Where Is the Best King Salmon Fishing?

Are you an angler on the hunt for the best king salmon fishing spots? Look no further!

In this article, we will explore some of the top destinations known for their abundant king salmon populations. So, grab your fishing gear and get ready for an adventure!

The Kenai River, Alaska

If you’re looking for world-class king salmon fishing, the Kenai River in Alaska is a must-visit destination. This majestic river is famous for its impressive runs of king salmon, also known as Chinook salmon.

The Kenai River offers a unique experience due to its diverse fishing opportunities. Whether you prefer bank fishing or going out on a boat, you’ll find plenty of hotspots along the river. The key is to Target deep pools and eddies where king salmon tend to congregate.

Recommended Techniques:

  • Bait Fishing: Use fresh-cut bait like herring or salmon roe and rig it with a sliding sinker setup.
  • Backtrolling: Drift downstream while using plugs or divers to entice strikes from aggressive king salmon.
  • Fly Fishing: Swing large streamer patterns near log jams or other structures where kings like to hide.

Columbia River, Washington and Oregon

The mighty Columbia River is another prime location for king salmon enthusiasts. Stretching over 1,200 miles along the border of Washington and Oregon, this iconic river sees massive runs of Chinook salmon every year.

One of the most popular areas along the Columbia River is the Buoy 10 fishery near Astoria, Oregon. This region offers exceptional opportunities to catch both hatchery and wild kings as they make their way upstream.

Recommended Techniques:

  • Trolling: Use downriggers or divers to present bait or lures at various depths, Targeting the main channel and eddies.
  • Plunking: Anchor your gear near the riverbank with heavy weights and let your bait drift in the current.
  • Drift Fishing: Cast out a weighted rig with bait, allowing it to drift naturally along the river while keeping in contact with the bottom.

Russian River, California

If you’re searching for king salmon fishing on the West Coast, the Russian River in California is an excellent choice. Located in Sonoma County, this beautiful river offers an unforgettable angling experience.

The Russian River is renowned for its late summer and fall runs of Chinook salmon. The fish congregate at specific spots like Dry Creek and Johnson’s Beach before making their way upriver to spawn.

Recommended Techniques:

  • Bank Fishing: Find deep pools or runs and cast out bait such as cured salmon eggs or shrimp onto a sliding sinker rig.
  • Fly Fishing: Use large streamer patterns that imitate smolts or baitfish and swing them through holding areas.
  • Kick Boat Fishing: Navigate the river using a kick boat or float tube while casting lures like spinners or spoons towards likely salmon-holding areas.

No matter which destination you choose, always ensure you have the appropriate fishing licenses and follow local regulations. Additionally, consider hiring a guide who can provide valuable insights into these specific fisheries.

Now that you know some of the best king salmon fishing spots, it’s time to plan your next fishing trip. Remember, patience and persistence are key when Targeting these powerful and prized fish. Good luck!

Photo of author

Lindsay Collins