Ship Creek (Lower)

Alaska's most productive king salmon sportfishery is located right in downtown Anchorage! Fish for salmon at Ship Creek even if you have only two hours. During the summertime derbies, specially tagged fish bring in $100-$10,000. Buy your tickets ($7-35) from the Derby Cabin next to Comfort Inn at Ship Creek and warm up your muscles-in 2002, a 41-pounder took grand prize! Want to fish Ship Creek? 6th Avenue Outfitters (907-276-0233) sells fishing licenses and rents complete fishing packages, including waders and a ready-to-fish rod/reel combo with line, tackle, free advice, and everything else you might need.

Available Species

Where the locals fish
  • King Salmon: Late May - Mid July
  • Silver Salmon: Late July - Early September


The best time to fish is two hours before and after a tidal change. Hip boots are helpful as Ship Creek has a very muddy shoreline.


Fishing Ship Creek requires an Alaska fishing license. If you will fish for King Salmon, a King stamp is also required.


Use bright colors, such as pink, orange, blue/silver and chartreuse.
These are more visible in silty water like what is found in Ship Creek. Lures work best at high tide when you want to cover the water quickly. Cast upstream, and reel in just fast enough to give the lure “action”. “Action” for a spoon is the wiggle, while a spinner’s blade will spin. Popular varieties include Vibrax (#5 or #6) and Pixee (7/8).


Bait is considered the most effective way to catch salmon in Ship Creek. Both herring and salmon roe are used, but the roe is more popular. Bait works best at high tide. You can fish bait with a bobber (~3’ between bobber and bait), or have your bait sit just above the bottom. The diagrams below will show in detail.


A popular method for fishing at low tide is to use a fly, yarn fly, or attractor (such as a corkie or Spin N Glo). These should also be in bright colors. This requires putting enough weight on the line to bring the fly to the bottom, and for it to bounce along the bottom at the same pace of the water. Refer to the photo diagrams for more detail on this set-up method and variations.

Fishing Etiquette:

  • 1) Practice patience at all times! Fishing is supposed to be fun!
  • 2) Respect others and their space! This also means being courteous.
  • 3) Be helpful!
  • 4) Run with your fish! Follow your fish along the shoreline, so that others may continueto fish.

Things to Remember

  • Pay for parking!
  • Buy a fishing license (and King Tag if fishing for Kings)

Getting There

Latitude: 61.223588
Longitude: -149.886357
Driving Directions