 pounds, are easily handled and the action is often so frequent they have little time to get bored. Hatchery clipped kings can be retained during May and June and all non-fin clipped kings must be released immediately without removing them from the water. However, the use of bait is permited on single hooks. July is the beginning of a new management plan for the Kasilof River and while the river is closed to guided fishing on Sundays, bait is allowed as are multiple hooks. Anglers are allowed to keep clipped and non fin-clipped fish as well as to continue fishing in July after retaining a king which makes for a great day of fishing. The Kasilof River also sports a fabulous run of sockeye salmon that typically begins in mid June. We utilize our permit for the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge to provide the best "wilderness" experience for this fishery.



August - September Fishery

Kenai River Silver Salmon Catch Silver (Coho) salmon begin their migration up the Kenai and Kasilof toward the end of July and continue entering the river in a steady stream until the end of September. Silvers are voracious feeders and will literally eat the bait until they swallow it, making them a fabulous fish to get "hooked on". They fight as hard as any fish and will test even the diehard fisherman. We fish both the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers concurrently, targeting the hottest fishery at the time to optimize our clients' success.


May - September Fishery

Cook Inlet Halibut Anglers Pacific halibut are present in Alaska coastal areas throughout the year but its during the summer when the majority of larger fish move closer to shore for feeding. We do our halibut fishing in Cook Inlet from Deep Creek/Nilnilchik and out of Homer. Fish are abundant but have a huge range in size, from "ping pong paddles" (10 pounders) up to fish which have exceeded 400 pounds (barndoors). Once you hook into one of these fish its very hard to determine how large it is. A 25 pounder can feel like 80, and a hundred pounder will feel like you are fighting the bottom of the ocean. Every angler on the boat gets excited when they here "sinker's up" after a long hard fight. You never know just how big that fish is going to be as it nears the surface and the skipper gets ready to land it.


Mid-June - September Fishery

Rainbows and Dolly Varden are found throughout the entire Kenai and Kasilof River drainages. Taking advantage of our Kenai National Wildlife Refuge permit for the upper Kenai, we target rainbows using small plugs and backtrolling from drift boats and then move on to flyfishing after the salmon start spawning. This is the most picturesque fishery on the Peninsula and gives a taste of whitewater to boot. It is a very good experience to schedule on Sunday or Monday when Kenai king fishing is not available to guided anglers during June and July.


Mid-June - Early August Fishery

Sockeye (Red) Salmon are a bonus during the July run of Kenai Kings. They are easily caught from the bank, since they usually travel within ten feet of the shore. Sockeye are considered to be the best eating salmon and are also excellent when smoked or canned. There are many excellent shorefishing locations throughout the Kenai River. Early Fishing has fabulous bank fishing access and fishing platforms behind the lodge on the Kenai River as well.

Sockeye fishing is also available beginning in mid-June at the Russian River, just 30 minutes from Soldotna. This is Alaska's most popular sockeye salmon fishery and so crowds and "combat fishing" are the norm. Fishing up in the Russian itself rather than at the confluence with the Kenai River will provide some great clear water fishing with fewer crowds to contend with.

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Soldotna, AK 99669
FAX: 907-262-1523
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Brookings, OR 97415
Fax: (541) 469-4643