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Best Fishing Day Trips in Early August

Montgomery, Texas
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Best Fishing Day Trips in Early August

I'm on business in Anchorage and plan on flying in a day early to try and get some fishing along with a European colleague. Neither of us have fished in Alaska and the thought of it has us novices rather jazzed.

We have tentatively planned to fly in on Sunday, August 4th to open up the 5th for getting some lines wet. After a couple of days of business we probably will fly out Wednesday night but could potentially slide it back a day if fishing options are better on Thursday the 8th.

Yes, we know King Salmon season is closed and we are definitely disappointed. Our preference would be to chase big salmon in a river (preferably silvers). But if those prospects aren't particularly appealing based on the season, we'd be willing to drive somewhere to haul in some halibut.

Looking through past posts in this forum, there seems to be consensus that the best experiences are one of the following:

1. River float in the Mat-Su Valley

2. River float in Kenai Peninsula

3. Fly-out (cha-ching) to a nearby river

4. Halibut charter out of Whittier

Based on my itinerary, what do some of you local experts recommend to give us the best Alaskan fishing experience. I'll be carrying my 7D, so photography does factor into the decision a bit. Although I recognize I should be good on that account no matter we wind up going.

Duluth, Minnesota
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1. Re: Best Fishing Day Trips in Early August

I don't consider myself an expert by any means, but I'll share my thoughts...

I haven't floated the mat-su rivers so I can't comment on them.

A lower Kenai trip for silvers would be an option, not sure on peak timing there but you might be a bit early, depending on this years run timing of course. And I think last years silver run was spotty as well.

I just got back and did a flyout with Talon Air...the guide reiterated that a flyout to the Kustatan in August was a good trip, his favorite in fact. (I was just chatting with him, so I think he was being straight with me) And Talon did a very good job. I think that would set you back about 375/pp or so.

Halibut out of Homer or Seward (or Whittier, though I've never been out of there) is always an option....you're looking at 250-325/pp, with good odds at getting your 2 fish. Put in some research time for the best cappys for sure.

I really haven't targeted silvers, so no August trips for me, I usually go for kings and reds. It was tough being up there for 10 days and not fishing kings, but I hope they do all thats needed to get the king fishery back on it's feet.

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: Best Fishing Day Trips in Early August

You'd be there just a few days before the Silver Salmon Derby kicks off in Seward. The fishing for silvers in Resurrection Bay ought to be terrific around then, and there are plenty of charter operators in Seward to take you. It's very beautiful out there, too.

Drifting the Kenai for Silvers is fun, but quite iffy, and poses some logistical challenges for people on a tight schedule. I'd head for Seward - the fish will be brighter and will give you plenty of argument before being boated. Shorter drive from Anchorage too.

sewardchamber.org/welcome-to-seward-alaska/…

Edited: 5:48 pm, June 29, 2013
Chugiak, Alaska
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3. Re: Best Fishing Day Trips in Early August

I'm with ibgardyloo- go to Seward and get on a combo charter for silvers and halibut. Best of both worlds and if the silvers aren't enough for you, you'll get a chance at halibut, too. When the silvers are in, they usually fish for those on the way out of the Bay, grab halibut and then limit out on salmon on the way back in (if everyone didn't limit out the first time). Nothing like going home with multiple types of fish.

Montgomery, Texas
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4. Re: Best Fishing Day Trips in Early August

Thanks, guys. I'll be honest, drifting down a river in the Kenai looks better in my mind's eye. But I'll trust your judgement on Seward. Hauling in big fish on a charter isn't as charming as landing them on a river. But the idea of not getting fish on during a float is even more disappointing.

Any suggestions on boats/captains in Seward? Or frankly does it really make much difference?

Chugiak, Alaska
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5. Re: Best Fishing Day Trips in Early August

Slyfox- your version of drifting is likely not going to be close to reality- no offense intended. When the fish are in, the rivers are busy and lots of folks are jerks. I frankly find the fishing out on the ocean to be more calm and relaxing (though there are still jerks on other boats out there occasionally).

I think it DOES matter what captain/boat you get. I've been out a couple times when I didn't get fish, or very few, and one time it was fishing the exact same day and the exact same fish as my buddy. He limited on salmon and halibut- we got nada.

I like Captain John with Inn and Out Charter, but skip it if you can't get John. He's the owner and get other folks to captain his second boat, but I didn't have good luck last year with his other guy. Could be a different person this year, but it was Captain John that I had good luck with twice and he's very good at helping you figure out how to catch the fish. Very nice guy.

Had good luck once with Alaska Saltwater lodge, but then the next year they put us on a boat with a different captain who was not great (that's the day we got next to nothing when my buddy and the boat he was on were absolutely on the fish).

Duluth, Minnesota
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6. Re: Best Fishing Day Trips in Early August

This trip I fished with Semaka charters and would highly recommend them. The other couple Seward charters I found while researching that were very popular were Crackerjack and ProFishNSea (who I fished with years ago). A combo trip in August should be a great trip.

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7. Re: Best Fishing Day Trips in Early August

SlyFox, since your desire is to river fish, check to see if the 2nd red run is still going on the Kenai/Russian when you arrive.

If you are in communication with some of the Cooper Landing fishing guides they would have the moment-to-moment scoop.

We have seen that 2nd run of reds lap over into early August.

Our only fishing is at Russian River for the reds twice a summer, but my nephew came to visit us & enjoyed his fishing charter with Saltwater.

Good luck!

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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8. Re: Best Fishing Day Trips in Early August

I agree that the captain does matter. We went out on the Kenai River for silvers during a time when most were doing well and catching the limit. Our boat of 4 (me & DH plus another couple of guys) only caught 1 fish for the lot of us. It was a total bummer. On the other hand, we fished for halibut 2 days later out of Ninilchick and the entire boat (8 people) maxed out including one whopper over 100#.

Previously, we went fishing for kings on the Kasiloff River (June 2006) and my hubby was the only one to catch a fish. So you just cannot guess how it will turn out. Go out and enjoy the scenery and the outdoors, and make the most of it.

On our halibut charter we did see a couple of orcas on the way back to shore so that was very cool and a highlight on top of catching fish.

Seattle, Washington
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9. Re: Best Fishing Day Trips in Early August

I have to agree with alaskantiger. I've drifted the Kenai River a lot (usually from the bottom of Skilak Lake down a few miles) and while the river is very big, when the fish are in it can be annoyingly congested and noisy. The fish aren't everywhere, and when somebody sees another boat with fish on, there's a real tendency for every other boat in sight to start moving toward that location. There are a lot of jet boats on the river, so the noise and disruption can be intense, especially when the drivers are frustrated with no fish and fueled by excessive alcohol. Great big meh.

That said, even if you don't catch silvers on the river, you'll probably catch Dolly Vardens and maybe some Rainbow Trout, a few of which in the Kenai can be humongous.

Still, I'd go for Seward without any qualms.

Meant to add, if time is really at a premium, or if you want a big - great big - twofer, then the fly-out options from Anchorage should NOT be disregarded. (Do the math - car rental cost plus gas plus charter out of Seward vs. the fly-in price.) In addition to a fantastic "real" Alaska experience - taking off and landing in a float plane - you'll get the best photo-ops of the trip. Southcentral Alaska from a float plane will stop your heart, it's so beautiful. Hence the "twofer."

Edited: 10:19 am, July 01, 2013
Duluth, Minnesota
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10. Re: Best Fishing Day Trips in Early August

to add to that...maybe even a 3-fer:) There are a few flyouts that go to places where bears are often seen...we just got back from a flyout to Wolverine creek where in addition to the VERY cool flight, and limits of red salmon, we also saw several bears up close and personal (from the comfort and safety of our boat).

I'm not sure which runs would be available then, but a call to a couple of the flying services would dial that in for you.