Red salmon are also known as sockeye salmon. They are a hard-fighting fish, lots of fun to catch, and are highly sought after for their rich and tasty meat. In fact, many people claim they are the best eating of all the Pacific salmon species. There are two runs of red salmon in the Kenai River and one run of reds in the Kasilof River that we fish for.
Kenai River Red Salmon Fishing
If taking home wild Alaskan salmon and having plenty of opportunities to hook a hard fighting fish are on the top of your to-do list, consider red salmon fishing on the Kenai River in July! Each year the second run of red salmon boosts returns of around a million!
Red salmon is a favorite amongst local Alaskans due to the rich flavor and abundance. Red salmon are known for their deep red/orange color of meat. Take a trip through the seafood section of your local grocery store. The sight of those fillets will make your mouth water, but the price (sometimes selling for $20 a pound) will make your wallet cringe.
The typical daily possession limit is three reds per person. If the run exceeds 750,000 the limit will increase to six. This does not always happen, but check out these numbers… an average second-run red weighs 9-12lbs. Anglers will retain ~ 50% of the weight in fillets. At a minimum, one limit of three reds will put ~13.5lbs of incredible fillets in your freezer!
One misconception about red salmon fishing in Alaska is having to stand shoulder-to-shoulder (combat fishing) with other anglers. Yes, most of the Kenai is fished in this manner for reds, but there is another way… We fish from the boat much the same as one would fish for king salmon on the Lower Kenai River – minus 400 other boats and few chances at a hookup a day per boat.
Our environment is a wilderness setting with opportunities to view moose, bear, lynx, eagles, loons, and more. We do our best to avoid other anglers and quite often have plenty of space to ourselves. This tranquil environment is often interrupted by constant action, bent rods, and screaming drags. Red salmon are one of the hardest fighting fish, pound for pound. They love to fly out of the water putting on epic aerial displays, then charge subsurface and repeat, over and over!
When the fishing is hot and limits happen early, anglers can participate in a phenomenon known as the Kenai double dip. Once the fish box is full we switch gears and target native rainbow trout. The Kenai is home to some of the biggest wild-native rainbows on the planet! The end of July into early August is a sleeper peak time for amazing trout fishing and the shot to tie into trophy trout over 10lbs! Go to our Rainbow Trout Site to learn more about this awesome fish.