Mack Prioleau: Fishing For Pacific Salmon In Alaska

Mack Prioleau: The Ultimate Fishing Trip At Alaska

Salmon, halibut, trout, you name it, Alaska is blessed with a variety of finfish and shellfish that gets anglers from all over the world excited, including Mack Prioleau. This summer, he hopes to make that dream trip to Alaska’s waters and catch kings (Chinook salmon), reds (Sockeye salmon), silvers (Coho salmon), and humpies (Pink salmon), to name a few. While fishing lasts throughout the summer here, the timing of your visit will greatly affect the type of fish you can catch. Here’s a brief guide shared by Mack Prioleau:

May – If you’re visiting Alaska in the month of May, your best bet for a great fishing experience is at Kenai river where you can catch kings as heavy as 95 lbs! Mack learned that the trick to catching these big fishes is to use a heavy line, around 30-40 lbs, and lure them with spinners. If you fish in shallow waters near the shore, you can get lucky and catch halibut as well. Halibut fishing runs from May all the way until August.

June – Once June swings by, Mack Prioleau suggests going to the Kasilof river to fish for reds or Sockeye salmon as they will be swimming towards the Russian River. You have two options here: either you sign up for a guided tour and go fishing with an experienced captain who knows the local waters better or you can go the DIY route and just rent a boat. The early run of reds presents numerous opportunities to haul in a catch of Alaska’s “meat and potatoes.” Sockeye salmon are only in the waters from June to July, so make the most out of it!

July – July is the best time to fish in Alaska, with hundreds of thousands of Sockeye salmon swimming in the waters. Mack Prioleau shares that the Kasilof river is still the place to fish during this time. As the month winds down, however, Pink salmon will begin their run so keep tabs for that. You may also reel in some Rainbow trout from the waters. If you’re tired of salmon and up for trout, you can go to Willow Creek Confluence, Campbell Creek, or Silver Lake. The rainbows at Willow Creek can grow as big as 30 inches!

August – Meanwhile, it’s back to Kenai in August for the silvers or Coho salmon. Mack Prioleau finds Coho salmon one of the best-tasting salmon, especially when cooked with butter, dill, and lime. While it has a milder taste compared to Chinook salmon, it’s not any less delicious. It’s best to go fishing mid-or late August when the silvers are larger in size and bigger in number. You can also catch humpies or Pink salmon at Kenai during this time. Other great fishing spots to go to for humpies are the Pasagshak River, Tutka Bay Falls, and Willow Creek Confluence. For a different experience, he suggests Tutka Bay Falls to dig for clams and pluck mussels.

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