Kodiak Island, Alaska sits off the South Centeral Coast of Alaska and is home of the famous Kodiak brown bear, the largest bear in the world. Kodiak is Alaska’s largest fishing port for king crab and salmon.
Plan Your Trip During the Right Time – Reds or Silvers?
There are several species of salmon you can fish for along the road system on Kodiak Island. In June and early July you can target the Sockeye (Red) Salmon and King Salmon or in late August, September through mid-October the Coho (Silver) Salmon along with Chum Salmon and Pink Salmon.
There are plenty of rivers to fish on Kodiak along the road system. You can fish the Olds River, Buskin River, Saltery River (accessible by ATV), Pasagshak River,American River, Salonie, Monashka, and Pillar Creek.
Note: I recommend Reel Extreme Alaska for an ATV trip to the Saltery River.
We have found that Sockeye Salmon are not very predictable. It seems like we are always too early or too late. According to the fishing chart on the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game the Reds should be running in June and July. We went to Kodiak in June of 2018 to fish the road system and there were no fish in the rivers, none! The 2018 Sockeye season was called the worst run in 40 years.
Note: this pic of a male Sockeye was taken Sept 2021. Once this color they have spawned and no longer good to eat. But fun to catch and get photos.
Luckily, we were going fishing to Alpenview Wilderness Lodge Outcamp on the Ayakulik River , accessible by float plane, later in the week. We spent a few days fishing with Fish N Chips Charter and Salmoncrazy Adventures for Halibut, Rockfish and Cod. We recommend talking to Island Air for flyout adventures.
We suggest if you are targeting the Sockeye Salmon in June and July, fish the Buskin River, Saltery River, and Pasagshak.
Salmon Fishing in September – Silvers
We usually make an annual trip to Kodiak in the early part of September. This is our favorite time to go to Kodiak. It’s usually a little cool and rainy, but the fishing is amazing.
Note: Plan your fishing wardrobe accordingly…layers! Don’t forget your waders and rain coat.
The Siver Salmon start running in the rivers in August and September. The Silver Salmon are running along with Chum Salmon and Pink Salmon.
Pictured is a Pink Salmon
Upon arriving to Kodiak, we suggest you purchase bear spray and keep it with you all the time when fishing the road system. You cannot pack bear spray in your suitcase, it is not allowed by the airlines. We also carry a gun, 44 Mag., with us. It’s not a big deal to take on the airplane in your checked luggage.
Learn more about fishing with the bears on the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game Website.
Fish Limits on the Rivers
The harvest limits seem to change everytime we are there and they vary by river. Check online for limits before you fish. Last year we could only keep one Silver after the 15th of September and two Silvers before that date.