There’s no place in Alaska that you’re more likely to catch a king salmon, literally. Sitka has the highest saltwater sport fishing king salmon catch rate in the state! And many boats catch their daily limit for salmon from the start of the king run all the way through mid-August. That’s because the town’s outer coast location is on the main migratory route for king salmon. Add to that numerous coves and islands that create ideal habitat for halibut and cod, and there’s no bigger fishing town in Southeast Alaska.
Commercial fishermen fill the bustling harbor, which is home to longliners, trollers and purse seiners. And then there’s the large fleet of charter and sport boats. Sitka’s a short boat ride away from rich salmon and halibut grounds. Go deep sea fishing and pull up a halibut or cod, or hook a coho or king salmon while trolling offshore. If you’re a fly fishermen, a number of remote streams, lakes and rivers are perfect spots to wet the line in search of that wild-run salmon, trout, char or steelhead.
Many of the charter fishing operations in town specialize in multi-day packages, often including lodging and meals. But if you are visiting town on a cruise ship or don’t want to devote your entire trip to fishing, there are several captains who offer day and half-day trips. If these are full, you can try the multi-day charters, who sometimes have openings and will happily
take you along.
Deep Sea Sport Fishing—Day Trips
Hear the whizz of a reel as a king salmon takes your bait, or fight with all your might to pull up a giant halibut from the depths. Compete against other anglers in Sitka’s Memorial Day weekend King Fishing Derby! Whether you’re looking to fill a cooler to take back home or want to catch a prize-winning king, these charter companies can help you get out there.
There are plenty of remote lodges throughout Alaska and outside of Sitka, but these in-town lodges combine the best of both worlds: a fishing-focused vacation with in-town lodging. You can fish all day, soak in a hot tub at night and eat at your lodge, then hit the town for live music or shopping. Some of these operators even offer lodging on their boats. If you want to fish, fish, fish, but don’t want to be stuck in the middle of the bush, these lodges offer the perfect solution.
From rustic, floating houseboats to luxury timber-framed lodges with stone fireplaces and private hot tubs, you’ll find several options for remote, lodge-based fishing trips from Sitka. Outside of town, you’ll be immersed in the coastal wilderness, but often with all the modern amenities. And many lodges offer recreation opportunities in addition to fishing. If you combine a trip to a remote lodge with time in town, you’ll get the best of both worlds. These lodges offer saltwater and/or freshwater fishing, and can be accessed by boat or airplane.
From early spring to late fall, the rivers around Sitka are filled with a number of species of fish, from early run trout to late fall coho salmon. Most of these rivers are remote and require a plane or boat to get to. This adds to the cost, but means you’ll be fishing in solitude on truly wild rivers. Rich forests of evergreens line the rivers, while moss-draped trees and rocks dot the banks. It’s hard to imagine a more scenic spot to cast a line.